There is much advice on how to strengthen your mental health during the pandemic. However, what works for one person may not work for another. Please keep that in mind while reading the simple suggestions below.
- Staying current on the news is essential, however, schedule time away from the media. We all need breaks from the constant chatter that the news and social media provide.
- Do not limit breaks to just the news, but take breaks from all screen time. Being stuck at home has increased the amount of time one spends in front of their electronics. Turn off devices some each day and make an intentional effort to disconnect at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
- Disconnecting before bed will help one’s sleep be restful. It is easy to ignore the body’s needs while stuck at home. One of the best ways to battle minor mental health struggles is exercising, sleeping, and eating a balanced diet. Find time each day to breathe deeply (in through the nose and out the mouth), stretch, and get the heart rate up. Create a schedule for these activities each day.
- Creating a schedule and sticking to that schedule will help maintain balance. Schedule time to unwind. Take breaks from work. Although taking breaks from work may seem unnecessary when working from home, one will lose those natural breaks that happen when working from the office. Motivate actions by being a good role model for a healthy balance between work and downtime. Use that downtime to connect with family and friends remotely.
- Spending a significant amount of time in isolation will create anxiety and worry for many. Turn into that time instead of away. Create a schedule that includes time to pray for 30 minutes every day. During this time, write down the list of worries that are most prevalent that day, and pray for wisdom and boldness. After praying, close the book on those notes and focus on God’s grace and strength. Whenever the worries battle to leave the written page, create a distraction. The best way to distract one’s self from worry is to reach out to others. Reach out to a neighbor, friend, family member, and ask them how they are doing and how they are coping with the stresses of the day.
One hope we all have is that the healthy habits of loving our neighbor during the pandemic will continue when the pandemic ends.