updated - April 10, 2021 Saturday EDT
It's the last month of 2020. For many, it feels like forever ago when the pandemic happened. As you probably know, the pandemic won't go away with the change of the new year. While there are vaccines being deployed, it will still take a while for the world to go back to some semblance of normalcy.
Combine that with wintertime and your mental health can be at stake. Here are some ways to maintain your mental health during the pandemic.
First, it's important that you keep in touch with your friends and family during this time. Even if you are unable to see them in person, send them a text, or schedule a Zoom call. With the pandemic, some people are worried about reaching out to others, but you may end up finding that some people miss you quite a bit and talking to them will cheer you up.
We are facing a double whammy with fitness right now. First, it's wintertime, a time when most people are not being as active. You may not want to run outside because it's cold, either. Second, the pandemic. Gyms may be closed, and even when they are not, they can be risky.
With that said, it is important for you to get some exercise in. Moving around can help boost your mental health, in addition to improving your energy and allowing you better sleep. Doing some jumping jacks and pushups can help if you do not want to leave your home. Alternatively, investing in a treadmill can help as well.
Sunlight during these times is so important. It improves mood, regulates your sleep cycles, and provides you with vitamin D. Open your curtains, step outside, take a short walk, and do something to get sunshine.
If you can't, invest in a therapy lamp. This can provide you with light similar to the sun, helping to improve your mood and your mental health overall.
Some people oversleep this time of the year due to seasonal depression, and others may have troubles falling asleep due to all the stresses. It's important for you to get the right amount of rest whenever possible. If you're sleeping too much, set an alarm. You may need to see a doctor if you feel tired all day despite sleeping 7-9 hours.
For the insomniacs, try to calm your mind down an hour before bed. Don't spend your time on social media before bed, don't drink caffeine, and avoid doing anything else that is stimulating. Take a hot bath, read a good book, and go to your bed only for sleep. When you are having trouble sleeping, don't force it! Get out of bed and do something that makes you feel tired. Then, try again.
If you are still having difficulties with sleep, it may be ideal to talk to a health professional.
The pandemic has made more people drink. We get why, but the problem is that it's not good for you. Having the occasional glass of wine or beer isn't going to hurt you, but drinking every day is something to avoid. It may seem to relieve the pain at first, but it usually ends up hurting you in the long run. Do it very sparingly if you have to, or not at all.
Social media is necessary for keeping up with friends, news, and possibly for work. However, it has been toxic and can pump you full of fear. Plus, there's so much misinformation out there. If looking at social media making you depressed or fearful, it's okay to take a break or to mute or unfollow people who are giving you grief.
One way for you to improve your mental health is to try something new. A symptom of depression is that you lose interest in what you used to love. Sometimes, it's important for you to try new hobbies in order for you to improve your mental health.
When doing this, try to make your hobbies pandemic friendly. Learn a new language, or put together a model kit. There are so many ways for you to pass the time and learn something new along the way.
Take a deep breath. Let the air move into your body, then out. Repeat. Doing this can calm your nerves. Besides practicing breathing exercises, another way for you to improve your mental health is to learn mindfulness. This involves the awareness of the present. Being in the moment, if you will. This can stop worries about the future and regrets about the past in their tracks. It's a practice found in many Eastern philosophies, but anyone of any walk of life can do it.
Another part of mindfulness is to accept what you cannot change. Right now, there's a lot we can't change that we worry about. Mindfulness can help you control what you can change instead.
While all these ways are excellent for improving your mental health, there are many cases where you may feel like your mental health is not improving. There are cases of severe anxiety, depression, and other mental health woes that need professional attention.
Speaking to a health professional to treat your issues is one way for you to get the help you need. With that said, it's also important for you to get a diagnosis if you suspect you have depression. Websites such as Mind Diagnostics are a good way for you to get the help that you need. You can receive a professional diagnosis from the comfort of your own home.
Your mental health is so important. This is a time where depression, anxiety, and thoughts of dread are skyrocketing. Practicing a little self-care in uncertain times can keep you going for a long time, especially when the world around you seems beyond your control.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
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