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11+One Habits to Maintain your Mental Health in a COVID-19 World

Posted on: Saturday, March 21st, 2020

The world has already changed, at least our personal world has, a lot is different for us and our family. Many of us are now working from home and are having to share the same kitchen table with the kids doing their homework or the crafts that we made up for them last night while we wait for the content the school promised last week. We are beginning to create a routine, someone suggested that it’s better that way, and so far, we are still sane.

There is great uncertainty as to when things will go back to normal, or if they ever will and what, if anything, will be the first signs that we can go to work, school and be about our business outside the house. Whether self-quarantined or required to stay home during the COVID pandemic, here are some ways to maintain your mental health and stay strong.

    1. Routine, routine, routine. Create one and follow it. Be sure to include breaks for quiet time for you personally.
    2. Even if you are staying at home, wake up, get ready, dress up, get in your car, drive around the block, come back home and ‘go to work’ as you would normally.
    3. Exercise regularly (stairs, floor exercises, YouTube video fitness, dancercise with the whole family) and go outside for walks, runs, hikes, drives – parks are open and free.
    4. Take a break from the news. The numbers will go up, plateau and start to recede. Nobody knows when exactly, we won’t create false hope by suggesting otherwise.
    5. COVID-Free zones. Dedicate times in the day when you will not listen or talk about COVID-19. Even have a room in the house where COVID is not welcome or discussed. Maybe even a whole day a week. There is more to life than the presence of the virus and society’s response to it.
    6. If someone gets sick in your home, do not label them. Say, ‘we have a case of COVID in our home,’ it helps the person not feel stigmatized or “infected.”
    7. Pay attention to trusted websites and news outlets for updates and use the information to plan and problem solve and then stop worrying. 85% of the things we worry about never happen.
    8. Make room for humor, memes, jokes about the virus and about life in general. Laughter releases good endorphins. The deeper the laughter, the greater the lift.
    9. Find and focus on the positive. There is a lot of opportunity in the midst of a crisis. There are also silver linings and beautiful things happening in spite of the pandemic or because of our better natures responding to it.
    10. Practice breathing, mindfulness, prayer and staying grateful and focused on the present. Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.
    11. Keep your immune system strong by staying hydrated, sleep well for 7-8 hours, and maintain healthy eating habits. It is flu season and you don’t want that to slow you down.
    12. Let’s take care of each other. Physical distancing does not mean social isolation. Let’s connect, phone, chat and in person while practicing all the rules of safety.

This too will pass. We have been through wars, epidemics, poor leadership, recessions, natural disasters and Y2K. We shall overcome.

Should you need counselling support, contact us. We are open 7 days a week online (Zoom, Skype or phone) and with limited in-person appointments (staggered so no contact with others).

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