4 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health In Uncertain Times
COVID-19, the infamous coronavirus, is changing the way we look at a lot of things. It feels like everything is closed, from hair salons to Disneyland, and we’re just stuck in a never-ending loop of waiting for the next thing to go wrong.
The onslaught of negativity almost seems like it’s impossible to escape, which is why it’s so important right now to work on taking care of your mental health at home.
With that in mind, here are some things that you can try to help you take care of your mental health and hopefully help you come out of this a stronger, healthier and happier individual.
Limit Your News Consumption
While living in the information age with the breadth of human knowledge at our fingertips is a blessing in most cases, right now it might feel like a curse. With so much COVID-19 news appearing on the internet and other major media sources, it’s easy to feel like we’re drowning in data. Add to the fact that a lot of what’s currently being said about the virus — even by major news outlets — is speculation and guesswork, and the evening news can become an anxiety-inducing nightmare.
It is important to stay abreast of what’s going on with the virus and how things are changing from day to day, but limiting your news consumption can help keep you from losing your mind while you stay aware. Stick to reputable news sources like the CDC, WHO and local law enforcement that might be trying to keep you informed, and ignore the rest.
Seek Out Help
Just because local doctors have closed their doors doesn’t mean that you can’t find therapy or help where you need it. Telemedicine is moving from a convenience to a necessity, giving you the ability to seek out professional help from the comfort of your own home. Things like therapy don’t necessarily require you to be in the office even under normal circumstances.
If you have health insurance, try contacting your insurance provider to see what your telehealth options are during this trying time. You may find that your insurance covers part or all of the cost of a virtual therapy appointment so you can talk to a professional if the need arises.
Try Something New
If you’re already enrolled in college classes, the chances are high that your instruction has shifted to an online-only model, but what about those that were considering going back to school? You could always enroll now and start working toward your degree while we’re all under quarantine. If you’re stuck at home and have the time, why not consider doing something new to help you maintain your mental health?
Always wanted to try yoga? There are dozens of different yoga apps available and most are offering extended free trials to encourage people to stay active while in quarantine. Play around on Tiktok. Read a good book. Those are just a few examples. A lot of us have a significant amount of free time on our hands. Sure, you could fill it with Netflix and Ben and Jerry’s, or you could put it to good use.
Don’t Accomplish Anything
Conversely, with your mental health in mind, spending your quarantine days with Netflix and Ben and Jerry’s isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We live in a society that judges you based on how productive you are or how much money you make, and there are all sorts of posts making the rounds on social media talking about how great minds created great things while in quarantine or self-isolation.
With all due respect, screw all of them. Don’t let the mindless hustle culture push you into thinking that you have to meet some unattainable ideal. This whole virus pandemic thing is unprecedented. It’s something that none of us have experienced in our lifetimes, and that means we don’t have a toolset for dealing with it.
If staying busy and learning new skills helps you take care of your mental health, then, by all means, go for it, but if all you can do some days is sit in bed and breathe, that’s okay too.
We’ll Get Through This
Everyone is dealing with this whole virus thing differently. Some people are learning new skills. Some are staying home and catching up on all the shows they’ve missed. Others are still working and we’re incredibly grateful for those that are still out there looking out for us as we learn to adjust to this new normal.
The most important thing to remember is that no matter what, we will get through this.