PROTECTING OUR MENTAL HEALTH DURING THE PANDEMIC
Since the beginning of the shelter-in-place, our lives have changed drastically. We work, eat, sleep, date, socialize, and parent in different ways. While we still don’t know when this surreal period will end, most of us have entered a period of mental fatigue. Although we lost some control in our lives, we can still cultivate positivity and resilience.
Here are a few strategies to help you deal with the mental health effects of the pandemic:
1. Building resilience to stress. The first step is to recognize that the negative emotions you are experiencing during this period are inevitable. In fact, they are healthy. So, don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you are feeling bad.
2. Processing the strong emotions. Since the options are endless, you need to experiment to determine what is best for you. Activities include meditating, journaling, running, talking to a friend, painting, gardening,… Try one or more daily and see how you respond to it.
3. Cultivating mindfulness. Even small acts of mindfulness can help you tune into the present moment, notice bodily sensations of calmness or tension, and get more comfortable with uncertainty. Taking five to ten minutes to settle your mind and grounding yourself can have benefits.
4. Combatting fatigue. Being dutifully confined to your home may make you feel more tired. Stress and anxiety drive poor sleep. Since we are living through an uncertain time, we don’t know what tomorrow can bring. That can prevent you from getting fully rested. Studies show that adults between 18 and 64 years old are supposed to sleep between 7 to 9 hours. Here are a few tips to help you sleep better:
Since we are in quarantine for the long haul, it is vital to take good care of ourselves on a psychological level. If we develop a healthy relationship with ourselves, then we will be able to better manage our anxiety and stress over the pandemic and its duration.
As a parent and a therapist, I want to offer some tips on how to raise happy and healthy kids. Please feel free to comment on my posts.