5 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health During the Pandemic
The Coronavirus Pandemic has been extremely challenging and has drastically changed daily life for most people across the world. However, studies have shown that COVID-19 has had especially tough effects on our mental health.
In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation, found that about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic. As the pandemic continues, it is now more important than ever, to prioritize your mental health!
Given that May is Mental Health Awareness month, we want to give you a few tips on how to improve your mental health during the Pandemic. So below are 5 habits you can focus on to improve your mental health!
1. Stay in Contact with Friends and Family
Now is the time to focus on growing your relationships with those closest to you. The importance of genuine human interaction is essential, especially when facing feelings of isolation or anxiety.
Because of social distancing mandates and varying comfortability with in-person interaction, keep in contact with constant text messages, regular phone calls or weekly virtual video calls. A simple conversation with a loved one or friend can instantly boost your mood and have you feeling reconnected with those around you.
2. Limit Screen Time and Take Constant Breaks from Social Media
Data shows that 70% of individuals saw an increase in phone screen time as a result of the pandemic. Although it can be tempting to constantly check your phone for hours, too much screen time can actually add to feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
To combat this, take a much-needed break from social media and limit your screen time each day. You can either put your phone away or set time limits on your mobile device. Then you can focus on keeping yourself busy with other activities around the house.
Have a hobby you’ve always wanted to try out or a new book that you’ve heard about? Now’s the time to start!
3. Get Enough Sleep and Take Care of Your Body with Physical Activity
Studies have shown sleep and exercise can greatly improve your mood and has tremendous on your overall heath.
Even just 30-45 minutes a day of light activity and a full 7-8 hours of sleep can do your body and your mind wonders! Waking up after a full night’s rest will have you ready to take on whatever comes your way.
For exercise, it’s as simple as taking a daily walk or hike. Go outside, take a stroll, and appreciate the beauty of nature! If you’re looking for something more strenuous, there are also countless free online home-workout videos and routines that you can follow!
4. Set a Routine & Keep Yourself Busy
Setting a daily routine can bring back some normalcy during this seemingly unpredictable time. Humans, by nature, are creatures of habit and we tend to find peace in having structure within our day-to-day lives.
By doing small things such as making a healthy breakfast, going on a morning walk or responding to a daily journal prompt, you’ll be able to promote wellness through structure and organization.
5. Seek Help if You’re Overwhelmed
Lastly, if you continue to be overwhelmed, reach out to your healthcare provider if your stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row. In addition, there are also free and confidential crisis resources that can connect you locally with a skilled counselor.
If you need to access these resources, you can always visit the official CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
During Mental Health Awareness month, it’s important to remember that we’re all dealing with the same uncertainty that the Pandemic brings, but by prioritizing our mental health, working together and checking on each other frequently, we will continue to weather the storm and find peace in knowing that there are always brighter days ahead.