How Can I Protect my Mental Well-Being During COVID-19?
A lot of people are struggling right now due to anxiety, depression, and trauma that is exacerbated by COVID-19, the looming cloud of illness, and its restrictions. Although these are mental health concerns that cannot be easily cast away, I want to present a few tips on how to protect your mental well-being during this time.
Most of us have the opportunity regardless of where we live to get outside for even a little bit of fresh air. Whether it’s doing some deep breathing on your balcony, taking your dog for a walk, riding a bike, or sitting in your yard to read, get outside, even for a few minutes, when you can. The benefits are plentiful, from getting Vitamin D on sunny days (but don’t forget your sunscreen) to feeling less-restricted in the open outdoors. And don’t let the rain stop you. It’s just as vital to be outside, if not more so, on dreary days. Just be mindful of your coronavirus precautions when going out in public.
It’s highly unlikely that if you’re reading this, you don’t have a telephone. Call a friend or family member, even for a 5-minute conversation, to get those warm and fuzzy feelings and know you’re not alone. If you don’t have any family or friends that you feel comfortable calling, and you need to reach out, there are helplines, bereavement lines, and no shortage of volunteer organizations you can contact to have some human contact. You might live alone but you don’t have to be lonely.
Don’t watch the news.
It’s important to stay informed, yes, but moderate content consumption is recommended, at most. Heavy news in times such as these can be triggering. Plus, with so much misinformation out there, you could be triggered by something that ends up not even being accurate. Instead, choose a reputable news aggregate source that also has local news, and choose to consume only once a day, time of your choosing. Whether you read the news on your phone, watch it on the television, or get it in a Twitter feed, moderation and trusted sources are the way to go.
Regardless of whether you have been clinically diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or trauma, or you are feeling the stress and anxiety and temporary depression that many are experiencing, taking care of your mental well-being during COVID-19 is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Contact me if you’d like to discuss strategies in more detail.