How to Look After Your Mental Health: 5 Best Tips and Tricks During Quarantine
We’ve compiled the best practices to support you during the quarantine and help you regain and maintain normalcy!
Protecting your mental health is one of the most important things you can do in your daily life, especially given the current quarantine which has disrupted many of our daily routines, physically separated us from our family & friends, and thrown the economy into a tailspin. Everyone’s circumstance is different but the isolation, unemployment, financial losses, uncertainty, and fear of getting the virus, among many other things is causing many people’s mental health to suffer. It is important to recognize that this is can impact any of us whether you have experienced a mental health concern in the past or not.
It is important to be aware of and look for signs of poor mental health in ourselves and others. Signs of poor mental health can include:
- Excessive concerns for your own health and anxiety, ruminating thoughts or worry, and or loss of motivation
- Changes in eating habits, including eating because of boredom or loss of appetite
- Having trouble or disrupted sleeping patterns, like falling at odd times, staying asleep way past the time you normally get up, or repeatedly having nightmares
It is important to note that worrying in and of itself isn’t bad and that we all do it from time to time. Worry, stress, and anxiety are our bodies way of communicating to us that it believes there is potential danger. Whether these protective functions are healthy or detrimental to us depends on how we respond to them. For example, when the stress and worry motivates people to wear masks and take additional precautions to prevent themselves and others from getting sick it is a productive response. However, when stress and anxiety cause a cycle of obsession, ruminating thoughts, negative what-if thinking, and behavior that is more harmful than helpful, it is no longer effective or healthy. It is imperative that as a society we take precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones, while remembering to be mindful of our mental health.
What Can You Do?
The potential for a prolonged quarantine or social isolation for weeks to come, makes it vital that you find ways to safeguard your mental health at home.
Here are our 5 best Tips and Tricks on how you can find balance and best maintain your mental health during this quarantine period.
Tip #1: Create a routine! — Get creative with your daily & weekly routines.
WORKING FROM HOME? if you are now in a position to work from home — it’s all about time and task management! This is especially challenging for those with kids.
- First, it’s helpful to set limits on your job to avoid fatigue and have time to relax. If possible, limit working off the clock and thinking about work to normal work hours. When working from home it is harder to separate work time from time not designated for work. Be mindful about taking work calls and doing other work tasks after the workday is over. Remember to control your mind by planning your day so your mind does not control you.
- Second, take 10 minutes breaks about every hour to stretch, go for a walk, have some small talk with your significant other, or read up on what is going on.
- Third, remember “small intake of media” Stay updated via credible outlets, but limit your intake of news and social media to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to prevent distraction. News outlets and social media focus obsessively on what is going on around us, and during times of pandemic can worsen worry, obsessive thinking, fear, uncertainty, and mental health. All of this will negatively influence productivity.
Whether you work from home or are suddenly stuck at home without work — try and focus on being optimistic by reading and watching positive things instead of drowning yourself with all the negativity in the media. Being prepared, informed, and disciplined will make it easier for you to build and maintain a sense of normalcy and to revert back to your usual daily routine when things get back to normal, but hopefully with some better habits!
Tip #2: Embrace Hobbies or Create New ones!
Fortunately for us in the digital age, we have video games, forums, phone games, podcasts, video conferencing (facetime, Zoom, Google Hangouts), and Youtube to entertain ourselves or learn anything you want, among many others! It’s important to find balance between healthy and productive activities and relaxing and/or fun activities to keep you sane and moving forward during this quarantine. If you are in an area near nature without crowds, we highly recommend going outside and getting fresh air at least a few times a week.
Here are some other projects and hobbies you can try:
- Start learning about some potentially new hobbies such as online gaming, graphic design, art, blogging, photography, yoga, meditation and more.
- Take an online class (or just look up Youtube videos) such as cooking, virtual gym classes, coding courses, or courses related to your profession. If you’re able, now might be a good time to invest in your future by studying for the real estate exam, financial license, or any other credential relevant to your goals for when society returns to normal.
- Work on putting the things you’re learning into action by cooking an interesting meal, trying a new diet, starting a new workout routine, gardening, creating art, or playing video games with others!
Tip #3: Take care of your body — eat healthily, get rest and sleep properly as most of us are perpetually sleep deprived, exercise multiple times a week, and reconnect with yourself.
With gyms closed and far less reasons to get out of your home, it is important to find a way to remain active both physically and mentally. Here are some of the things we’re doing:
- Look for pre-recorded online workout videos, yoga classes, meditation, pilates, or other forms of exercise that keep you fit and active.
- It can be as simple as doing body weight squats, push-ups, lunges, dips, and going for a walk to prevent your joints from getting stiff.
- Listening to podcasts and videos about topics we want to learn more about
- Playing video games (no they’re not evil like the media likes to make them out to be)
Try and take at least one day a week to clean your home / productive space. If you need a boost, set your calendar for a “cleaning day” or “cleaning hour” so that things don’t pile up. In general, planning your days is a great way to accomplish more, stay healthy, and maintain high productivity.
Side note: Aside from stocking up on food supplies (please don’t be the person who buys out the entire store and takes from others. Stores aren’t closing.), we also encourage you to contact your doctor for medication you may need while we are quarantined, where applicable. Avoiding doctors’ offices and other areas likely to have people who are ill is strongly encouraged.
Did you know that psychologists think that cooking and baking are beneficial as a form of therapy called behavioral activation? Don’t forget to incorporate a Healthy or Tasty Meal and Drink combo daily! Boost your energy with these recipes!
CBD Infused Smoothie
By: Sophie Smith | CBD Testers
CBD Hemp Parfait
By: Confessions of Overworked Mom
Smoothies are one of the quickest and healthy ways to get many of the vitamins and nutrients you need from fruits & vegetables on a daily basis. It's also easy to mix recipes up and keep things fresh so you don't get bored!
This is a great way to have a simple & nutritious breakfast. It can also make for a great dessert or snack!
Tip #4: Support others, if possible — whether it is donating supplies, talking to someone on the phone going through a rough time, or just ordering and supporting your local restaurant, grocery, or other business it will not likely help the people you’re supporting but helping others is one of the most tried and true ways to help yourself mentally. During times of need acts of kindness go a long way in promoting good mental health, happiness, and positivity. Let's all do our part in helping others in the best way we can.
Tip #5: Stay connected with your friends & family — whether it be a phone call, video call, or playing games together virtually.
Quarantine is a great time to virtually visit friends and family near and far. Another thing you might want to consider is planning a Virtual dinner or Happy Hour on Facetime, Zoom, or Google Hangouts! Everyone can agree on a time and bring their own food and drinks to catch-up virtually!
We’re All in This Together
People around the world are going through the struggles of quarantine and many are having a difficult time coping. Remember to stay connected to your friends and family, do activities that give you joy and purpose, do things, where possible, to support others, and to focus on taking care of your mental health during this time and take those habits with you after the quarantine.
Most importantly — Take it one day at a time. Stop with the “what ifs”, don't try planning too far ahead, know this is temporary, and that you are not alone in this. If you ever do feel you’re alone in this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.