Mental Health: 5 Keys to Keeping Your Sanity During the Lockdown

Social distancing and quarantine have now become the norms as the nation’s attempt to fight against the spread of the coronavirus. With the uncertainty, you might be feeling confused, scared, stressed, angry, anxious, and worried – all of which is normal. But how can you cope and look after your mental health when everything is so constantly changing? The measures encouraging or forcing individuals all over the world to stay at home, are considered necessary by medical experts in reducing the spread of coronavirus. However, the manner in which they impact people’s mental well-being must also be considered too. Mental Health: 5 Keys to Keeping Your Sanity During the Lockdown!

As human beings, we are social animals – we feel the need to be in constant connection with other individuals. Thus, extended periods of social isolation could magnify feelings of depression, anxiety, and helplessness. Mental health issues may be triggered by stressors related to quarantine, such as job security, boredom, frustration, lack of information, inadequate supplies, financial loss, and of course, physical health.

1. Establish a Routine

The days could appear endless, especially if you’re not working. Get out of your pajamas, take a shower, and try to create a to-do list of all the things you want to accomplish each day in order to create a feeling of purpose, normality, and control how you spend your time. Have fun!

2. Look after Your Body

Physical activity reduces stress and anxiety. Take indoor workout classes, go for a walk, and practice mindfulness exercises. Grocery shelves might be emptier than usual, but try your best to find healthy foods. Stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. All of these improve mood and overall health.

3. Stay Connected

Are you engaged and perhaps you were planning to get married before the whole coronavirus situation set in? Has your relationship been affected in some way due to an uneasy feeling of insecurity about the future? Well, help is on hand, with pre-marital counselling, take a look at these helpful resources from ReGain. Social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean cutting off all of your social contacts – on the contrary, it is important for your mental health to stay connected with the people in your life. Use technology to keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues through video calls, phone calls, texts, and social media.

4. Set Media Boundaries

When watching the news, it’s easy to fall into feelings of hopelessness. It is essential to stay informed through reliable sources – knowing that facts can decrease feelings of anxiety as you will then retain some sense of power and control over the situation. Also, limit your intake of news and social media to prevent feelings of overwhelm, and give yourself the opportunity to focus on other things in life aside from the domination of Covid-19!

5. Remember to Focus on the Positives

You may feel like there isn’t much positivity around at the moment, but if you take a moment to reflect, you could probably think of something positive no matter how small it may appear to be. Expand on good news stories and honour those working endlessly to restore the situation. Also, try keeping a gratitude journal to diminish stress, enhance self-esteem, and encourage strength and flexibility. 

Many of the factors linked to our worries and fears are out of our control therefore, it is important to consider what we can control and use at least that to positively impact our lives – and set up our own ways of maintaining mental health at home. We are all experiencing a difficult period in our lives. At the end of the day, it’s about taking it one step at a time – all these confusing measures are temporary and most importantly, we are all in this together. 

Yara Akbaraly

Yara is a graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Political Science. She uniquely combines her humanitarian activities in Madagascar, with helping those around her. Being health conscious has always been a major part of her lifestyle, encouraging her to take courses on nutrition, health, and fitness. Over the years, she has practiced karate, athletics, tennis, and weight-training.

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