Aside from fears about physical health, the Coronavirus lockdown in many countries is putting a strain on people’s mental health. Social distancing is essential at this time but this is not a natural practice for humans. If you want to make sure you don’t descend into negativity and anxiety, there are some well researched mental health practices that can help you.
1. Stick to a routine
If your time is completely unstructured, it can result in boredom or anxiety, which in turn can lead to unhealthy ways to cope. A regular routine with set times to sleep, wake up, eat meals and exercise reduces the decision fatigue that comes from having too many options.
Eating enough fruit and vegetables is essential if you want to offer your immune system support. Exercising regularly is known to help you both physically and mentally.
It is one of the best ways to get rid of built-up stress and it can also help you to sleep better at night. A regular sleep and wake cycle is also essential if you want to stay healthy in body and mind.
2. Try light intermittent fasting
Some light intermittent fasting can benefit your body and your brain in a number of ways. To understand how this works, you need to know more about autophagy.
What is autophagy? It is a recycling and cleanup process that cleans out damaged cells and makes way for new, healthier cells. Lifeapps.io explains the five stages of intermittent fasting, including autophagy, and how it leads to lowered inflammation, helps to protect you against disease and equips you to deal with stress.
3. Maintain your social connections
Human beings are fundamentally social in nature and in a crisis, it’s natural to want to gather together. One of our most basic psychological needs is connectivity. As we are unable to be together physically at this time, we need to make an effort to maintain that sense of closeness.
Fortunately, technology enables us to do so and ways to communicate when we’re apart physically are improving all the time. Videoconferencing, WhatsApp and more are all helping us to stay in contact with loved ones, friends and colleagues.
4. Declutter your home
If the mess in your home gets out of hand, it can have a negative effect on your mental health. When your home is clean and organized, you feel more in control and productive.
Decluttering, cleaning and organizing can give you a respite from focusing on all the negative news and chaos. Don’t become obsessive about cleaning but use your spare time to reorganize. Getting rid of or donating items you no longer use will give you a sense of achievement.
5. Serve others from a distance
Many studies have shown that serving others, even with small acts of kindness, has mental health benefits. A sense of purpose can get us through traumatic times.
There are many ways to help others during this time of great need and are possible from a distance. You can support worthy causes financially, donate towards food parcels, call your neighbors to find out whether they are coping and much more.
6. Practice gratitude
It’s not easy to feel grateful when you may have lost your job or suffered other consequences from the pandemic. However, it’s been shown time and time again that practicing gratitude is very beneficial to your mental health.
Even though it may be difficult, try to find some things each day that you are grateful for. Your state of mind will improve and you will have the strength to weather the crisis.