Mental Health Tips: Staying well while staying home!
We are facing an unprecedented public health crisis. Many of you are working from home and social distancing, all while trying to take in lots of information about how to protect yourself from COVID-19. This can create a huge strain on your mental health, creating stress, anxiety, and depression. Below are a few tips to keep your mind healthy – remember, a healthy mind is a healthy body!
1. Social distancing does NOT mean social isolation. Interactions with other human beings are vital to our mental health. You can spend time and connect with the people in your life and still adhere to social distancing guidelines! Hold a virtual happy hour, FaceTime an old friend or favorite relative, or set up a Skype coffee date.
2. Create and keep to a routine. Having a routine can help reduce anxiety by creating a sense of predictability and normalcy. Remember to include downtime and exercise!
3. Set small, attainable goals. Achieving goals helps create a sense of control over our environment, which reduces anxiety. Identify 1-2 things you want to accomplish each day that you know you can do and write them down. You can choose goals for your work, exercise, household chores, or even just getting out of bed each day! The important part is that they be attainable.
4. Get outside. We all need fresh air and sunshine to thrive. As long as you maintain six feet distance between yourself and others, taking a walk or run outside can be a great way to burn off excess energy and get a change of scenery.
5. Give back. Helping others provides us with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, reducing the risk of both anxiety and depression. Many Baltimore neighborhoods have organized community support systems that allow high-risk neighbors help one another get vital food and supplies. Give blood, sew masks for medical providers…the choices are endless!
6. Knowledge is power – but limit your exposure to disinformation. Staying informed is important, but it is equally important to be sure you are getting your information from valid sources like the CDC or WHO. Try reading top news stories once in the morning, and once in the afternoon to make sure you are informed of current events without overloading your system.