The pandemic has been wreaking havoc on virtually every aspect of our lives. Not only have many of our work and school schedules changed, but we are dealing with social lives on life support. It’s no wonder that around 4 out of every 10 adults admit to experiencing anxiety or depressive disorder symptoms. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can maintain good mental health during the pandemic. The following is a list of tips to help you do just that.
Find a new hobby
Mental health issues like anxiety and depression may take time to subside, but it’s important to work on them while focusing on other tasks. Finding a new hobby can be a great way to distract yourself and channel your negative emotions. For instance, listening to music, taking walks or jogs, painting and coloring, going dancing, or doing arts and crafts can let you have fun while lessening your anxiety or depression symptoms. You never know how memorable or life-changing something can be until you try it!
Get some rest
Rest can be elusive during times of turmoil, but it’s crucial to your overall mental health. If you scroll the web all night or pace around your home in the wee hours of the morning, you definitely need to get more rest. Consider options like drinking tea, working out, and reading. These activities can help to relax your body and mind and improve your ability to rest. Turn off TVs around bedtime and allow your phone to rest rather than try to scroll until you fall asleep. Alternatively, you can also research natural sleep aids, such as melatonin, to help you regulate your sleep patterns. Be sure to consult with a physician before taking anything new so they can stay up to date with your health record.
Try wellness apps
There are plenty of wellness apps on the market that can help you reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Just remember to avoid them during bedtime. Search your favorite app store, check out the reviews, and find an app that most resonates with your mental health goals. If you need to try several at once, that’s fine too. If they make you feel better, keep using them; if they make you feel worse, stop.
Clean and remodel
Sometimes, a simple change of scenery can be all you need to boost your spirits. For instance, if you remodel a guest room and turn it into a meditation/relaxation room, you could create a sanctuary in the comfort of your own home. To do so, start by cleaning out the space so you have a clean slate. This should comprise getting rid of anything that does not serve your desired mood.
From there, paint the room in neutral tones that promote peace. Colors such as white, gray, blue, or even green are known for having calming effects on the psyche. Next, you want to install furniture that helps you become more relaxed. For example, you could try a modular sofa in the middle of the room or even tucked up near a bright, sunny window. These sofas look similar to traditional couches, but they come with various pieces that you can rearrange however you wish. Modular sofas are typically very comfortable, and they also look great!
Here are other things you can add to your room:
- Calming artwork
- Bean bag chairs
- Rocking chairs
- Lava lamps
- Fluffy carpet/rugs
- And more
Create a new normal
Many people are stressed and depressed these days because they feel they have lost control of their lives. The pandemic has forced many of us to work from home and rearrange our entire work structure. In addition, we can’t go to many of our favorite places, and we feel a general lack of control. We can attribute this to the loss of an everyday routine. Since most people are now working from home, it isn’t easy to compartmentalize various duties. This difficulty can lead to burnout.
You can avoid this situation by creating your own routine. For instance, if you are now working at home, you can design a schedule that will allow you to use your time better. You can also create a home office space and commit to working only in that area. Therefore, you will be better able to focus on your work during working hours, and you will focus on other things when you are not in the home office.
This list is a great place to start if you seek methods of maintaining your mental health during the quarantine. However, if you are experiencing severe stress, anxiety, or depression, be sure to consult with a medical professional you can trust.
Elena Deeley did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.