During the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of your mental health should not be set aside. A healthy body is a healthy mind and a healthy mind is a healthy body. These two statements are inseparable.
If you’re staying at home, you might be anxious about what’s happening in the world as you watch news reports about the novel coronavirus—the total number of cases, the mortality and recovery rates, the lockdown of cities, states, and countries, etc. It must be overwhelming for you.
How about you slow down for a bit? Here are some ways to protect your mental health during quarantine:
Be Physically Active
Physical activity can help you clear your mind. Depression troubles the mind first before it troubles the body. But by getting the body to work, you can detoxify your mind. As you move and sweat, your brain secretes endorphins.
Endorphins make you feel good about yourself. They are responsible for releasing the happy hormones, safeguards you from stress and anxiety. Dopamine provides you with pleasurable sensations; it fills you with joy as well. Meanwhile, serotonin helps in managing your mood. All these hormones are accountable for making you feel refreshed and better.
To regulate your moods properly, establishing your routines will help. It will settle your body clock program. Your sleep schedule, eating schedule, work schedule, etc. If the body is programmed well, it knows what to do and when to do it. If that’s the case, you will less likely to be stressed. Once your daily routine is disrupted, you will lose direction.
Being in quarantine for a month or so puts your routine at risk. When that happens, you will be frustrated, and so will your body and mind be. As a solution to this, create a daily schedule, tasks to tackle, and breaks in between.
Don’t Be Overwhelmed by Information
Remember, it’s not bad to be informed by watching the news or scrolling in your news feed. In fact, being informed allows you what to anticipate and what to do. Just be sure you know how to handle your emotions and train of thoughts.
If you can’t handle too much information, you will be overwhelmed and your mental health will again be in trouble. Stay informed, but avoid toxic information. You deserve peace and balance while under quarantine.
Eat Healthy Food
Food choices also affect mental health. Be careful with what you eat. During quarantine, it’s always easy to eat anything and everything. You can keep snacking and binge-eating all day. But have you thought of eating healthy and balanced meals? Yes, eating healthy improves how the brain works.
Leafy greens, whole grains, walnuts—fruits and veggies, in general, are good for you. Meat and fish as well, if consumed in a balanced way. Here’s a tip: work on your food plan weekly or monthly so that you will have the time to think well and prepare.
Maintain Proper Hygiene
Of course, having a clean environment frees your mind. And so does having a clean body. The World Health Organization has advised countries to implement proper hand and respiratory hygiene to avoid getting infected and further spreading the virus.
Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. Before and after eating, after having close contact with other people, after touching dirty surfaces, etc. After washing your hands, disinfect with alcohol with a 70% solution or a hand sanitizer. Check your grocery stores and buy enough supplies for the family. If out of stocks, you can directly order from a hand sanitizer company.
Undergoing a quarantine is no joke. To keep yourself sane, try to communicate at least with your family members. Talk about what interests you, the current news updates, your previous experiences, and so on. If something bothers you, make sure to open up to your sister, brother, or parents. They will definitely do something to make you feel better. If you need professional advice, don’t hesitate to consult with your psychiatrist or counselor.
Find an Energy Outlet
One of the best pieces of advice to cope with anxiety, boredom, depression, frustration, and the like, is to find an outlet where you can express your feelings, thoughts, and energy. Do you think reading is fun?
Are you into painting or doing crafts? Do you like to watch documentaries from the history channel? What activity do you like to do that when you do it, you forget about the world behind you—the stress, pain, panic attacks, tremor, etc. If you discover it, do it over and over again, until you get rid of what’s in your head and what’s troubling your chest.
A quarantine can cause people to fear, worry, be confused, be sad, be numb. Whatever you’re going through right now, always choose to take care of your mental health to keep up your productivity, moods, and to simply live.