The pandemic has presented many problems for the world. The risk to life, finances, and mental health. These are troubling times and with so much going on, it is easy to get carried away with stress & anxiety.
As “social distancing” is becoming the new normal, it is important to understand that this term doesn’t mean social isolation, it only means physical distancing.
How to Improve Mental Health & Keep Your Batteries Charged
It is true that everyone has different definitions of mental health & varying expectations from the day; nevertheless it is important to inculcate basic habits that give work and life a better structure and helps you work & live a stress free life. Try to keep an open mind even if you feel you have heard it all before.
Manage your information intake ~ There is no need to know everything
It is easy to get lost in the news right now. So many things are happening & most of it is not in our control but we can control our news intake.
Social media and news channels are constantly bombarding us with stories & things happening across the planet. Being constantly exposed to it will only elevate anxiety and stress.
Make it a point to limit your exposure. Take a break from the news, it can make you feel better.
Remember that news channels are focussed on the sensational. It doesn’t mean that there are no positives in the world. Positives are in your hobbies, conversations with friends, and family.
Have a separate area for work & relaxation
Coming back home from the office used to act as a cue to relax, eat, and sleep but because people are working, eating, and sleeping in the same environment, it is difficult to disassociate with the job.
Having a separate physical space for working & relaxing can make it easy to transition from one to the other.
Even if space is an issue, choose one particular direction for one particular task. Having a window seat can be very relaxing
Keep a regular schedule
Humans are creatures of pattern and no matter what you think, we perform well in a schedule.
Repetition gives us more structure. Think about this, everything we learn is through repetition. “Practice makes perfect” Why is that? Because our genetic coding responds naturally to repetitions and we get better and better at tasks.
An example of how a schedule can look like
7:00 am– Wake up
7:30 am– Try and get some fresh air and exercise
8:30 am– Have breakfast in someone’s company if possible. Try to be technology-free in the morning.
1:30 pm- Have Lunch, interact with your co-workers.
5:00 pm– Have some tea & talk to your friends.
8:00 pm– Have a tasty dinner!
8:30 pm– Read, talk with family, do whatever makes you feel good.
10:00 pm– Try to sleep by 10 or before.
A proper sleep schedule can work like a charm
A good night’s sleep rejuvenates us. Maintaining a proper sleep schedule can make you feel a lot better.
Even if you can’t follow a strict schedule every day, try to have a fixed time for sleep. Proper 8 hours of sleep can wash away the stress and worries of the previous day & help focus on the present.
Always thinking of working on a personal project? Now is the time!
“We have more time now, as we don’t have to go to the office” – Honestly, this statement might not be true for everybody. Some organizations have cut manpower and the burden of work has increased for many. People are putting in extra hours, it is understandable.
That still doesn’t mean that you can’t start the project you have always wanted to. Even small accomplishments can bring peace of mind and there is no better time than a pandemic to do something you have always wanted to.
People are bringing their ideas to life through mobile applications. There has been about a 20% increase in the use of mobile apps ever since the world went under lockdown.
Average Time Spent on Applications Worldwide
In fact, apps that help in de-stressing & teaching meditation have been growing in popularity.
Some popular apps to release stress
● Personal Zen
● Yoga Studio
Getting your idea made into an app or working on any other personal project can give you a good sense of purpose. Besides, why not? Why not write that blog? Why not start a business & make an app today?
Be cautious of common app development mistakes, analyse your idea in the current environment, and give it a go.
Prioritize Informal communication
Working in physical office spaces was an organic place for informal talks with colleagues and people you pass by.
Studies have found that informal communication is”social glue” that builds relationships & is essential for team coordination. They also connect us with people even if we didn’t intend to.
This connection subconsciously makes us feel that we are a part of something, a team, a company, a school, a society.
This has changed because of work from home. People stick to their work stations, eat, and sleep in the same place. Even if you are not a very talkative person, still take some time to check up on others.
You might find more in common with people during a global pandemic and if not for you then for someone else, people will appreciate you checking in.
Make time for things you like to do
A good argument to not do things that we like is lack of time. How can a person make more time? By following a schedule.
Yes, it is possible to make time. Following a schedule every day makes things easier to manage. Effective time management can accommodate hobbies & things that you like to do.
Reading a book, watering the plants, dancing, Yoga, exercise. It can be included in a schedule & a healthy schedule will allow you to do things that you want to, along with things that you have to.
Professional Help for more peace of mind
Seeking professional mental health can make it easier to deal with stress. Many communities, companies & individual therapists are providing online counselling & video sessions to deal with these drastic changes.
There is no harm in seeking professional help. If nothing more, it will at least help you understand the reason for your stress and you can get some pointers to ease your mind and find peace.
Be open to contacting a professional-
NAMI – https://www.nami.org/help
These are tough times, no denying that but there is much still to be thankful for in life. Gratitude is an amazing thing. Being grateful for all that we have is an amazing feeling and can help you look at things from a new perspective.
Remember that you are a part of a community, connect with people. Remember this time will pass, one day at a time. It is alright to be stressed, remember to take care of yourself & the people that you love.