Whether you are at home alone, working at home or home-schooled, prolonged isolation can take its toll on mental health. You may experience increased stress, anxiety and less productive this Pandemic.  This may affect your emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and it is very challenging because it affects the things that you love to do, where you want to be and who you want to be as well.

It is important to take care of yourself and get the most from life. Below are the 5 practical ways to look after your mental health during these difficult times.

1. Talk it out. Talk about your feelings.

It’s always better to talk about what you feel rather than keeping it just to yourself.  People living with preexisting mental health conditions may find it hard to deal and cope with the effects of this Pandemic.  We know that the situation we are in right now is very stressful to everyone. It is normal that we feel scared, anxious and worried of what will happen next and what will this virus may bring to the next weeks and months, but it is also important that we know how to take care of ourselves.

If you are living alone, you can still stay connected with your family, friends and loved ones through facetime, chat, call and other social media networks and it is better that way at least you can be both safe and away from any harm. By talking to them, it lessens your anxiety and it can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times you feel troubled. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help or try to reach out. There are a lot of people who may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. Always know that no matter where you are or what you are going through, you don’t have to go through it alone.  

2. Keeping active while staying put.

One way to stay physically and mentally healthy is to exercise. Even just at home, you can still exercise every day or even just twice or thrice a week depending on your capabilities. Instead of going out and heading to the gym, you can just download exercise application tutorials and you can also watch simple and easy videos on YouTube as your guide. With that, you are not just staying physically fit but you are also being productive and it keeps your brain and your other vital organs healthy.

It is important that you eat healthy food to boost your immune system and maintain a healthy weight. You should also get plenty of sleep. Getting an adequate sleep is a good thing because it is also a way to spare yourself from anything that will cause you to self-destruct further.  

3. Avoid watching news or anything that will stress you out.

Some of us are watching news or checking our social media feeds every day because we want to be informed of the latest news or updates and every detail of what is going on to make ourselves calm and to reduce our anxiety about this pandemic. However, social media can be helpful sometimes but sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram amplify the most extreme voices and some people are using it to spread false information which is very alarming because it increases other people’s anxiety.

If you find yourself growing more anxious reading negative material, put down your phone or step away from your computer and if it seems impossible, you can instead watch videos about positivity or movies that makes you happy, can reduce your stress and can make you feel better.

4. Do something else.

Keeping yourself busy while at home is also a way to cope up with stress and anxiety. When you’re alone you have a lot of time to do stuff that you love to do instead of worrying when will this Coronavirus will end and find more ways, how to overcome anxiety.  

You can write a story or an article, you can paint, you can cook and bake some cookies, you can learn new dance steps, you can watch your favorite movie over again, you can do productive activities like exercise and many more. There are actually a lot of things that you can do in such a short period of time and if you make it as a habit, it will help you discipline your life and will help you not think about anything useless.

5. Accept who you are.

We are all different in our own ways. We should stop comparing and focus on our best qualities.  Focus on the things where we are good at and learn to accept the yin and yang of ourselves, being contented in holding the good and not so good parts of our self. It is accepting the complete you, your flaws and imperfections and claiming that you are the best! Being confident and believing oneself without any shame, guilt or denial can make you mentally and physically healthy.

If you gained or lose weight this quarantine, it doesn’t matter as long as you are healthy. Looks are temporary anyway. Do you want to go through life always wishing you looked different? Or would you rather eagerly await the joys every age has in store for you? Seize every moment of your life and make the most out of it! 

It is important that you talk about what you feel and be honest about it. You should acknowledge your emotions and be open to talk about it with your parents, to a family member or with your friends. Plan as a team and work together how to reduce stress at home. By implementing good mental-health and well-being measures and by relying on others when necessary, we can protect ourselves and those around us.

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