5 Mental Health Tips for Surviving Self-Isolation From Health Experts
As the number of coronavirus cases in the United States grows to over half a million this week, we’ve all been encouraged to continue practicing social distancing and to take care of our health by washing our hands and covering our mouths.
Much of the country has been under partial or complete lockdown for nearly a month now, and while we’re encouraged to take care of our physical health, what about our mental health? Surviving self-isolation isn’t as easy as it seems, and experts even agree that social distancing, coupled with nationwide layoffs and furloughs, is having an effect on our mental health.
Whether you’re finding yourself struggling with this new way of life or simply need an extra emotional boost, here are five mental health tips for surviving self-isolation from health experts to help you make it through this tough time.
1. Practice Mindfulness
There’s a reason why the UK government has offered to give free access to mental health programs for all of their NHS workers. Caring for your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical help, especially during a traumatic time like the one we’re living through right now. From free therapy sessions to mindfulness apps, there are numerous ways to calm your mind and reduce both stress and anxiety. One of the easiest ways to do this while you stay home is to download a free app and engage in 10-20 minutes of mindful breathing a day. It’s easier than meditating and will help you calm your mind and body.
2. Change Your Expectations
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has a lot of great resources for those looking to participate in therapy during this quarantine period. And, they’ve also got lots of great tips for managing stress and anxiety during the coronavirus crisis. One of their top tips? Change your expectations and your mindset. Instead of counting down the days until your state’s lockdown will be over, focus on the here and now. And, instead of thinking “I’m stuck at home,” change your mindset to “I get to stay home and work on fun projects.”
3. Manage Your News Intake
It’s incredibly easy to get sucked into the negativity of the news nowadays. No matter where you look, things seem to only be getting worse. And, that’s dangerous for your mental health. Stay informed but only allow yourself to watch or read an hour of news each day. Or, force yourself to check once in the morning and then once in the evening for major updates. Instead, search out the good news that’ll help you view the situation in a more positive light. Elle has published a fantastic roundup of 50 positive coronavirus stories. And, actor John Krasinski has created an at-home talk show called Some Good News that’s definitely worth watching.
4. Stay Active
The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous, physical activity a week. And, that kind of physical activity is especially important during times of distress and uncertainty. If you can, get outside and get moving. Simply being outside in the fresh air will help increase your emotional and mental health. Or, take a look at our roundup of websites offering free classes. Fitness platforms such as Beachbody and Peloton are giving premium access to their users for free right now!
5. Stay in Touch
Experts note that now, more than ever, you should make the most of technology and stay in touch with colleagues, friends, and family via phone calls and video conferencing. Use Zoom or House Party to host virtual meetups. Add in some drinks, cooking, or movies and it’ll help make things feel like (almost normal). On a professional level, this can be especially important if you’re navigating unemployment or financial hardships. Stay in touch with your coworkers and previous managers as you all move through these uncertain times together. Don’t shut yourself off from the world emotionally simply because of social distancing. It’s physical distancing, not emotional distancing!
Focusing on Your Financial Health Is Important, Too
Social distancing is tough, especially if you’re dealing with other stressors such as unemployment, financial hardships, and homeschooling children. Take time out of each day to ensure you’re taking care of your mental health. And, once you feel like you’ve got a handle on that, make sure to factor in some additional time to focus on your financial health, too.
They’re related, in fact, as most people find that they’re happiest when they’ve got their finances under control. Need extra help with that? We’re here for you. Not only are we dedicated to providing our users with high-quality financial resources during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, but we’re also here to help you save extra money easily.
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