The current situation has forced many of us to remain in our homes without the regular outside interaction we usually come into contact with. During this time, it’s easy to feel isolated, a little bored, worried and depressed. In all trueness, you are not alone. However, it’s important to not slip into this mindset. We are all currently going through a worldwide traumatic experience. The worries of our loved ones and the imminent threat of the economy collapsing and never recovering are the types of thoughts that are hard to shake off. It’s paramount to remember that you are not the only person going through this and that an enormous national effort is underway trying to do all that can be done to make things right in the world again.
Physiologically, isolation and passivity in most cases are the perfect storm for feeling depressed and staying in that mindset. In most cases, we all wake up feeling worried, anxious and depressed thinking about the current pandemic and feel totally isolated. Here are a few tips to help your mind, body and soul during these increasingly challenging times.
Normalise your feelings- no one likes the sense of feeling unhappy, which is why we think we cannot tolerate our unpleasant emotions. We often feel like we should be coping better, which is almost like setting yourself up to fail. We almost feel bad about feeling bad, which can be heavy on our minds and bodies. Feeling anxious, overwhelmed, helpless and afraid are all normal emotions when dealing with trauma. The pandemic can be classed as a trauma as we are fearful of horrible things happening to ourselves as well as people we know, and this is totally human. However, it’s also essential to understand your feelings. This means you are entitled to do what you can to feel less bad and to do things that will make you feel better. You should work on the things in your life at the moment that you do have control over. You must also realise and let go of those things you have no control over. This can help your mind and body feel less stressed and more at ease.
Reach out to friends and family- It is paramount to understand that using technology such as our smartphones and other smart devices are an excellent resource for connecting with loved ones during this difficult time. Just because we are shut in our homes does mean we are shut off from the outside world. Making a list of people you enjoy talking to and catching up with distant friends and relatives makes dealing with isolation a bit better. Touching base by connecting via email, text or even a phone call is a great way to help reduce stress and pressure of the current pandemic. Many video calling services are available to help you interact with loved ones. Using platforms such as Skype and Zoom offer an excellent experience for connecting with friends and family across the world.
Eating right and exercising- The lack of movement and places we can go means exercising in your home is vital. Many fitness apps have responded to the pandemic and can now be downloaded and used for free such as Nike Training Club which has a vast library of classes and workout sessions that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Many Yoga apps are free to download on your smartphone or tablet that can help you get moving and get you endorphins flowing, making you feel better. Keeping an eye on what you eat is very crucial at this time. Stress eating can often lead to overindulging in junk food, consuming foods that aren’t particularly good for us. Planning your meals is a great way to stray from eating junk food and helps you stick to a healthy diet that will not only improve your physical fitness but will also be great for your mind. There is a range of free apps that are available to download that can even help you use up some of the ingredients that you might have lying around in the fridge.
Schedule daily activities- one of the most significant disruptions this pandemic has brought about is the change in our daily routines. Most of the time spent at work or commuting is now being spent at home within the same four walls every day. In situations like this, procrastination can be harmful, and so doing things takes a little bit longer and feeling proactive and productive can be hard. For this reason, creating lists of activities or things to do can be a great way to stay on top of your emotions and helps you stay optimistic. Scheduling things into your daily routine such as phone calls to friends and sticking to a regular schedule and working time helps keep your mind occupied and enables you to build a small portion of normality back into your life. Each activity in your day has a purpose, and by completing activities on your list, it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Not only will keeping to a schedule and making a list keep you busy, but it will also make you feel better mentally.