Mental health can take a blow during a widespread crisis like a pandemic or a other lockdown. The current Covid-19 pandemic is unlike anything most of us have ever dealt with. There are so many emotions that you can experience as you deal with changes in schedules, work, family and possibly your health or that of your loved ones.
If you live in a state or a country where a a stay-at-home order is in place, you need to comply for your safety as well as that of others around you. But how do you make sure that you stay mentally healthy while obeying lockdown rules? Here are a few tips that can help you stay mentally-focused and clear-headed during this time.
Practice Basic Self-care
If you are prone to bouts of anxiety or sadness when you are alone, it is best to keep doing the things that make you look halfway presentable. While it is highly unlikely that you’ll be receiving guests anytime soon, keeping your grooming routine, can help in keeping your emotions stable during a lockdown. It also makes sure that you’ll be ready for any work-related video calls if you are working from home.
During a lockdown, the temptation to do nothing can be overwhelming. Avoid this by including exercise in your daily routine. Exercise not only gives you an endorphin boost that can help keep depression and anxiety at bay, but it also keeps your body healthy, maintaining that state of fitness crucial to fight off any infection or disease.
Learn something new every day
A lockdown is a perfect time to catch up on things you wanted to do, from hobbies to important chores that were always so easy to put off for another day. Sign up for an online course or learn a new hobby. Commit to reading a few pages from a book. Use this time to add to your vault of knowledge so you won’t end up wasting all the free time that you now have access to.
Follow a Routine
A routine can help you stay focused and productive during the day. Start with making your bed, exercise, and basic self-care to get you going. Unstructured times can make you prone to boredom and unproductivity and can lead to spikes in anxiety and depression. Having a routine also lowers the risk of decision fatigue, especially during a time when you have so much control over what you should or shouldn’t do during a lockdown.
Look after someone else
Whether it’s a daily phone call to your parents or a friend who is also alone during the lockdown, caring for someone else can help you avoid feelings of boredom and helplessness that can easily creep in if you are only focused on yourself. Commit to checking up on someone for every day of the week. Join an online volunteer brigade or help in some other way. Not only will this be a great distraction, but it also helps you stay connected to your community despite the physical barriers.
Prolonged isolation and the removal of social interactions can take a mental toll on anyone, even for those locked down with family or housemates. The good thing is that you can be proactive about how you use your time. Focus on self-care, get into a routine and reach out to the greater community through online channels. Doing these things can help you weather the lockdown while keeping your mind clear and focused.