What a crazy time in our lives it is! I believe I speak for everyone when I say that the coronavirus is impacting all of our lives in ways we never thought possible.
This is no time to panic, but we must take all of the recommended precautions and stay away from other people as much as possible. Be sure you follow the guidelines being put forth by your own local and state government, beyond the national CDC
guidelines. One thing that the CDC does not address is how we can take care of our mental health during self-quarantine. I am sharing some ideas with you about how I plan to stay sane being home 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Being a licensed clinical social worker, I understand that mental health during times like these is so important. This situation can cause people to be anxious or depressed. I believe it’s important to keep a morning routine and normal work schedule (even if you’re now remote), take regular breaks and get outside for fresh air if you’re able to do so.
I put together a list of activities I’ve been doing to keep myself busy during these tough times – they’ve certainly helped me a lot so far.
- Read. This is a great time to catch up on your reading! I have so many books in my house that I have purchased and never taken the time to read. Now I’m enjoying being able to finish a whole book. If you don't have books you can always use a Nook, Kindle, and Audible where you can download books online. Reading not your favorite? Try listening to podcasts. Podcasts are another great way to learn, hear great stories and escape reality for a while.
- Stay Connected. Stay in touch with friends and family via social media, Skype or the phone. Speaking with friends and family regularly is healthy and it's always good to check in and make sure loved ones are taking care of themselves. In the recent days I’ve spent some time on the phone with friends laughing. Laughing is always good medicine in times of great stress and uncertainty.
- Get Outside. Take a roll in your neighborhood. Spending some time in the sunshine during the day will improve your mood. Plus, a good dose of vitamin D is good for your health in many ways. I may not be able to hit the waves to go water skiing, but my nearby park’s greenery is just as refreshing.
- Spring Cleaning. In addition to disinfecting and wiping off doorknobs, light switches and drawer handles, you can take some time and organize. Take advantage of the downtime and get your home as organized and comfortable as possible.
- Workout. Working out is always good for your physical and mental health. I like to use instructional videos available on YouTube to do upper body workouts. There are tons of at home workout videos out there to pick from. I am adding a few links to upper body workout videos I enjoy here and here. I also highly recommend you read my blog and watch on adaptive yoga. Adaptive yoga is good for the mind, body and spirit.
- Meditate. Deep breathing and meditation are great ways to reduce stress and refocus on what’s important. There are many apps to download that can help you practice mindful breathing. If you don’t currently practice mindful breathing and meditation it is a good time to start.
There are many ways to use your extra time productively and positively. We all need to stay calm and try to enjoy the downtime. You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter @LifePossibleKR. Stay in touch and let me know how you are doing. There is never a bad time to make new friends!