“You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” ~ Tom Hiddleston
As we try and adapt to a new normal in this world which is completely different from what we expected it to be, emotional & mental health is drastically affected. And not in the most positive way. There is magnanimous stress on us as we try to adapt to new relationship dynamics with partners, family, friends, neighbors, work mates…with life itself.
So what do we do in these trying times to maintain our mental and emotional health? The good news is, there is hope yet for us all.
In my work over the past 18 years there are a myriad of problems I have helped my clients with, but this situation(covid-19 pandemic) is completely unprecedented and new. But, from what I have seen in the past few weeks, since the pandemic broke loose on all of us, is that we are dealing with the issues of social isolation, loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression…only to a greater degree. For some of us, these have been issues we have had much before the pandemic(which are now exacerbated), and for some of us its a new change we need to deal with.
As I sit down almost daily to counsel clients via skype, its clear to me, that we are as a collective human race going through this for the first time in human history, and we are literally all in this together.
After the last article on 6 Positive Ways To Calm Coronavirus Anxiety many of the readers wrote in to share what other mental and emotional health problems they are facing in this time. So to sum it all up, I would like to share with you some tried and tested Positive Ways to Maintain Mental Health During COVID-19, which have been working for my clients, for my friends, for my family and for me too. I’m sure they will help you too.
6 Positive Ways to Maintain Your Mental Health During Covid-19
These are some things that we need to do or make an effort to do during uncertain times to maintain our mental and emotional health…
But, before I share I would like to make one thing very clear, always always DO what FEELS RIGHT to you. You might read a million suggestion all over the internet, but always always use your gut feeling to decide what is right for you. And, One day at a time is all we really NEED to go through in this time.
1} Maintain Light Structure: While we are all in a quarantined state and all are either working from home or living at home all the time with no out time except for essentials, a light routine to follow gives the mind something to work with. Like waking up and sleeping routines. Physical activity time. Structured work schedule times and meal times. Try as much as possible to follow a loose routine in these days. It keeps your mind and emotions in check.
2} Maintain Intimate Relationships: We all need all the support we can get in these trying times. Having somebody to talk to and share this experience with is precious right now. So invest your energy in flourishing those intimate relationships. Whether its a friend, a partner, a spouse, a parent, a child, a pet…Take time on a daily basis to show these intimate relationships that they matter and that you appreciate them.
3} Maintain Accountability to Someone: No matter what your role in your household-a parent, pet owner, brother, sister, spouse…make it your special project to take care of someone other than yourself in small ways. There is nothing that makes your mind more stable than being accountable and responsible for someone other than yourself. For in those moments you forget about yourself briefly and dedicate your good energy in something good.
4} Maintain Social Connections: I know it’s something that seems harder to do in times when we can’t go out and socialize. But, in these isolated times, we have the gift of technology right in our hands. Utilize these modes and dedicate sometime in your week to connect with friends and family. Check up on them. Play online games, share your favorite books or tv shows with them, reminisce over the good times. The more you spend your energy in maintainng these social connections, the farther feelings of isolation and loneliness will be. Just in the last two weeks I have seen couples get married on zoom, families celebrate birthdays on whatapp group video, have dance parties on zoom , music teachers teaching piano online, kids coming together to do activities together on zoom and even the elderly folk have now learned to enjoy facetime/video group calls!
5} Maintain your Sense of Identity: In trying times its very easy to lose your sense of self and life purpose. So do things in your day to remind yourself of both your life’s purpose and your identity. If you are not working from home, spend dedicated time on a hobby. Something that nurtures your heart and soul. For some it could be writing, knitting, crocheting, painting, reading, learning etc. Take this time not only for hobbies, but to also hone your skill set for the future. Take that online course you have always wanted to, or study that book you never had time for before this, but always wanted to. Your mind needs to be stimulated with what it likes and only you know what YOU like. Feed it that. You will then definitely come out from this pandemic feeling highly accomplished 🙂
6} Maintain Chill Time: Oh yes, you read that right…chill time! Chill time is when anything goes. Binge watch whatever, eat whatever makes you happy, sleep in, be lazy, play games…anything that makes you feel good and happy. And this needs to be done daily, in these times. Because there is just so much negativity floating around us, we need to maximize our up-time so that all that is going on around the world doesn’t dull our heart or mind.
Notice how I have said “maintain” your mental health, because that is all we can do in this time. We do what we can, and we do it to the best of our ability.
While all the above ways will definitely do your mental health some great good, it does not take away from the fact that we are all going through a very different phase in our lives or rather in history. There are a lot of firsts that are happening around the world these days in the light of the covid-19 pandemic. This will not take away from the tremendous loss of life or the loss of a lifestyle we have all gotten used to, but it will help you to cope with these times with hope and faith.
Embracing this new normal is the most healing way forward.
Let’s try our level best to keep our spirits balanced, mental health taken care of and emotional strength in tact during this time.
One day soon we will look back to this time and be amazed at our patience, resolve and ability to adapt for the greater good. Till then, stay home, stay safe and stay positive!
If you are going through anxiety or stress during this time, these articles will help you:
~6 Positive Ways To Calm Coronavirus Anxiety
~5 Positive Affirmations to Beat Anxiety
~5 Step Plan to Positively Reduce Anxiety
❤ Just a quick reminder, that I AM HERE TO SUPPORT you at all times. You can contact me anywhere from email to social media circles. Please remember you are not alone and we are all in this together. ❤
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❤ Love always, ~Zeenat~ ❤