4 ways to look after your mental health during the COVID-19 crisis

A guide to help steer your mind in a better direction when everything is going wrong.

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Nadya

Apr 28, 2020

3min

mental wellness during COVID-19

Like many of us during this quarantine, you are probably completely off schedule, deterred from upcoming travel plans, and on lockdown indoors contributing to the safety of your community.

These are unprecedented times, and it's okay if you're not feeling your best. It's a traumatic experience that we are all going through. That said, it's never been more important to look after your mental health

It's easy to defeated when restricted movement, distance from loved ones, and escalating news stories are the new normal. Nonetheless, there are some simple steps you can take to help steer your mind to brighter pastures when it goes in the wrong direction during this challenging time.

4 steps to mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis

1. Stay informed... but take news breaks

2. Give yourself some grace emotionally

3. Stay connected

4. Take time to do things you enjoy doing

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1. Stay informed... but take news breaks

Education is knowledge and being informed is key to staying on top of the latest developments and regulations to keep you safe. However, with social media and network news constantly releasing new COVID-19 stories, sensory overload is inevitable.

Don't spend all day scrolling on your phone or watching the news. This isn't to say don't watch the news completely — it's important to stay informed. But don't let it overwhelm you.

To avoid free-fall into the COVID-19 news world, pare down your social media to your trusted news outlets and accounts. Let those sources be your guide for news and information. This way you can stay on top of what is important and not overload on things that may not be contributing to your best mental space.

2. Give yourself some grace emotionally

Being happy and looking at the "positive side of things" is a great outlook to have, but always having this perspective is unrealistic and in some cases can be impossible to feel and achieve. It's perfectly okay to experience negative or challenging emotions.

While these are not the best feelings to deal with, acknowledging their presence and not feeling guilty for having them are the first steps towards releasing them and thus giving yourself permission to feel better. You are allowed to give yourself grace and deal with everything that is going on in your own way. Which brings me to my next point...

3. Stay connected

We live in the digital age and are lucky enough to be able to hang out with loved ones virtually! FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and WhatsApp are just a few of the tools we can use to stay connected to the familiar faces that make us smile and feel better during this difficult time. 

Although we may be limited to the number of things we can do and in some cases confined to our homes, we don't have to be completely isolated. You don't have to cancel a weekly hangout just because you are not face-to-face! 

Dance parties, birthday parties and family get-togethers give us a sense of community that is so important to maintain — even if it means gathering virtually.

Do you have favorite artists, DJs, or groups that you haven't heard from in a while? Chances are they are live streaming! Check out a digital concert, set, or talk on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, etc. Personally, I have attended 2 "live" digital concerts and some fun Instagram lives and the energy was awesome.

4. Take time to do things you enjoy doing

Start that book, learn a language, finish that old project (or better yet, start a new project!). Whatever it is, do something you enjoy

There's a lot of talk on the internet about using this time to maximize productivity, but if you're not in a positive headspace about an activity, don't do it! Use your time to to do things that you enjoy doing rather than things you think you should be doing

Now more than ever it is paramount to do things that come with ease. If it feels like a chore, then it's probably something that can be done at a later time.

The most important thing to know about this time is that it will not last forever. Although things might not go back to "normal" anytime soon, we can still look forward to the days when we will be able to gather with our loved ones, go out to dinner, travel, and so on and so forth.

Hang in there, Worldpackers! Use this guide as a reference, and remember that we will get through this — together. 



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