With no end to COVID-19 in sight, it’s important that we look after our minds as well as our bodies. Here are three things you can do to get started.
Just when we thought we had things relatively under control, a return to lockdown conditions is a timely reminder of how uncertain our future is.
But, in these uncertain times, it’s important to focus on the things that you can control. While there’s so much focus on the practicalities of avoiding the virus, what about keeping your mind clean as well? We have no idea how long this situation is going to last, and this can create long-lasting anxiety that can manifest itself in many harmful ways.
There’s never been a more important time to prioritize your mental health and practice self-care. I hope you find the following three tips useful.
Focus on the Positives
Often, our mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination. So, if we’re catastrophizing about the possibilities of COVID-19, our body thinks this is happening and produces all the stress-related chemicals (like cortisol and adrenaline) pushing us into “flight and fight” mode.
Extended periods in this state will tax our mental health as well as our immunity.
Come up with things that you can do with the extra time, now that you’re not commuting and socializing, that will enhance your well-being. Is there a new diet? Or exercise regime? Online learning course? Or a patch of garden that you’ve been meaning to do? Now would be a great time to start.
Regulate Your Intake of COVID-19 Related Information
While it’s natural to be curious about these unprecedented times, you should ask yourself, how much information is too much? Do you really need to know right at this moment?
Rather than endlessly scrolling through your social media feeds or headlines or conversations that cover the situation, decide how and when you’ll update yourself.
Fill the rest of your time with calming music and inspirational podcasts. This is an amazing time to explore self-care or learning. Ensure your selections have a feel-good factor to help counter the current situation.
Make a Plan
As this situation is new for all of us, our emotions are going to be far more volatile than usual.
We all have our crutches for dealing with emotions. The most common being procrastination, anger, or numbing through overeating and/or drinking. Don’t allow yourself to think, “I’m going to wait until this is all over and then I’ll take care of it.”
You have the opportunity now at the start of the working week and at the start of every day to set clear intentions for yourself.
Look at all aspects of your life (not just work) and set some specific tasks and actions for the days ahead. Seeing yourself taking action, feeling like you’re making progress while remaining in control of your emotions will give your self-confidence and self-esteem a massive boost.
More articles and resources can be found on Ellenor Cox’s website.