Events coupled with fear and uncertainty tend to affect our mental and emotional health in a big way.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly fulfills the category of fear and uncertainty in spades.
All aspects of life are affected, which can cause a great deal of anxiety for everyone involved.
Mental Health Amidst the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is a unique case, the likes of which haven’t been seen in nearly a century. As a result, most people alive today have no idea regarding how to deal with a pandemic.
It’s a time of great uncertainty, and this is not just because of the virus itself. Other factors, like changes in work situations, social distancing, or lifestyle changes, also have a significant impact.
Isolation can have significant impacts on mental health.
While many people have been able to adjust to these situations, this does not mean everybody has.
Some people just find it difficult to cope and this by no means is a sign of weakness. The effects, however, can be quite distressing on one’s mental health.
8 Ways of Coping With COVID-19-Related Stress and Anxiety
Taking care of your mental health is especially important nowadays to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Coping strategies can be especially useful, and doing these the right way can yield many benefits.
Among the best ways of coping that you can do are the following:
1. Organize your thoughts.
We have all experienced being bombarded by thoughts in the most inconvenient of times.
Admittedly, organizing your thoughts on a normal basis even without a pandemic can be very challenging. However, this is a task that you need to master if you want to prioritize your mental well-being.
Some tips to help your mind free from unwanted clutter are the following:
- Jot them down: Always keep a notepad with you. Jot down the responsibilities that suddenly come to mind and write down ways of dealing with these.
- Map out your thoughts: Make a mind map when your head gets too cluttered. Map out your ideas, then link and organize these as you see fit.
- Keep a schedule: Make a schedule when you’re getting overwhelmed. Prioritize the most important tasks and work from there.
Don’t be discouraged if your thought-organizing activities don’t immediately work. Just remember, you’re in a pandemic, and you’re not dealing with this alone.
2. Do the necessary measures to keep yourself safe.
Anxiety and paranoia over contracting the coronavirus disease are all too common nowadays.
To help yourself against worrying about the disease, do all the necessary measures to keep yourself safe.
Wearing a mask, distancing yourself socially, disinfecting frequently, and staying healthy are just some measures you can do.
Knowing that you’re minimizing your chances of getting infected can significantly benefit your mental health. Just make sure that you’re not unnecessarily stressing yourself out over these measures.
Make sure to disinfect surfaces and to follow other safety measures.
3. Connect with your loved ones.
Various mental health issues stem from a lack of social contact.
This is even more notable during the pandemic since many other factors also come into play.
To ensure that you minimize the negative effect on mental health that social distancing brings, just go online!
We’re lucky that we live in an age where almost everyone is connected through the Internet. This makes connecting with loved ones much easier.
This isn’t a complete replacement for socialization, but you should do whatever helps during these times.
4. Find ways to entertain yourself.
Some studies suggest that idleness and sedentary behaviour are linked to mental health issues like anxiety. It’s all too easy to sit idly by while you’re locked down at home.
To counter this, find activities that can entertain you.
Entertainment streaming services are great and extremely accessible. Sit down and read a good book, do arts and crafts, discover a new hobby.
The pandemic is the ideal time to do these things, so don’t miss out.
5. Don’t overwork yourself.
Some of us are forced to adjust to working from home.
While this can be convenient, it also means that your professional life is intruding into your home life.
This can cause much stress, so be sure to manage your time correctly to minimize the intrusion.
Make a schedule and allot time for work, family, and for yourself.
If it can be helped, don’t work during the weekends or holidays. Give your mind and body time to rest so that you don’t subconsciously associate home with work.
Work-from-home scenarios can lead to less time for family
6. Exercise and eat healthy
A sound mind resides in a sound body.
The link between physical and mental health has long been established — staying physically healthy also benefits mental health.
This means that exercising, eating healthy, and avoiding harmful activities is now more crucial than ever.
Don’t deprive yourself when it comes to food, though. It won’t hurt to have a cheat day once in a while.
Also, don’t overexert yourself when it comes to exercise. Rest days are equally as important as workout days, after all.
7. Breathe, meditate, and rest.
If you find yourself getting too stressed out for whatever reason, take time to breathe and meditate.
Clear your mind and just focus on trying to relax.
Be sure to also get ample sleep every night. Rest impacts mental and emotional wellness more so than what most people believe.
8. Give yourself time to adjust.
Don’t be too frustrated if you find that you’re having trouble adjusting to the new normal during the pandemic.
Give yourself more time to learn new skills to help you adjust.
Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you find that you’re learning more slowly than you wish.
Take comfort in the fact that you’ll eventually learn — things will continue to improve as you do so.
Seek Qualified Help to get Through
The pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives.
You’re best off developing coping strategies if you are to come out of this in the best way you can.
If you’re finding it to be especially difficult, perhaps you might want to consult with a professional.
In Ottawa and across Ontario, there’s no one better than Capital Choice Counselling. Our professionals will be able to help in safe and effective ways. Simply get in touch with us today to start the process.