Over the past year or so, the pandemic has taken a toll on us all. Many have lost loved ones, their businesses, and the ability to do the things they love. Events have been canceled, and travel has been limited in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. These measures, while necessary for public health, have contributed to feelings of isolation. If you are feeling this way, you’re not alone, and there are resources for you and ways to stay healthy.
Try to stop yourself from reading too much Covid-related media. Staying informed is great, but spending too much time dwelling on the pandemic will hurt mental health. Doom-scrolling or consuming an excessive amount of negative news can create tunnel vision that exacerbates stress and prevents people from seeing anything but negativity. When you notice that you’ve been glued to their Facebook feed or TV news all day, try to refocus your attention to a different activity. Going outside can be especially helpful, as a breath of fresh air will help you take your mind off things.
If you have a caregiver, they can help you reach out to other friends and family. If at all possible, setting up a time to meet up with loved ones is a great way to alleviate feelings of isolation. An easy way to do this is with video conferencing, but an outside get-together with masks between you and your loved one will also give a sense of community. Of course, this should be done with the utmost concern for the safety of you and the person you meet up with. Get vaccinated, wear masks, and stay socially distanced.
While individual relationships are important, you might also benefit from community or faith-based groups. You can virtually meet or schedule Zoom meetings with church groups or community clubs. When group meetings aren’t possible, spend some time on your hobbies and other interests.
Besides reaching out to others, you should always remember to take care of your own needs. We are in difficult times, so make sure to be gentle to yourself. Getting enough sleep, eating well, and meditating can improve mental health. Consistent sleep is important, as sleeping at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning will establish a consistent routine and ensure better quality sleep. Well-balanced meals are also important. A healthy diet is crucial and will help you stay healthy and feel more satisfied. Techniques like meditation can also help you stay grounded and calm you down if you feel anxiety related to Covid.
Besides taking your mind off of things, physical exercise or stretching techniques like yoga have the added benefit of keeping you healthy and maintaining muscles and joints. Other non-physical activities you could do include fun, like simple crafts, movie nights, and even tapping into art through painting. As the holiday season gets closer, these could be tailored to fit the spirit of the season and add some excitement to you and your loved ones’ daily routine.
One other crucial component of overall health is to address Covid itself. Continuing routine visits to the doctor’s office and following recommended screenings and vaccinations will remove many risks associated with the pandemic. It is also a great way to help you build confidence in your health.
Overall, make sure that you are mindful of your own needs and reach out to others, even when you’re stuck in one place. Staying positive in such stressful times is hard, but it will be much easier with the help of those you love.