The global pandemic has produced feelings of fear and panic. For many, these overwhelming feelings and the lockdown experience have resulted in a crisis situation. In addition to physical health concerns, much has been predicted about our future economic status and an increased need for mental health treatment. Although all of us know we need to “practice self-care” or “take care of our mental health”, we struggle to practically apply this concept even in the best of times. Now, during a crisis, it becomes even more difficult. Stress and happiness affect our physical health, relationships, and productivity. This means mental health care is even more important during crisis times, such as now. Below are a few practical tips for maintaining your mental health.
- Give yourself time to grieve what was lost. In this instance, it could be birthday parties, special events you had planned, work projects, finances, or anything you were counting on or looking forward to that never happened as a result of lockdown.
- Look for opportunity. Think about and take advantage of the opportunities created by the situation. These will be unique and specific to you and works both in business and family life. Social distancing, for example, has fed the remote occupation trend while giving family members the opportunity to share more of their lives with each other.
- Focus on the positive. Sure, there might be plenty of negative, however, it is the positive that gets your attention. This means you would focus on what you did accomplish today, instead of what you did not.
- Give yourself permission to get things wrong while adjusting to so many changes simultaneously.
- Set small goals that are realistic, measurable, and able to be accomplished in a short amount of time while at home.
- Say good morning to the people in your household. (This has been scientifically proven to affect overall daily happiness.)
Lastly, self-care should not feel like a chore. If you have to make time for it, and that causes you stress, then it is not self-care. Some of you may read, or paint, or play games on your phone while others won’t find those things relaxing. Doing the dishes might give you peace because it brings needed order to a messy house but it may stress someone else out who views it as another daunting task. You know what brings you peace and calms the chaos in your mind. Do that.
Mrs D Butt
Northwood School Counselor