7 Easy and Proven Tips To Manage Your Mental Health During This Pandemic

“I love being cooped up indoors,” said NO man EVER.

However, a surge in COVID-19 cases has forced many to stay in their homes.

Humans are social animals. If anyone told you before the pandemic that you will have to maintain social distance, it would have been unimaginable.

Yet, here we are, forced to remain at home for the second time now.

Being confined within four walls may stir various emotions in you.

Besides, from managing kids while working from home, to losing jobs, the pandemic has raised many challenges.

And the result?

STRESS and FEAR!

The feelings could be due to concerns about your health or that of your loved ones.

Does all this make you feel anxious or depressed?

Well, you are not alone.

About 41% of the people have anxiety and/or depression.

Source

The Problem

The imposed changes in your lifestyle may make you feel stressed or overwhelmed. 

Preventive measures such as social distancing are essential to flatten the curve, but…

They may make you feel lonely and isolated.

Every time you are on social media, there is news about the rising cases or the scarcity of resources.

Stress and fear multiples, especially if a loved one is affected.

If these emotions persist for a longer time, it may cause anxiety or depression.

How Do You Know You Are Affected?

Here are some signs that may indicate you have difficulty in coping with the present condition:

  • Mood swings, rage, and frustration
  • Difficulty in concentration and poor memory
  • Heightened alertness
  • Reduced confidence and self-esteem
  • Frequent emotional outbursts
  • Sexual problems such as reduced or loss of libido
  • Abnormal sleep and appetite

How Can You Manage?

You need to protect yourself from two things.

Protect against the virus and protect your mental health from the effects of the pandemic.

You have masks, sanitizer, and social distancing as tools to combat the virus.

But protecting your mental health can be challenging.

Fortunately, learning to cope with emotions will help you become more resilient.

It also boosts your mental health, allowing you to function normally.

Seven Proven Ways to Protect Your Mental Health

Here are some ways to fight negative emotions and boost your mental health.

1. Undergo A Social Media Detox

Staying updated can help you feel in control. But too much exposure and constant news about COVID cases and death can be overwhelming. 

Studies have shown that excessive use of social media has a negative effect on your mental health.

If you prefer being online on social media, limit the time you spent here.

Take a break from social media if the updates feel too much.

Remember, you are in control of what you want your feed should look like.

Mute notifications and unfollow accounts that make you feel worried.

Experts recommend self-monitoring the information consumption, evaluate its effect on your psychological state, and regulate social media use accordingly.

2. Be Active

Exercises not only improve your physical health but also boost your mental health.

If you were going to a gym or yoga classes, you could follow the same by taking online classes.

Activity triggers the release of “happy hormones” called endorphins, improving your mood.

Research indicates that exercising, even for 15 minutes, can boost your mood.

Get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises in a week, such as walking, and keep stress at bay.

3. Have A Healthy Diet

Do you know certain food ingredients can reach your brain through the bloodstream?

So, what you eat affects your mental health.

To avoid low mood and energy drainage, avoid foods rich in simple carbs and unhealthy fats such as fried and bakery food items.

Include foods high in protein, good fats, and complex carbs.

Some healthy options include:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fruits, especially citrus fruits
  • Avocados
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fatty fish
  • Almonds
  • Green tea
  • Nuts

Try to avoid sugar, unhealthy fats, and simple carbs and include more proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats in your diet.

4. Try Stress Management Techniques

Not a yoga or meditation person?

Now is the time to give them another chance.

Yoga improves the connection between body and mind. It also boosts your breath and body awareness.

Studies have shown that yoga improves anxiety and depression by improving your mood.

Meditation is equally helpful for managing stress and improving your mental health.

Meditation strategies such as mindfulness aid in anchoring to the present moment.

It aids in fighting the anxiety-inducing effects of stress and negative thoughts.

Practice yoga or meditate for at least 10 minutes daily to improve your mood and mental health.

5. Reduce Your Screen Time

Work from home may have increased your screen time. Even after working hours, zoom calls, binge-watching, and social media surfing keep you on the screen.

Experts believe that increased screen time results in low levels of happiness and feelings of loneliness.

Besides, excess screen usage makes you susceptible to obesity and negatively impacts your sleep.

The heightened levels of anxiety and stress during the pandemic can only worsen these negative feelings.

Limit your screen times and use it to exercise or connect with your loved ones.

6. Stay Connected

It’s easy to doubt yourself during hard times.

At such times, we all need regular support to stay happy.

Seeing your loved ones can make you happy and understand that everyone is going through the same phase.

It is seen to reduce loneliness and lower the risk of suicide, especially in the elderly. 

You can also join online support or offline groups to fight stress and anxiety.

Take the support of loved ones or join a support group and always stay inspired.

7. Unwind Yourself

It’s essential to focus on your mental health along with physical health, especially during challenging times like this.

Try activities that can help to let your hair down. Some things that may help are:

  • Maintaining a daily journal
  • Cooking
  • Having your favorite meal
  • Listening to or playing music
  • Chatting with a friend
  • Drawing and coloring

Unwind yourself with a piece of music or your favorite meal.

PS: You may feel like smoking or consuming alcohol to get rid of stress and negative feelings. But it’s important to know these stimulants will only end up worsening your anxiety or depression.

Final Thoughts

The COVID-19 second wave can be overwhelming, especially with many of your loved ones being affected by it. During such difficult times, it is essential to understand how you can take care of yourself and others and avoid focusing on negative things.

Maintaining your mental health has become more important than ever.

Try the mentioned strategies and be in a better position to help others.

See you on the healthy side!

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