The outbreak of COVID-19 can put a serious strain on our mental health. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that the anxiety of the pandemic and isolation of social distancing can have a negative impact on our moods. If you have been feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to remember that you are not alone.
While there is no way to change what is happening in the world, we can all do our best to manage our responses. Below are some tips that might help you stay positive, productive, and healthy in times of adversity.
1. Stay connected.
The best thing you can do right now for your mental health is to stay connected. We get it—a video chat with your friends and family is not the same as a face-to-face talk. However, even these virtual moments of connectivity can help us stay positive.
Use all the tools at your disposal, such as FaceTime, Skype, and text messaging. You can also get creative with newly emerging tools. Consider the Netflix Party extension for Chrome or try getting your friends to play an online game together. World of Warcraft party, anyone?
2. Read good news.
It’s easy for the media to overwhelm us with negative feelings, particularly during a pandemic. If the news is making you feel anxious, it’s important to balance the negative with some positive. Dedicate some time exclusively to good news.
3. Take time to say thank you.
Research has shown that expressing gratitude can help you have a more positive attitude towards life. Taking a moment to thank those who have made an impact in your life will not just give you warm fuzzy feelings for five minutes—it will actually contribute to your long-term mental health!
Keep a gratitude journal or set time aside to reach out and thank one person per day.
4. Exercise—even if just a little.
It’s hard to make exercise a priority when you’re trapped indoors, particularly if you’re feeling anxious. Start with small steps, such as a quick walk around the block (keeping in mind appropriate social distancing guidelines!) or a 10-minute online stretching video. Even these short breaks of physical activity can greatly help elevate your mood.
5. Unplug from technology.
Whether you’re working from home or playing a video game, too much screen time can be harmful to your mental health (and your eyesight). Try to incorporate activities that do not involve screens. This could be reading a book, going for a walk, solving a puzzle, baking a cake, cleaning out your closet, or painting a portrait. Maybe now is the perfect time to get into water colors or origami. Remember that you can find tutorials on virtually any topic online!
While it’s okay to feel a little stressed or anxious during times of uncertainty, keeping a positive mindset will help not just yourself but those around you as well. If you have any questions about how industries are being impacted or where your career can go from here, please reach out to us for the latest information.