For all of us, this spring is different from any season we’ve experienced before. Due to Covid-19 quarantines we’re stuck with a ‘new-normal’ that includes stay-at-home orders, masks, and social distancing. That’s a tough proposition for a society already rife with anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
Even for those who are fortunate enough to have a roof over your head, food on your table, and toilet paper in your bathroom this time can be a major challenge mentally. Stress about finances, health, family, jobs, friends, and the future is the norm.
I heard someone liken our world experience to a great trauma that we are all collectively experiencing. Not the same trauma, mind you, but trauma in the sense of massive upheaval to everyone’s daily existence.
Those who like to plan and be in control can feel especially unmoored when so much is unknown. A sense of not being in control is a major driver of anxiety and depression. And let’s face it, there’s a lot we can’t control now. The first thing we all need to do is to recognize that it is ok to not feel ok. In times of uncertainty it is normal to have both good and bad days. While so much is out of our control, it’s important to focus on those things we can control.
With that in mind, there are some things we can all do to help our good days outnumber the others. Here are 4 quick tips to keep your mental health sound in the time of Covid-19.
- Develop a daily routine. Wake up and go to bed at the same time. Eat your meals at the same time each day, too. A wide open day can be daunting. By scheduling various times for specific activities, your days become more manageable and meaningful.
- Exercise daily. Plan 30-60 minutes of exercise in your schedule and aim to work up a sweat every single day. A good rule of thumb is to work your body harder than it is used to working to see positive gains. Raise your heart rate, improve your endurance, get stronger, boost your energy and improve your mood. Get outside if you can or try these 4 tips for home workouts.
- Shower and get dressed. Even if you are the only person who you will see today, the simple act of getting dressed will lift your mood. It sets the tone for the day, changes your mindset, and makes you feel good about yourself and ready to tackle the day. This little bit of self-care can do wonders for your psyche so make an effort to do it daily.
- Write it down. Journaling can be cathartic and has even been linked to strengthening the immune system, lowering blood pressure, and improving sleep. Put your thoughts to paper and alleviate some of the internal stress that you have been carrying around. Need some help getting started? Check out these suggestions from the Center for Journal Therapy.
NOTE: If you or someone you know is struggling and need help, please text 741741 and get in touch with Crisis Text Line.
Kris Jackson is a certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer with a specialty in Behavior Change in Fitness Nutrition through the American Council on Exercise. As the founder of n8Longevity, an app-based virtual health coaching service focused on nutritional accountability, Kris helps clients live long and healthy lives by focusing on food, fitness, and lifestyle choices.