As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across nations, it’s causing widespread concern, fear, and stress. The pandemic has caused a societal disruption unbeknownst to humanity. In response to the accelerating pandemic, most states have banned all physical – and community activities and imposed lockdowns to keep citizens at home.
Across the country, work and school happen entirely online and restaurants are closed and nursing homes are barring visitors.
The pandemic has caused millions of their jobs, billions are into physical isolation and nearly everyone on earth is grappling with the angst that they or their loved ones can suddenly contract the virus.
For most people, the stringent stay at home measures imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19 ignites fear, anxiety, and erratic behaviors. When fear takes control, we can become impulsive, panicky, emotionally, and mentally unstable; all things that can easily take us over the edge.
The psychological and emotional toll of this pandemic is even worse for people with a history of mental illness or anxiety and depression. These conditions can flare up again or worsen and intensify during times like these and it may trigger negative physical symptoms like insomnia, weakness, fatigue, and an elevated heart rate.
How To Maintain Mental and Emotional Health
It is not uncommon to feel anxious, frustrated, angry, or downright confused during this quarantine. We, humans, are social beings, and the social distancing we are now forced to adopt can have negative effects on us. However, it is important not to wallow in those feelings but rather lift your spirit up. Here are some expert-backed strategies to improve your mental and emotional well-being:
1. Routine is Your Friend
Continuing the same routine — minus commuting and office work — will help you adapt and cope more easily with this current reality. It also helps in managing anxiety. You can devise your own routine based on your own habits. If you are working online, it is best to perform activities in short bursts with clear breaks to help maintain your clarity of thought.
2. Manage Your Stress Threshold
Stress during this period is inevitable! Hence, it is important to try to stay stress-free during this time. Try to prioritize your sleep and lay a solid foundation for stress-relieving activities you enjoy. Exercising during this period is a plus as it will decrease your stress levels, improve your sleep, and help regulate your emotions.
3. Maintain Connections
Even during quarantine, it is important to connect with others to stimulate your mental and emotional well being. We are in social isolation, but we don’t have to feel alone. Many applications now provide opportunities to stay in touch with one another. You can face chat friends or simply pick up the phone for an elaborate chat with a friend or family.
4. Cut Back News and Social Media Intake
Now is a good time to limit your exposure to the news and social media. It is also beneficial to only follow accounts and pages that share accurate information. All the negative information about the pandemic shared on social media can make you feel uncertain and cause anxiety. Thus, it is crucial to curbing news that does not serve your well-being when online.
5. Keep Yourself Busy
Engaging in activities that distract you from current events is also helpful. Now is a good time to pick up a new hobby, write a book, join an online fitness class, or take online courses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us into self-isolation, which can drastically affect our mental and emotional health. To avoid this, implement the above-mentioned ideas into your life today.
About the author: Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis is the President/CEO of the Executive Women’s Success Institute and creator of the online course “Crack the Career Code: How to Lead With Confidence, Charisma, and Credibility.” Reach out to her at Website: www.exwsi.com; E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.