A pandemic such as the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) calls for long periods of self-isolation. In many areas in the world, travel bans are imposed, social distancing measures are implemented, and companies are requiring their employees to telecommute. In areas where a lockdown is instigated, people are asked to confine themselves in their homes to avoid contracting the disease from people who already have it.
While these measures are necessary to keep the public’s health in check, they can also have detrimental effects on one’s mental health. Here are ways to safeguard your mental well-being during self-isolation and feel less anxious about the coronavirus:
Limit News Intake
In a mental health guide released by the World Health Organization (WHO), they advised the public to limit their daily news intake. A crisis can generate stress and anxiety in the population, and news reports that show the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and other alarming stories can serve as triggers and stressors, especially to those with existing mental illnesses.
Choose a dedicated time of day to allow yourself to read or watch the news. If your social media feeds are adding to your distress, take a breather and go offline every once in a while.
Keep a Healthy Diet
Especially if you’re not used to staying at home for long periods, it can be easy to give in to temptations, such as sleeping all day and eating too many snacks and sweets. While it’s fine to squeeze in some “Netflix and chill” time in your daily routine, don’t forget to maintain a healthy diet to support your physical well-being.
Find Time to Exercise or Meditate
If you’re one of the many people who don’t have time to exercise due to their hectic work schedules, now is the best time to catch up on your workout routines. If the coronavirus outbreak is making you anxious, try yoga or meditation at home. The breathing exercises and the adrenaline that comes from the activity help relieve stress, reduce muscle tension, sharpen your concentration, and most importantly, increase body awareness.
Create a Routine
People who are forced to telecommute for the first time might have a hard time adjusting their routines. Contrary to popular belief that working from home allows you to run errands while completing a task, it’s counterproductive to multitask. When you’re at home, distractions can come in all forms: the TV, the bed, the children, the pets…you name it. Make sure to stick to a routine that will make you the most productive.
Don’t Focus on the Negative
While in quarantine, you’ll have too much spare time to do some thinking. The pandemic can inspire unwanted thoughts, make you critique yourself, and lead you down to a negative spiral. Find opportunities to see the good in things. Read stories of people who recovered from COVID-19. Focus on the heroes who get out of their way to save lives. If you can, be supportive to others in need and try to be the light in these trying times.
Lastly, remember to seek treatment if the COVID-19 scare is putting your mental health at risk. You can find CBT therapy in Westport for your anxiety. Remember that there is no health without mental health.