14 Mar COVID-19 & Social Distancing: Protecting Your Mental Health
It goes without saying that we are in interesting (and scary) times. Although we are afforded the comic relief of people’s current obsession with stockpiling toilet paper, the COVID 19 issue is one of real concern. As we take the measure of social distancing to try and prevent the spread of this virus and protect our physical health, as a clinical counsellor, I can’t help but think about how this affects our mental health. There is no doubt that this may be a difficult time for many.
Human connection is imperative to our well-being and without our usual activities and opportunities to socialize with family, friends, and colleagues, many of us are prone to getting into a bit of a funk (often without even realizing it). This is especially true for those that may be going through periods of change, such as new parents, or those that live alone. With anxieties already high, it is so important that we consider how to keep ourselves mentally, not just physically, healthy during this time. So, with that in mind, in addition to just being present and enjoying the time with yourself and your loved ones, here are a few ideas about how to make this time positive and productive and not get stuck in a rut.
Make a Call
With a little extra time on your hands, curl up on the couch, and call that friend that you are long overdue to catch up with. While you are at it, take the time to think about some of the others in your life for who social distancing may actually be more like social isolation. No doubt, they would appreciate a phone call too.
Take a Pause From All Media
Yes, we all want to stay informed and be kept up-to-date, but there is just a lot of information coming at us, constantly. Put your phone down, even for just an hour a day, and give your nervous system a bit of a break.
Balance the Netflix Binge
Binging on Netflix. We have all done it. But be careful of going down the rabbit hole. While it may seem like a total luxury to have the time to catch up on the latest Netflix hits, the ‘hangover’ that follows endless hours of Netflix never feels great.
You know that drawer? That closet? That spare room? The one that you throw everything into that doesn’t have a home elsewhere in your house. The one that makes you cringe every time you think about it. Clean it. While you are at it, maybe do a closet purge too.
If social distancing is taking you away from your usual workout routine, find an alternative. Go for a walk, download a workout app, or have a dance party! We all know that exercise has a direct benefit on our mental health and wellness.
Use Your Downtime
With busy schedules, we often don’t have the time to do all those things we keep meaning to. Whether it’s trying a new recipe, doing a jigsaw puzzle or finally playing that game of Monopoly, take advantage of the extra time to do these things.
While COVID-19 has certainly put a wrench in so many of our plans, we hope that it won’t impact anyone any more than it needs to. As you keep washing your hands, also check in on your mental wellness. We hope that each of us can find some silver lining in these difficult times and stay both physically and mentally healthy.
All the best from us at basic baby co.