In the past month or two the entire world has been engulfed with news of the Corona Virus and its dangers. Our daily lives are totally disrupted and we are bombarded with dire new reports from dawn to dusk.
These are not normal times. We need to be aware that we’re living in an abnormal world and that our mental health may be affected as the days and weeks go by. There are many positive attitudes and actions we can embrace to make these difficult days bearable. Here are some things you can do:
- Be Aware
No, these aren’t normal times and we may be carrying more stress than we realize. Be aware that you may feel anxious. You may worry about yourself and others you love becoming sick. You may feel a bit irritable at times and notice a general feeling of being unsettled. Again, the situation we’re in is not normal, so we won’t feel normal at times.
Be patient with yourself and others. Adopt a “let it go” attitude if others fail to be what you want or do what you’d hoped. It’s time to give yourself and others a bit of slack.
- Learn the Facts
It’s extremely important in this time to have accurate, no-nonsense, medical facts. Don’t fall for overly-optimistic or hysterical, dire predictions. Base your actions and your peace of mind on actual facts. It’s sad, but true that some folks will delight in passing on false information in a time of trouble. You can find accurate medical information at:
- Avoid Extremes
This is a little tricky because we all have to be more careful and more observant of our health than usual. But if you’re following proper distancing and hand-washing procedures, staying as safe as you can and paying attention to the guidelines given for your time of life and your health conditions, then excess worry and fuss does no good.
While you need to know the factual information and will probably watch a lot of television coverage of the spread of the virus, it’s good to set some limits to the amount of time you spend doing that.
Avoid the hysteria found on social media sites which will give you a steady diet of both fluff and crazy theories. Again, set your well-being on facts and proceed to live each day as fully as possible.
- Keep a Healthy Routine
You may be taking advantage of the opportunity to get more rest and that’s great. Also see to your daily exercise and do your best not to overeat, drink too much or otherwise binge on too much of a good thing.
A healthy diet, enough rest and daily exercise will go a long way to boosting your overall well-being during this stressful time. You can also look at the extra time at home as a gift. Use the time to do those things you never have time for: deep cleaning, gardening, reading, or meditation.
- Stay Connected
Even introverts don’t want to be at home and alone all the time. So be sure to connect with others regularly. Take part in those neighborhood or community efforts to applaud the health care workers and first responders. Sew some masks and donate them. Donate to a local food bank. Call or e-mail family and friends. Learn to video chat with a group or play board games together online.
Don’t go through this challenging time all alone.
- Have a Realistic Perspective
While no one knows for sure when this pandemic will be finished, we do know it will take time. It’s probably best for now to have an open-ended kind of approach to each day. Count your blessings while being realistic about the current health crisis. There will be sad days and that’s okay. There will be good times ahead, but they may take a while. Meanwhile, be well, be safe and be proactive in staying healthy in every way including your mental health.
Should you have a true health or mental health crisis, be quick to contact friends, family members or your primary healthcare professionals. There are support services for a mental health crisis available in all areas. Take the time to jot down phone numbers of your doctor, advice care nurse, mental health hotline, etc. Don’t hesitate to reach out in a time of mental health crisis.