You’ve seen advice on how to maintain good mental health while staying home. It’s been the subject, already, of countless memes, with everyone from introverts to crafters to Gen-X’ers trying to lighten the mood, and saying, “this is what we’ve been training for.”
But, if you’re not an introvert by nature, or if the idea of being distant from your fellow humans (we are a social species, after all) is leaving you a little uncomfortable with our current “new normal,” Shenandoah University Psychology Lecturer Alida Gibson, M.A., M.S., LCPC – who also runs Pursuing Betterment Counseling, providing mental health counseling for individuals living in the state of Maryland – has a few tips for staying psychologically well in this unusual time:
- Exercise. This includes yoga and/or pilates, or stretching. YouTube has tons of wonderful video options for these at-home techniques
- Cook a new dish for you and your family. Again, YouTube has tons of easy tutorials to help you be creative with the food you have on hand.
- Get appropriate amounts of sleep. Discontinue screen time at least one hour prior to going to sleep. (Let your bedtime not be at 2 a.m. after reading the latest news on COVID-19.)
- Limit media usage surrounding COVID-19. Check once in the morning, once at noontime, and once after dinner.
- Limit social media usage where other people’s thoughts and ideas can create even more uncertainty and anxiety during these uncertain times.
- Meditate with or without music. (Meditation is a practice — it HAS to be PRACTICED.) Move away from saying, “I can’t meditate” and rather say, “I would really like to begin the practice of meditation” and do so!
- FaceTime/ Zoom with family members and friends you have not reached out to in a while. Check on them, ask how they are doing, share how you are doing. Tell them you love and care about them!
- Drink plenty of water.
- Rest your mind.
- Play board games.
- Put together puzzles.
- If it is a sunny day, stand in front of the window and let the sun warm your face and neck.
- Take deep breaths and listen to the birds “go about springtime.”
- DO NOT LEAN IN TO PANIC AND FEAR.