How to look after your mental health during COVID-19

In the past 8 months, the results of COVID-19 have affected the mental health of all of us as we must refrain ourselves from visiting our loved ones and having physical interactions with others. We have collectively become demotivated, desensitised, and numb to the current affairs in our lives. Looking after your mental health during COVID-19 19 is a survival mission in this current climate, and some may find it difficult to do so. Here is our advice on how to look after your mental health during COVID-19:

1. Exercise

running

Exercising can be a combination of both mental and physical health. Exercise creates an increase of serotonin, betters the glucose levels in your body and monitors your hormones. Most importantly, it creates a routine, and a routine helps you to maintain a particular style that will help you not to deviate into a negative headspace. Exercise gives you a way to navigate your thoughts and occupies your time.

2. Pick up an old hobby or learn a new one

This method also helps to create a routine. With repetition, it helps you become grounded, forget about everything else and focus on one thing. These increment steps come from setting goals with your hobbies, and you have a sense of achievement when you reach these goals. The achievement that you feel gives a boost which helps to maintain a good mental state. Even without a routine, hobbies help you to exercise your feelings and allow you to occupy yourself with activities.

3. Plan out projects and focus on them

An organised life helps to provide an organised mind. Therefore when you plan out your projects or tasks that you want to do, it helps to clear your thoughts so that they are not clustered. Similarly, to exercise and hobbies, planning out projects that you have always thought of doing and focusing on them, helps you put your effort into something else and keeps you distracted. By only having one focus, you are not prone to overthinking, and you can allow yourself to have a break from the pressure of the many of activities going on in your life.

4. Video call/ phone call friends frequently

We often forget the importance of socialising with friends and family. Taking it for granted when we were able to meet freely with everyone meant that we did not see how much the interaction with others affected our mental health. Now more than ever, we should be catching up with friends and family, not only to see how they are doing but also to talk about our own feelings. We are all experiencing the same pandemic, therefore talking about how we feel relieves the stress. Friends give you a reason for being, keeping you together. Positive relationships from your friends can strengthen, and you can relive positive memories. By doing so, you look to the future rather than the past, and you are likely to carry out positive action and decision as a result.

5. Do not put yourself down for lack of productivity

This is important to remember, especially in a time where there is a lot of uncertainty, and not much is within your control. The chances that are available to you are limited, and therefore you cannot put all your eggs in a basket that is already broken.  It is probably one of the most difficult times to be productive, and therefore the first thing to do is not blame yourself for the lack of productivity. Instead, focus on what you have managed to achieve despite the challenges that you have had to face during these eight months. Creating a negative perception of the current times when the current perception is already negative keeps you doubting yourself. All you can do is work with what you have and the opportunities that are given to you, and when things are better, you can begin to change your situation.

COVID-19 has affected all of us greatly, whether that be mentally, physically, emotionally, or all. It is vital that we find ways to look after our mental health so that we can continue to grow even with the challenges we face. COVID-19 will always be a part of life, but we can adapt to our new normal by finding methods which are appropriate for us. Exercise, hobbies, planning, calling friends and not putting yourself down, are only a couple of suggestions, find what works for you.

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