Coping With COVID-19: Making the Most Out of Isolation
Humans thrive and survive off of social interaction. In fact, being social is an important aspect of human nature. The ability to remain inside and isolated is a growing challenge for a majority of people across the globe during this pandemic.
New creative ways are popping up for people to connect virtually. Video conferencing, phone calls and social media interactions have taken the place of the face-to-face interaction we're used to. As the isolation continues, we have put together a few tips to help keep your mind, body and spirit inspired and optimistic.
Your Mental Health Comes First
During these uncertain times, your mental health should be a top priority. If you find yourself struggling to concentrate or notice your sleeping pattern is off, you’re not alone. Many households are experiencing the same fears, pressures and pains.
If you find yourself religiously watching the news and constantly checking the local virus count in your area, it might be time to disconnect. Overconsumption has many faces, and according to the CDC, stress-induced coping mechanisms of isolation include increased use of tobacco as well as drug and alcohol abuse.
Be sure to be kind to your body and mind during this trying time, and try taking preventative measures to keep yourself honest to the promises you make to yourself. Breathing exercises, physical activity, mental and creative stimulation, and healthy eating are all different ways that you can keep yourself mentally and physically healthy during isolation. Now is a great time to indulge in a novel, build a puzzle, or work on an creative art project, like painting or knitting. Creative activities are a great way to get away from the screens and the news updates and calm your mind.
Kick Those Bad Habits
If you find yourself indulging in unhealthy habits, it's important to find other forms of comfort or entertainment. It is a good time to reach out to a friend or family member via skype of Zoom and express your feelings. Staying digitally connected to loved ones can help your mind cope with social isolation, and give you a sense of strength and community.
Feelings of hopelessness can easily arise when we find ourselves in a circular pattern of thinking and behavior; and these feelings of hopelessness are only exacerbated by the social isolation we find ourselves in. Kathryn D. Boger, PhD, ABPP, program director of the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program emphasizes the importance of remaining calm in times of trouble. “When it comes to anxiety and frightening situations, we can find ourselves in two common thinking traps. Catastrophizing takes us to the worst-case scenario in a given situation, and overgeneralizing makes us think that terrible outcomes are much more likely to occur.” Keeping your self accountable to fitness goals and regular mental stimulatation will help fight off feelings of anxiousness, depression, and helplessness.
Learn Something New
Now is the perfect time to exercise your energy in something challenging. For health care professionals who are looking to upskill while waiting to go back to work, becoming a Certified Master Instructor is a great way to prepare yourself to get back to work in the classroom instead of on the front line.
Whether you’re learning and upgrading your education, learning to cook, or practicing a craft, hobbies can significantly help stimulate your mental health. You will thank yourself long after the days of social isolation for learning something productive that you can keep with you.
For more information on how you can have better career opportunities when you go back to work, contact us today.
Importance of Physical Health
According to a recent study, 30% of adults felt less stressed after exercising. If you're not usually an active person, self-isolation might be the perfect time to take advantage of all those free workout apps and videos. Technology has given us the ability to have live personal trainers right in the comfort of our own home. There are hundreds of phone apps and YouTube videos available for free across the web.
Exercise can relieve stress, reduce depression and improve cognitive function. Try scheduling a walk around your block every day and putting aside a few minutes to stretch.
Whatever you do or don’t do, remember that this time of transition and crisis can be difficult. While many people will find the time and space to take on many new challenges and skills, you may not be ready yet and that’s OK. If you are ready to take advantage of this time and upgrade your education, please contact us.