10 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health During a PandemicBy Tommy Rodriguez
May 13 2020, Published 5:31 p.m. ET
Perhaps one of the most unspoken consequences of the COVID-19pandemic has been the negative impact the virus is having on the mental health of the masses. The importance of mental health has long been swept under the rug, so this isn’t really surprising. Quarantining and lack of social stimulation is certainly hurting most, if not all of us. Additionally, economic recessions and the rise of unemployment rates have long been linked to spikes in crime rates and major depression.
It is vital to keep your mental health intact as we navigate through these sad and unpredictable times. Your physical and mental health must work in unison in order for you to thrive during this quarantine. Here are 10 ways you can boost your mood and nurture your mental state.
Pick up a New Book or Start a New Show.
Money may not be abundant for many right now, but what you do have is time. When was the last time you had this much free time? This is the perfect time to read that book that you’ve always wanted to read but never got around to. It’s the perfect time to watch that show you’re years behind on. You can get a lot of things back, but time is not one of them, so take advantage of it.
Learn a New Skill.
Once again, make the best of all the spare time you have right now. Use it to learn a skill that you’ve always wanted to learn. Whether it be cooking a new recipe or learning how to draw, there are tons of resources at your fingertips that can help you learn. All you really need is the Internet. You may even pick up a skill that becomes an extra source of income and sticks with you after the quarantine is over.
Exercise, exercise, and exercise.
Do I really have to explain this one? Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your mental state and energy levels, and you don’t need a gym to partake in it. There are millions of at-home workout routines online that require little to no equipment and are just as effective. While everyone else is putting on extra pounds, you can be in the best shape of your life once outside reopens.
Go Outside (Safely).
The keyword is SAFELY. It is important to go out for a breath of fresh air and some sun rays. As long as you are maintaining social distance, it is perfectly okay and healthy for you to leave your home and go outside for a walk.
Don’t be a Stranger.
Use this pandemic as an opportunity to reconnect with people you may have lost contact with and talk with your loved ones. If coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s how fragile life is and how fast everything can change. Spend time with loved ones you’re quarantining with (unless you’re alone), and call up an old friend.
Self-Care is the Best Care!
Barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, and spas may all be shut down at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you have to let yourself go. Now, that doesn’t mean you should impulsively give yourself a mohawk or dye your hair pink. But, take care of yourself. Run yourself a hot bath, do a couple of face masks, and treat yourself. Also, make sure you’re getting sufficient sleep.
Organize Your Time.
It’s easy to lose track of time and sight of your responsibilities during a quarantine. Your sleep schedule and eating habits might be all screwed up, and as much as you deny it, it’s affecting your mood. Try organizing your time and making yourself a checklist of things you’d like to accomplish in a day, and you’ll be surprised by how much better you feel.
Know When to Turn Off the News.
Whether it’s intentional or not, the media has induced mass hysteria on the public. Every time you switch on the news channel, it seems like all they’re reporting is bad news. While it is important to keep yourself informed, it is equally important to know when you’ve had enough. Listening to the media regurgitate every ongoing tragedy will eventually take a toll on you.
This one probably summarizes much of this list, but it is the key to keeping your mood in a good place. Keep yourself occupied. Whether it’s with work, learning a skill, or reading that book, it is essential to keep busy. If you feel like you have nothing to do, you aren’t looking hard enough. Clean out that closet that hasn’t been organized in years, or listen to that new music album. Whatever it is, stay busy.
As cliché as it may sound, everything in life is a matter of perspective. No matter how terribly things may be going for you right now, there is always somebody going through worse. If you have access to this article right now, you are already more fortunate than millions of people across the world. Take time to reflect and be grateful for the things that are going well for you, and recognize that everything must come to an end. Before you know it, this will all be over.