You may not think that a physical illness such as Covid-19 can affect mental health, too, but you might be surprised to learn that it can cause a huge emotional burden upon those who suffer from (or are vulnerable to) anxiety, depression or any other mental health concern. Aside from the constant worry about catching it yourself there is the worry that loved ones will fall prey to Covid-19, not to mention the feelings of anxiety or fear when we’re not able to continue doing the things we love outside of our homes, or when we can’t visit friends and loved ones.
However, there are some ways to help combat the unwanted side effects of such a pandemic, and here are just a few tips for coping with Covid-19 and the changes it may bring into our lives:
- Prepare yourself
To help you feel more in control of the situation, you can try preparing for quarantine or self-isolation so that if the time comes, you will be ready to handle it calmly.
- Limit exposure to the news
While it’s recommended to stay abreast of the news and of any developments regarding the pandemic, it’s not usually helpful to remain continually exposed to the media, since this can make you tense and increase your anxiety levels to a point where they overwhelm you. Choose one to four times a day when you’ll spend some time catching up on the news, and limit yourself to those times.
- Staying social doesn’t have to mean meeting others in person
Since social distancing and limiting exposure to others in social settings has been recommended by most governments (even if it hasn’t yet been enforced everywhere), conventional meetings are no longer the way to keep in touch and help combat feelings of loneliness. However, with digital platforms such as Skype, Messenger and WhatsApp, friends, colleagues and co-workers can still chat face-to-face without the risk of spreading any illnesses through direct contact.
- Continue to enjoy the benefits of regular exercise
Mental health has long been linked to physical exercise, but if you can’t use the gym or go for a run, what can you do to keep fit and keep on releasing those all-important endorphins? You could try following an online work-out video, use in-home gym equipment, or practice yoga.
- Try to maintain a healthy, balanced diet
Round the clock access to your cupboards and refrigerator when you’re confined to your home may make the temptation of comfort eating too hard to resist, but if it isn’t in your home you can’t eat it! Try to stock up on healthy foods to help keep your mind and body well during these difficult times.
- Get enough sleep
While you may not feel so tired if you haven’t left your home for days, it’s important that you continue to get enough sleep, since this can help keep your mind as fresh and healthy as your body.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s worth remembering that it’s perfectly normal to have some anxiety around what might happen during the pandemic, and that you will certainly not be alone with your fears and concerns. If you feel that you would benefit from talking to a professional counselor, we’re offering tele-health sessions that can involve video, telephone or live chat.
Learn More At: heartcenteredcounselors.com