People around the world began practicing social distancing and taking other precautions in March to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. As these precautions continue, it is important to maintain your mental well-being during these uncertain times. Here are five habits to improve mental health you can use to reduce stress and anxiety while social distancing.
Plan ahead and take action
With several countries still under lockdown, being advised to adhere to the social distancing guidelines to keep from spreading the coronavirus can make you feel like the world is spinning out of control. However, if you create a plan of action to keep you and your family safe and healthy, you’ll feel more in control of the situation. For example, schedule grocery deliveries or supply runs around your work schedule and/or your child’s class schedule. Plan indoor activities for the blind to keep your family entertained while sheltering in place.
Keep a consistent schedule or routine
While you’re creating your plan of action, consider keeping a consistent schedule or maintaining the routines you created for yourself and your family before the pandemic. Scheduling time slots to work from home or work with your kids on their school assignments will keep you sane. Creating a new normal for kids during the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 reduces stress and anxiety and alleviates boredom and depression.
Stay physically active
Many gyms and fitness centers remain closed. Staying active while social distancing benefits your physical and mental health by improving your mood, strengthening your immune system and increasing your energy levels. Take walks around your neighborhood for exercise. However, if you are unable to leave your home for health reasons, you can search for online exercise videos. Ask your kids to teach you the exercise games they learned during their physical education class at school, or learn a new dance together. If you’re working from home, try walking around your house during virtual meetings. If you have a smart home device such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, check the app or website associated with your device for workout apps that you can follow at home.
Maintain virtual connections while social distancing
People miss face-to-face interactions while sheltering in place. However, you can maintain virtual connections through social media platforms such as Facebook Live and Google Hangouts. People also use apps such as Zoom, Skype and Facetime. You can also chat with friends and family by making phone calls and sending texts and emails to one another.
Find a creative outlet to relieve stress
When social distancing and being ordered to shelter in place has disrupted your busy life, it’s important to think outside the box when you’re looking for things to do during the lockdown. Find activities for the blind that can help you work through anxiety and depression. If you love to write, journaling is a cathartic way to express your feelings. If writing isn’t one of your favorite hobbies, you may want to start a creative project with your family, or take up a hand craft such as crochet or knitting to keep your hands busy while reading, binge-watching your favorite audio described movies and TV shows, or listening to your favorite podcasts.
Even as restrictions begin to lift, these habits to improve mental health will help you continue to follow guidelines in these uncertain times.