The COVID-19 pandemic has raged on for almost two years now, and although vaccines are now widely available, life still hasn’t gotten back to normal. Millions of people are still struggling with the psychological effects of this pandemic, whether it’s from the fear of getting sick, the emotional toll of having lost loved ones, the loneliness of isolation, or the general stress of a world in turmoil. Plus cases are rising again. As such, finding ways to improve your mental health has never been more important. Following are a few general tips on how you can boost your mental health so that you can better deal with the emotional challenges of life during a pandemic.
Take a Breather From Consuming News
It can be easy to become obsessed with news updates during a crisis like this one. However, the constant flow of bad news can take a toll on your mental health, so make sure to limit the amount of time you spend consuming news. Try to stick to reputable sources and take breaks from watching or reading the news if it starts to make you feel overwhelmed or anxious.
Connect With Loved Ones
One of the best ways to improve your mental health during a pandemic is to connect with loved ones. Feelings of isolation are more common during the pandemic, leading to loneliness and depression. As such, be sure to reach out to close friends and family from time to time, whether it’s by way of phone, online chat or video chat.
Exercising regularly will improve your mental health. Exercising causes your body to release endorphins, which are hormones that positively affect your mood. In addition, exercise can help you to relieve stress and anxiety. If you’re too busy to schedule time for a formal exercise routine, then try going on more walks whenever possible. Even a short walk can help to improve your mental health.
Take Up Yoga
Yoga is another excellent way to improve your mental health, as it combines exercise with meditation. Yoga can help you relieve stress, anxiety and depression, while also increasing your overall sense of well-being. If you’ve never practiced yoga before, try attending an online class or finding online tutorials.
Learn How to Meditate
Meditation is a great way to improve your mental health, as it can help you focus and calm your mind. In addition, meditation can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, which can help you manage them. If you don’t know how to meditate, try using an app like Headspace to help you learn the basics. Once you’re familiar with it, meditation can be a great way to improve your mental health during the pandemic.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is another excellent way to improve your mental health. When you eat nutritious foods, your body and mind will function better. In addition, a healthy diet can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Add lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in your diet, and avoid foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat.
Get Enough Sleep
Another important contributor to your mental health during a pandemic is the amount of sleep you’re getting. If you don’t get enough rest, it can lead to fatigue, which can, in turn, lead to stress and anxiety. Try to sleep around eight hours every night, and make sure your room is dark and quiet when you go to bed.
If you’re working at home all day long, you might be more tempted to have a drink or two once you finish up – especially if you make your own hours and you don’t have to worry about getting up early the following day. Not to mention that if you’re feeling down, you might think that a quick drink can help bolster your mood. However, drinking alcohol can actually harm your mental health, and it can even make depression worse. Avoid alcohol as much as possible during the pandemic. If you do drink, do so in moderation.
Create Routines For Yourself
One of the best ways to improve your mental health during a pandemic is to create routines for yourself. When you establish routines, it can help you feel more in control of your life. Such feelings of control can be beneficial when things are chaotic. For instance, go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day. Plan your meals at the same time and exercise at the same time.
Keep a Journal
Journaling is a great way to improve your mental health, especially if you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Expressing your thoughts and feelings in a journal can help you manage them. Not to mention that journaling can help provide a sense of release, thereby preventing you from bottling up all of your fears and anxiety.
Find Ways to Help Others
Another great way to improve your mental health during the pandemic is to find ways that you can help others. When you’re helping other people, it can be a great way to feel fulfilled and satisfied. It can also increase your sense of purpose in this world, and it can make you feel more connected to others. There are many ways to help others, whether it’s by donating to a charitable organization or volunteering your time.
Seek Professional Help
If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, it’s OK to seek help. A mental-health professional will provide you with the support you need, and they can help connect you with resources in your community for mental health. If you’re unsure of how to find one, ask your primary-care physician for a referral. You can also turn to your friends and family for recommendations.
Hopefully, these tips will help you stay mentally healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The stress and fear caused by the pandemic and the loneliness and depression caused by isolation can lead to a struggle with your mental health. It’s important to understand that you’re not alone. If you’re suffering from anxiety or depression, consider reaching out to a mental health professional.