2 Years in, Where’s the Out? Covid’s Effect on Mental Health
Everyone has been affected by Covid-19. Whether you started to work from home, you have not seen your family, or you had to provide home school to your children, Covid-19 has drastically impacted our lives. But what about our mental health and emotions? Have we really taken the time to recognize how isolation has impacted depression and other mental health issues throughout our society? Going through a pandemic and being trapped inside our own homes is an enormous change. So how do we maintain our mental health while navigating our next year of Covid-19?
Even though it’s easy to feel trapped in your own home, there are many ways to stay active. You can do simple workouts in your own living room. These can include sit-ups, push-ups, burpees, and much more. You can also do something simple outdoors. Running, taking a walk, and just getting some sunshine can improve our moods and decrease anxiety. Exercise is scientifically proven to release endorphins which are a chemical in your brain that produce happiness. It’s that simple! Doing some basic activity can improve your stress and anxiety.
Taking time for yourself and using your ‘right brain’ can take your mind off of your anxiety. You can use basic materials from your own home to make bracelets, take pictures, or start writing in a journal. Something as simple as trying a new recipe or learning a new skill can change up your daily routine and make it easier to stay at home. Creativity is a great way to express your emotions in a productive/effective manner.
Separate Work and Free Time
When many people are working from home full-time or part-time, it is easy to get stuck in your computer and work life. Being constantly in work mode can increase your anxiety and have you constantly stressing about work. Placing boundaries and taking time to do something other than sleeping, eating, and working can provide a break in your work life. Trying to put away your phone, keeping your work space separate from your bedroom, and setting aside ‘no work’ hours can help you keep your mind off work. It is critical to separate work and free time in order to make time for things you enjoy.
Treat Yourself/Self Care
It is so important to take time for yourself and to focus on your mental health. You can do something simple like a five minute meditation, or buy yourself an at-home spa kit and take a day to yourself. Little things like this make a huge difference. Other ideas for relaxation include reading a book, drinking tea, or watching a fun movie. The possibilities are endless!
Get into a Routine
It is very important to stay in a routine while you are working from home. Maintaining a schedule that is similar to what you would use pre-covid can make you feel more motivated. Waking up at the same time, eating a healthy breakfast, and getting dressed can improve your mood and make the days seem a little more normal. Having a routine can also make your days seem a bit more stable and make life a little simpler. Having a routine can really improve your outlook on working from home and quarantine.
Using these tips, you can improve your mental health during the pandemic. Doing simple things to make yourself feel better is crucial, and it can make this year feel more positive. Taking care of yourself has never been more important.