words Alexa Wang
To say that we’re living in stressful times would be an understatement. With the COVID-19 pandemic becoming worse by the day, many of us have had no choice but to alter our daily lives in a number of ways. In addition to limiting non-essential outings, a good number of us have opted to avoid seeing friends and family members in order to help curb the spread.
While acting in a socially responsible manner is undeniably the right thing to do, the sweeping changes facilitated by the novel coronavirus have had an impact on many people’s mental health. In the interest of maintaining a healthy mindset throughout the current crisis, put the following tips to good use.
Do Things You Enjoy Every Day
The world can seem like a hopeless place right now. With thousands of Americans losing their lives from COVID-19 each day and a staggering number of citizens still refusing to take even the smallest precautions, it’s easy to become trapped in the throes of depression. However, it’s also important to accept that you’re ultimately powerless to change the current situation – at least on a grand scale. Staying home whenever possible and wearing masks and PPE – and encouraging others in your orbit to do so – essentially represents the extent of your abilities at the present time. Yes, woefully misinformed and thoroughly inconsiderate individuals will continue to make poor choices and place others in danger, but in the end, you have virtually no control over their abhorrent behavior.
That being the case, instead of focusing on the negative, carve out time to do things you enjoy every day. Preferably, these activities won’t involve leaving the house or venturing out to crowded public places. For example, if your media backlog has been growing for quite some time, devote a couple hours a day to making your way through any movies or television series you’ve let pile up over the last few years. Additionally, if there are any video games you’ve been eager to start – or finish – fire up your favorite console each day and escape into a fun-filled fantasy world. Furthermore, lovers of the written word would do well to relax with a good book in a quiet spot each day.
Regularly Communicate with Loved Ones
Not being able to see friends and family members on a consistent basis has taken a tremendous toll on many people’s mental health. If you’ve grown used to regularly visiting certain loved ones, being unable to see them for an extended period is liable to conjure up feelings of sadness and longing. While you may not be able to occupy the same physical space, there are now more ways than ever to remotely connect with the people you hold dear. If traditional phone calls are insufficient, simply use Skype or one of the other many readily-available video calling apps. Video calls may not be as satisfying as sitting down with treasured friends and family members face-to-face, but they’re the next best thing. Additionally, if you feel that you’d benefit from therapy or counseling, seek out mental health professionals who are open to conducting remote visits.
Make Charitable Donations
In times like these, it is imperative that we take care of one another. So, if you have the resources to spare, consider making a donation to a charitable organization whose mission you support. Helping others is a great way to bring joy into the lives of the less fortunate and facilitate positive change. If providing sustenance to hungry children is something about which you’re passionate, consider donating to a summer food program.
It isn’t hard to see why the COVID-19 pandemic has taken such a heavy toll on many people’s mental health. Fear of contracting a deadly airborne virus coupled with not being able to see loved ones on a regular basis can do a real number on one’s psychological well-being. Furthermore, “recovered” COVID patients who have faced months of persistent lingering symptoms are facing their own unique set of struggles. In times as trying as these, maintaining sound mental health should be a priority for all of us, and by utilizing the previously discussed pointers, we can set the stage for a consistently healthy mindset.