During these tough and uncertain times, staying positive is easier said than done. Stress and anxiety triggers are everywhere. All you have to do is sit and watch the news for 30 seconds to disrupt your mental health.
If you’re looking to stay positive during the coronavirus pandemic, the good news is your mental health is in your hands.
The question becomes: Will you go into victim mode or rise above it and turn these challenges into opportunities? The choice is yours.
Read on for six ways to stay positive and support your mental health, during these challenging times.
Here Are 6 Ways to Support Your Mental Health During the Pandemic:
1. Take care of your emotional state
Chances are you’ve developed some habits that aren’t helping you in the positivity department. For example, do you immediately start scrolling through social media when you wake up?
Instead, replace social scrolling with meditation. Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of your day. So, why not start on a positive note?
Studies show journaling is also extremely helpful for your mental state. Let’s face it: none of us were prepared for COVID-19, and it’s affected our lives in ways we never imagined. If you’re feeling anxious and stressed, you’re not alone.
Writing down what you’re thinking will make you feel like you are controlling your thoughts, instead of your thoughts controlling you. Emotional wellbeing is a major part of your mental health.
2. Take care of your body
The mind and body are inherently linked. So, if you want to feel better emotionally, you need to feel better physically. Thus, your mental wellness benefits from physical wellness practices.
The reverse is also true. If you want to feel better physically, you need to feel better emotionally. The mind-body connection is a feedback loop, and your actions determine whether it’s working for you or against you.
First, get your sweat on. Exercise is one of the best ways to get those feel-good endorphins flowing. As an added bonus, morning exercise is scientifically-proven to improve your decision making throughout the day.
Also, be mindful of your eating habits. The food-mood connection is real! What you eat directly impacts how you feel.
3. Make time to connect with others
Human beings are wired for connection. But since we’re currently not able to socialize face-to-face, it’s forcing us all to get a little more creative. Thankfully, there are many virtual options available.
To stay connected to your friends and loved ones, schedule virtual coffee dates or happy hours. Have virtual Netflix parties. With a chat feature, you can talk while watching the movie together so it feels like you’re in the same room.
Reach out when you need support, and also check in on your loved ones. We can all use a little extra love and support right now. Schedule calls and stay connected – this will benefit you and your loved one’s mental wellbeing!
4. Limit your media exposure
The news can be scary, stressful and intense. While it’s important to be informed, you also need to limit yourself. Be mindful and intentional about when and how often you check the news during the day.
Science confirms that negative news produces feelings of sadness and anxiety.
“This change in mood exacerbates the viewer’s own personal worries, even when those worries are not directly relevant to the news stories being broadcast,” explains Graham Davey, a Psychology Professor at Sussex University and Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Experimental Psychopathology.
It sounds simple, but one of the easiest ways to stay positive and nurture your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic is to monitor your media consumption habits.
5. Create a routine that works for you
Not having a routine stresses many of us out. Giving your day structure is a quick and easy way to ease some of your anxiety.
In these unprecedented times, allow yourself unprecedented freedom. If that means indulging in an extra long morning routine to get your mind right – do it! If that means taking a break midday to move your body or call a friend – do it! Build these things into your routine to empower your day.
Want to set yourself up for work-from-home success? To increase productivity, find a well-lit room in your home. Clear out the clutter and do what you can to minimize distraction.
Having a hard time staying focused working from home? Here Are 5 Tips to Help You Stay Focused
6. Show yourself compassion
Now more than ever, we need to be kind to ourselves. If you need to step away from work to reset your mind, don’t feel guilty. Realize that it’s necessary for your productivity. If you need to talk through what you’re feeling, don’t hesitate to do that with someone you trust.
Whatever it is you may be feeling or going through currently, it’s important to allow yourself to process and work through it.
Finally, honor your body. If you’re feeling tired, that’s normal given the emotional duress quarantine can cause. Take a nap or allow yourself to sleep in. Being compassionate and honest with yourself and what you need nourishes your mental health.
If you’re feeling anxious or have extra energy, channel that into a home workout or creative outlet.
Support Your Mental Health and Take These Steps to Stay Positive
Whether the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting quarantine has impacted you, your family, your business, or all of the above, it’s important to take this time to find ways to stay positive and take care of your mental health.
As we continue to come up against unexpected challenges, it’s a true test of our strength and resilience. Will you let the stress take over and go into panic mode? Or will you turn these challenges into opportunities?
Use these tips to stay positive, grounded, and calm. These simple steps can drastically improve your mental wellness.
This article originally appeared on YogiApproved.