Over the past several weeks, a global health crisis has suddenly and swiftly changed the way we live our daily lives. For many in our community, COVID-19 has had real and devastating impacts on our health, careers, finances and our relationships.
The uncertainty caused by an evolving crisis can have a lasting impact on our mental health. While you may have feelings of stress, worry and anxiety, remember that these are emotions we are all facing together, and that you are not alone. While we cannot control the events that happen around us, we can control how we respond to the situation.
Here are five ways to positively affect your mental health in a time of crisis:
1) Set Boundaries
During stressful times, it can be helpful to share our feelings with loved ones. However, it’s important to be mindful that others are also feeling anxious right now, and everyone copes differently. Be aware of how your actions affect others, and also be willing to set boundaries when others’ actions negatively affect you. If you have a friend who wants to talk about the worst case scenario and it’s bringing you down, it’s okay to distance yourself if you need to.
2) Set Goals
For many of us, our daily routines have been completely thrown off balance. Regardless of what your situation looks like, establishing small goals can help you get through this. If you find yourself getting restless from being at home, set a goal to do a daily chore or spend some time outdoors every day. If your schedule is suddenly far busier than usual, perhaps set aside a few minutes a day to meditate or do something that brings you joy.
3) Establish a New Routine
As humans, we are creatures of habit. Try to find simple ways to stick to your usual routine, but be prepared to adapt where necessary. For example, if you have been laid off from work or are now working from home, commit to waking up at a certain time and getting ready for a usual work day. This small act can help you prepare for a productive day, even if the task looks different than usual.
4) Stay Connected
As we practice social distancing and self isolation to protect our physical health, many of us are struggling with our mental health and feelings of loneliness. While we’re physically distanced from our loved ones, it’s more important than ever to check in on each other and stay in touch. Make it a daily ritual to call and check in on a loved one, especially those that may be at home alone.
5) Talk to Someone
If you’re feeling defeated and don’t know where to turn, consider reaching out to a counsellor. Many practices, including ours at Your Counselling, are now offering video and telephone-based counselling sessions to remain accessible to you. A trained professional can work through your feelings with you and help you develop positive coping mechanisms to help through this challenging time so that you can get back to living a happy, healthy life.
For a free consultation, visit our online booking tool today.