Managing Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Naturally and Organically

How are you feeling when you first wake up? Have you got something to focus on that puts your head in a positive space? Are you filled with hope and what needs to be done to keep your family on track?

We know this pandemic has an alarming impact on people’s balance and mental health around the world. And even though Australia has ridden this wave with minimal impact relative to the everyday concerns facing the rest of the world, we are not unscathed and uncertainty still prevails as we get on with every day.

We’re an evolving tribe yet we can all still be reminded that there are some steps we can follow to minimize the impact, improve our mental health and cope with COVID-related issues.

Anxiety and Frustration is Normal
The coronavirus has brought a lot of unpredictability into our lives. The virus came suddenly, and it spread so fast that nobody was prepared for it. Tons of people were stranded in foreign countries when airports and borders started to close, while many businesses didn’t prepare to sustain months without revenue. Many businesses resorted to firing their employees due to an economic downturn posed by the pandemic.

All these worries are already on top of the fact thousands of people are dying from the virus, and the months of lockdown and isolation can affect anyone. So, not knowing what is going to happen next, worrying about family members and friends, and not being able to go to regular entertainment spaces can lead to anxiety and depression.

The fact that the outbreak situation is totally out of our control can make you feel frustrated. When feelings like anxiety and frustration are eating you up inside, remember you aren’t the only one going through tough times. Know that it is completely normal and you will make it through.

Get out of Bed
Spending your free time in bed is the worst decision you can make. It is even worse if you’ve lost your job. Maybe you don’t feel like doing anything and can’t find the motivation to do something else. Know that there is a way out of this. The first step in overcoming depression and anxiety is getting out of bed. The next step is forcing yourself to stay far away from your room during the day, even if you don’t want to do it.

Chances are you will feel a lot better after keeping yourself occupied with productive activities. Staying in bed will only lead to boredom and you will start to over-analyze everything. Self-reflection is a good way to self-discover, but thinking too much will only lead to anxiety.

Connect with Others
As mentioned before, feeling anxious, depressed, and frustrated is utterly normal with everything that has happened this year. The outbreak was a total curveball that hit many countries completely while unprepared. Take this time to reach out to old friends and family members and spend time with your loved ones at home.

You are 100 percent not the only one feeling this way, and as the saying goes, misery loves company. Even if you don’t want to meet in person because of the risk of getting infected, today, you can choose from a variety of applications and online tools to communicate with others.

You can do video calls with friends and family, download an app to make new friends around the world, or even call that old crush you never got to ask on a date. Do whatever you want, as long as you continue interacting with other people.

Don’t Follow the News Too Closely
We are used to following the news to keep ourselves informed about what is going on around us. And if you don’t do it, you should definitely start following the news now as you have to know what is happening in your community and your country. However, during the pandemic, you shouldn’t follow the news too regularly as doing so could cause anxiety.

TV news programs and headlines are designed to grab your attention, so sometimes they may use tactics to retain your attention by using alarming titles. Doing so could put you at risk of obsessing over every little detail about the virus and what comes next. Limit your news consumption to a few minutes a day. If there is a national emergency, you will surely hear about it indirectly. You can then follow up on the details on your own.

Learn Something New
Another thing to do to stay occupied is invest in yourself and learn something new. This will not only keep you occupied and distract you from the pandemic, but it will also help update your resume and grow in your career.

With the digital world growing more each year, you have many options to learn from the comfort of your home. You can enroll in online courses or coding bootcamps and learn technical skills in a few months. Also, you can enroll in personal growth courses that will help you develop emotional intelligence skills.

Work Out
A great option to keep yourself occupied is to set up an exercise routine. Exercising has many benefits for your overall health. By exercising, you will make gains even if you don’t lose weight. Working out also helps you sleep better, feel more energized during the day, improve your mood, reduce health risks, and balance sugar levels.

Working out also helps with keeping your mental health by reducing stress levels, anxiety and depression and increasing self-esteem. Find the routine that works well with your fitness level and dedicate an hour every day to working your body and freeing your mind.

Connect with Nature
The positive effect of connecting with nature is something that many people underestimate. It can have many benefits for your mood and mental health. And, it doesn’t mean you have to go on a solo camping trip with no mobile phone for a week. You can step outside of your home and spend a few hours in a park or your backyard if you have one.

Doing so will help you relax and disconnect from everything else happening in the world right now. For example, you can do your workout routine outside and feel the air and sun on your body. Being cooped up in a house for many days will only increase depression and anxiety.

Keep a Schedule
Finally, it would be good for you to keep a day schedule to help you maintain a routine for when you sleep, eat, work out and conduct other activities. A schedule helps to keep your focus on what you need to do. It will also help you feel like you have some control over your life when everything going on outside is not.