Ways to care for your mental health during a pandemic

coronavriusOn March 11, 2020, both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic due to the coronavirus. The coronavirus has affected 192 countries and territories worldwide and 1 International conveyance, the Diamond Princess Cruise ship. It has steadily been causing vast amounts of turmoil in most households around the world.

Only to add the apprehension things have occurred, no one ever thought they would see in their lifetime. Starting with sporting event cancellations, school closings, mass ppe-graphicshortages of personal protective equipment in hospitals, delaying elective surgeries, borders closing to International travelers, malls with either adjusted hours or closing altogether, restaurants only offering take-out, grocery store’s shelves are pretty much empty, employers being forced to allow employees to work from home if the work permits or laying employees off because they can’t afford them,  and I am sure there is more that I didn’t remember.

Even though it will not be easy, we all need to find ways to calm our overactive anxiety and feelings of distress. First, how many times do you check for updates regarding the coronavirus? Second question, how many news outlets, whether it is TV or online news CoronavirusAMUpdatesources? It may help your anxiety and stress levels if you try limiting the number of times you check for updates, such as no more than 2 times a day and NEVER right before bed. It is also very important to choose a credible news outlet for your source. It could provide you additional security to have at least two trustworthy sites because it will allow you to fact check the information.

No matter where we live, we are all in this together and will be until things start to improve. Not to sound negative, but things will probably get even worse before they begin to get better. It is critical to listen to and rely on trustworthy news outlets and WEBREADY_Free-Press-Editorial_Oped_Hannah-Riseman-900x600actual public health experts. It doesn’t matter who the politician is, they did not dedicate their lives to healthcare.

What does your body go through when stress and anxiety reach extremely high levels? What exactly is causing you the most worry? What do you fear the most right now? Is there anything you can do to make what you are worried about easier or end altogether? Allow your mind the time and honesty to answer these questions. Maybe this will distract you some and provide you clarity of your feelings.

The unfortunate truth is we have no control of this virus, but we do have control of what copingwe do and how we cope with major situations. I am going to share some ideas that may provide distractions to relieve your anxious mind.

  • Connect with family and friends via video chat, phone calls, emails, and social media.
  • Yoga- If you have not practiced yoga before and want to start, now might be a good time because learning and trying new things could be enjoyable and a healthy distraction.
  • Meditation- If you have never meditated before, that’s okay because there are numerous apps available that are easy to follow, such as https://www.headspace.com/ and https://www.calm.com/. You could also visit Bella’s website https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/. Bella has many posts about meditation that are absolutely amazing and helpful.
  • Controlled breathing, which is called square breathing. Imagine your breathcoping traveling along a square. Inhale up the first side of the square, count to 3, and exhale. Do this on all sides of the square!
  • Read a good book
  • Watch a comedy
  • Eat familiar foods that you enjoy
  • Free yourself from stress by coloring
  • Form a calming atmosphere with sweet aromas
  • Get out your knitting, crocheting, sewing or any other creative craft you enjoy
  • Take a warm bubble bath to drown your stress away
  • Contemplate with your journal. If you do not have a journal, it might help you to EPIDT6GUCNBRLE5PF4CDD73D4Ystart one now
  • Pour yourself a warm cup of tea
  • Refresh yourself and skin with a facial mask
  • Get a deck of cards, puzzle or board game out to play

We do not really know how long we will continue being in monumental amounts of turbulence. We realize there is so much we do not have control over, such as how long we will be dealing with this pandemic, how many people will suffer because of it, or how our communities will be affected. None of this is easy to accept or even understand, but there are several ways we can reduce our personal risks of obtaining the virus.

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or handCoronavirus-Twitter-card-pic.xc9f75d90 sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth in particular
  • Even if you do not feel sick, stay home as much as you can
  • Avoid crowds and gathering with more than 10 people
  • Avoid all non-essential shopping and travel
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when out
  • To help support your immune system, get plenty of sleep
  • Follow ALL recommendation from health establishments

self careWhile we remain in distressing time we need to not forget to care for our body and spirit. The following ideas are ways we can tend to our self-care while we deal with disturbances caused by the coronavirus

  • Be kind to yourself:

If you’re experiencing depression and or anxiety, go easy on yourself and know you are not alone

  • Maintain a routine as much as you can:

Even though you might be confined to your house, continue your normal sleep, meals, and work schedule

  • Make time for the activities you enjoy:

Read that book you’ve been meaning to start, play games you find enjoyable, cook julyselfcaresomething, and create something or anything else to occupy your mind from the stress you have been feeling

  • If possible get out in nature:

Sunshine and fresh can be beneficial for our mental and physical health. Whatever you do, obey the restrictions that have been put in place, keep your distance from people you may encounter, and avoid crowds

  • Find ways to exercise:

Of course, all gyms and exercise classes will be closed, but you can find alternative ways to exercise. Staying active will help relieve stress, anxiety, and even manage our moods. Get creative with what you are images (2)able to do without equipment, such as using your own bodyweight to exercise

  • Avoid self-medicating:

Be cautious about using alcohol or other substances to control your anxiety and depression

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I hope the information provided will be beneficial for you and your family. Times are anything but easy right now, but hopefully things will start improving very soon. I hope you have a great afternoon and you are feeling the best you can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

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26 thoughts on “Ways to care for your mental health during a pandemic

      • Please don’t be mad, but I haven’t worn a mask. I keep my distance and do not talk to anyone, which is difficult for me. I used hand sanitizer walking in and out of the store, again when I get to my car and then wash them when I get home.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are such a kind and wonderful soul, Wendi! I am actually planning to not leave the house again, at least for a while. I finally have good news though! You remember that I am looking for a job to work from home because both me and my husband were out of work. My husband finally got good news! He got a good job offer today!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • YAY!!!! a HUGE congratulations to both of you. I am thrilled he now has a job. I am sure this is a big relief for you two.
        Please take care of yourself my dear………and again, congratulations!!!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much! I can’t even begin to explain what a huge weight has been lifted from me.
        I promise to take care of myself and plan to stay home, no matter how crazy it makes me. You probably have noticed that I am writing more, it keeps me calm!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am with you about cooking. The only thing I cook well is Italian food and probably will be making something soon, I just need the ingredients. I am going to try meditating again and exercising. I have many books I have wanted to read, I guess now is a good time! What have you been cooking?

        Liked by 1 person

      • YES! perfect time to pick up a book and force yourself to chill and read for an hour. I have mostly been cooking for my kids……..lasgana, cookies, soups, pies……..most of which I cannot eat but there is food available for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have one I must finish, it is by my favorite author James Patterson and the 18th book in the series of The Women’s Murder Club. It is funny, I read the first 7 or 8 in a matter of 2 months or less. The other book is a revised version of The Wahl’s Protocol. I am planning to make my lasagna for my husband to take to work to share with his new co-workers. Well he isn’t starting until April 13th, but the lady that interviewed him said they like to have pot lucks and that might earn him points with them! What do you eat? I am sure your kids love your cooking!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I usually read nonfiction and have read Wahl’s Protocol, it is a very good book.
        I don’t eat grains so that eliminates a lot of foods and therefore cooking is not very fun……..my girls prefer their own cooking and each one is very good. My son, he will eat anything he doesn’t have to cook. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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