COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the lives of millions of people. Even as businesses are starting to open, there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding working from home, staying healthy and fit while social distancing. Many people have also noticed signs of fatigue and mental health decline related to stress and uncertainty. Here, David Reagan, Atlanta-based fitness coach and mental health proponent, examines the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on people's mental health. David looks at ways to help reduce stress and anxiety, and relieve boredom whilst working and mostly staying at home.
Stick to a Routine
Keep yourself and your kids on a routine in order to keep some resemblance of stability. If you are working from home and the kids are learning virtually, set an alarm to wake up, get dressed, and have breakfast as usual. Then try to stick to your regular workday and school routines.
While social distancing, we spend a lot more time at home. But don't use this as an excuse to get lazy. If your gym is closed, get active outdoors. This can also be a family activity such as going for nightly walks or bike rides. Get out, get your heart pumping, and clear your mind.
Use the Internet as a Resource
Instead of worrying too much about the time you and your kids spend using gadgets, use the internet to your advantage. Make plenty of time for video chatting with friends and loved ones to stay in contact even if you can't see them physically. Use apps like Zoom to set up virtual game nights and happy hours, and take advantage of all of the free learning resources you can find online to elevate your skills.
Learn a New Hobby
Now is the perfect time to dust off that guitar that's been sitting in the garage or pick up the tennis racket. Learning a new hobby can do wonders for your mental health especially when you may feel like you're not accomplishing much while social distancing. You can combine a few of these tips and start practicing these new hobbies to get some exercise and reduce your stress levels.
Focus on Self Care
While social distancing, don't forget to take care of yourself. Massages, pedicures, facials, and alone time, whatever your favorite form of self-care is, make time for it weekly. Get the kids involved in a fun activity outdoors by the pool or a lake. Or trade-off giving massages with your partner if local spa services are not available. Music, deep breathing, and mindfulness are great ways to take some me-time without needing any other resources.
Pick Up The Books
Another way to combine a few of these tips is to pick up some books that you've been wanting to read but have not had the time to. Most books are currently available in audio format, which can free up your eyes and hands to be able to multitask while listening to your favorite stories. You can even start a socially distanced book club to discuss the books over video chat with your friends or colleagues.
Reach Out for Help
Just because we are socially distancing, does not mean mental health help is not available. If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, don't be afraid to reach out for help. Thankfully nowadays, you can meet with mental health professionals virtually, over the phone, or even through an app.
Taking care of your mental health right now is more important than ever since we are all experiencing stress and uncertainty. Setting aside a few hours every week will help you to ensure that you are meeting your mental and psychological needs which will result in a better mood and overall well being.