As the pandemic continues, people are still spending more time than usual alone. Everyone is experiencing this time in different ways, but the unusual circumstances have given rise to a number of new stressors. These stressors include things like lack of social interaction, lack of time outdoors, and economic challenges. All of these things can negatively affect your mental health and make it way harder to stay positive.
If you’re feeling this way, you aren’t alone. These are some of our best tips for staying mentally healthy during this time.
Mindfulness can mean many things. It isn’t just meditation, either. Incorporating self-affirmations, journaling, and breathing techniques are just a few ways to be more mindful throughout the day. Here are a few more ways to practice mindfulness.
- Practice gratitude. This means focusing on the small, everyday things. Try writing down three things you’re grateful for every day.
- Focus on the present. You certainly aren’t alone if you’re worried about the past or the future. However, the present is the only thing you can control, so focus on that. Worst-case-scenario thinking only leads to despair.
- Think about what you can control, and focus on the positives. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of negative thoughts, and while you don’t need to ignore the negative aspects of life, focusing on the positive is much more beneficial.
Don’t forget about your physical health.
Staying active is important because it also contributes to physical health. Try to get 15-30 minutes of physical activity in. Even if you’re just walking laps around your home, you’ll still feel a mental boost.
Let yourself get distracted.
Never underestimate the power of a good distraction. Maybe this means reconnecting with an old hobby or even picking up a new one. Here are some activities to try when you need a distraction.
- Read a good book—never underestimate the power of a good book. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can even have new reading material in minutes.
- Try gardening. Caring for something else is an easy way to focus your thoughts on something else. Plus, you get healthy, tasty food out of it!
- Reconnect with friends and loved ones. You may be far away from loved ones, but technology makes it easier to bridge that gap.
Whichever way you fill your days, remember to be patient with yourself. Isolation affects everyone in different ways. Though there’s a push to “make use” of this time, you don’t have to be productive. Listen to your body, and remember that it’s okay to be sad and frustrated.