For those in addiction treatment, it is crucial that you protect your mental health during the coronavirus lockdown. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing isolation measures are unprecedented situations. Without question, the coronavirus is a danger to a person’s health. But, the resulting social distancing and self-isolation measures can also affect your mental health.
Mandatory isolation, social distancing and the uncertainty of the lockdown can cause heightened anxiety and depression. In this article, we will be discussing how to handle your mental health while coping with COVID-19.
It goes unnoticed but the coronavirus pandemic is taking a mental toll on the population of Canada. The fear of the virus is one of the major causes of psychological stress. Furthermore, the seemingly endless barrage of unfavourable news and being indoors can cause heightened anxiety and depression.
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives. Not only is the threat of the virus a source of fear, people now face stressful life changes. Most people are now confined to their homes all day, some without the company of friends or family. This may be necessary to control the spread of the virus and ‘flatten the curve,’ but it also comes with negative psychological effects.
If you are already prone to mental health issues, it may be even worse. In light of this, looking after your mental health should be high on your priority list. To help you, we will be giving you some tips on how to protect your mental health during the coronavirus lockdown. Keep reading to find a balance that works for you.
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Coronavirus Lockdown: How to Protect Your Mental Health
Looking after your mental health should be of paramount importance for people in addiction treatment. We all understand how the rigours of mental health can have far-reaching implications on the addiction recovery process. Here are a couple of tips to help you cope with the stress of COVID-19.
Filter news and online media
Understandably, you may feel the need to keep up with the daily happenings regarding the pandemic and every other thing. But, if you want to protect your mental health, then you should cut down on the news you absorb.
Continuous news about the pandemic can put you on edge, increase anxiety and cause mental stress. So, you need to filter the stories that you take in and limit your time on social media, especially if it is related to the pandemic.
Now, we are not saying you should cut off from the world and remain out of the loop. Instead, you should differentiate essential news from news that can overbalance your mental health. Sometimes, too much information can be a problem. During this lockdown, listen only to the important news.
Do not obsess over the endless COVID-19 news coverage. As a rule, do not spend more than an hour on the news about the pandemic. It will help you to preserve your mental health and a need for addiction treatment services.
Connect with loved ones
The coronavirus may have caused a lockdown, but technology is not locked down. Connect with your friends and loved ones. Even the most introverted people need some sense of connection from time to time. Connecting with those you love is top on the list of tips to protect your mental wellbeing.
You do not have to feel alone at all times. Picking up the phone to call a friend can work wonders for your emotions. Furthermore, the internet has made things easier. You can make video calls or even conference video calls such that you and your loved ones can see one another. This way, you can get emotional and mental support from others if the need arises.
Also, you can be a source of support for others. Connecting with others will make you feel less alone, less isolated. It will also ensure that you are not obsessing over the coronavirus updates and what may be or may not be. This is an essential tip recommended by most addiction services in Vancouver. Try it today!
Maintain a stable routine
Now that we are in lockdown, there can be a temptation to slip out of regular routines and just do things whenever. You need to resist this temptation. As much as possible, try to maintain a semblance of your normal daily routine. It will go a long way in helping you manage anxiety and depression. Do not adopt a more lethargic lifestyle, as this may lead to negative thinking.
Try to go to bed around the time you used to during the pre-quarantine days. Wake about the same time too. Get out of bed when you should. Try not to spend the whole day in your pyjamas.
All these can help you keep your mental health on check during the COVID-19 lockdown. Furthermore, it will make it easier for you to readjust when the time comes to resume normal activities.
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Organize your home
Another tip on how to protect your mental health during the coronavirus lockdown is organization. Your physical environment can often impact the state of your mind. Since you will be spending prolonged amounts of time in your home, you should ensure that it is tidy and clean.
Chaos in your home can be detrimental to your mental health. In fact, studies show that a clean organized space is necessary to protect your mental health. Furthermore, an untidy and disorganized home can cause feelings of unease, anxiety and claustrophobia. Therefore, you should organize your home and keep it clean.
However, that is not all. It is also crucial that you maintain an air of predictability and proper organization inside your home. Set up mental zones for various activities in your home. For example, try not to eat in bed. Becoming free with these mental boundaries can make your mind feel muddled. The bottom line is if looking after your mental health is essential to you, then you should keep your home clean.
Eat and Sleep well
We cannot guarantee that you will not experience stress during this time of crisis. However, we can assure that a healthy body is more likely to handle the stress better. This involves eating and sleeping well. So, if you want to know how to protect your mental health during the coronavirus lockdown, a healthy lifestyle is crucial.
Your diet should contain whole grains, green vegetables, fruits and nuts. This is known as the ‘anti-depression’ diet. Eating well will ensure that your body is better nourished to handle any mental stress.
Also, as much as possible, get at least eight hours of sleep every day. Try to sleep and wake at the same time daily. This will increase the quality of your sleep and help you get a better grip on negative emotions.
Being in lockdown means that your physical activities may have significantly reduced. So, it is necessary to boost your physical activity level with a daily exercise routine. This will help your body stay in shape.
Furthermore, regular exercise causes your brain to produce dopamine and serotonin, which function as antidepressants. So, you see, aside from keeping fit, you are preserving your mental health by exercising.
An excellent place to start is about 30 minutes every day. If you cannot hit that number immediately, take it slow and work your way up at a comfortable pace. A simple neighbourhood power walk every morning can do the trick for you!
Other ways you can protect your mental health during the coronavirus lockdown include
- Keep yourself occupied at all times. This will give your mind less time to focus on negative thoughts.
- Acknowledge how you feel. If you feel down, do not be in denial. Rather, focus on getting better.
- Do not stress about the future. Rather, focus on the present and what you can control.
- Talk to people about your mental health. Conversing with your loved ones about how you feel can help you feel better.
- Get professional addiction treatment and therapy help if you need to.
Hopefully, you have learned how to protect your mental health during the coronavirus lockdown. Your mental health is vital, and so is coping with COVID-19. Therefore, you should not handle looking after both your physical and psychological wellbeing with levity.
Take conscious steps on taking care of your mental health during this pandemic. Thankfully, the above tips will help you stay grounded.
However, if you have further questions, let us know. We’d love to help. Addiction Healing Centre has taken extra steps to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. More importantly, our friendly reps have the expertise to provide you with all the answers you need. Send us a quick message today!