As quarantine continues on there are some who find themselves struggling with mental health in new and different ways. It is easy to get stuck in a trap of overthinking, avoiding, procrastination, and self-criticism with such large amounts of down time. To help keep yourself motivated and moving forward, try these three tips as quarantine continues.
1) Set a schedule. The human brain enjoys consistency and patterns much of the time. When the world is operating normally there is a pattern to the days that many people live. Get yourself up and to work at consistent times, get the kids up and to school at the same time every day, evening activities and weekend leisure time. This pattern helps keep us moving which helps keep anxiety and depression from taking hold. If your daily routine or schedule has been demolished by the pandemic, set one for yourself! Set a consistent wake and sleep schedule, consistent time to eat, consistent time to accomplish tasks, and consistent time to relax and have fun. A simple schedule, followed consistently but flexibly, can help break the logjam of quarantine anxiety and depression.
2) Find meaningful activities. People find meaning in different ways. Some people find it through their work, others through their family or friends, and others through their leisure activities. All of these may have been disrupted by the pandemic and/or quarantine and if you do not find something meaningful to replace that with it is a recipe for anxiety and depression to set it. Some ideas for meaningful activities include: technology-free time with your children, consistently scheduled video-chats with friends or families, a new hobby, fitness, and chores around your living space that you have been putting off. There are activities that many find helpful to their mental health as well: exercise, mindfulness practice, yoga, journaling, and more.
3) Reach out to a mental health professional. The vast majority of mental health professionals have moved their practices virtual during the pandemic. I have done so myself. People are struggling with their mental health during the uncertainty of the pandemic and there are people out there who are happy to help. Do not let anxiety or depression convince you that you do not need help, take charge of your mental health and get engaged!
If you need any other resources please feel free to reach out to me at any time. I hope that everyone reading this is healthy and well during this time!