Stuck at home because of Coronavirus and don’t know what to do. Here are some tips……

Working from home? I can deal with that. No access to museums or theatres? I can find something else to do. Gyms closing and fitness studios not offering classes? Now we have a problem…..

Like most of you, exercise is now part of our daily routine. Connecting over the barbell with people within the community is how we stay sane. This bit of news was rattling, that the gyms may not be operating for much longer. Which leaves many of us out there, wondering: What the heck are we to do with all this free time and isolation?

Some may see this as the tip of an unraveling spiral into anxiety, however it actually might be a good thing. A clinical social worker says that this may be a great opportunity to get to know yourself better. We are not very good at the idea of being alone or even 24 hours with our loved ones, it can make some people nervous.

View this time as an opportunity to rely on our own strength and the fact that we don’t always need to be entertained or externally validated.

That’s easier said than done, though, those who are already predisposed to anxiety and depression may find those symptoms exacerbated during this time. But even if you don’t normally suffer bouts of either, collectively, it’s safe to say the city’s nerves are on overdrive.

So here are some tips to taking care of your mental health amidst the coronavirus crisis:

  1. Limit exposure to the news, social media, and unnecessary chatter. Once you have the facts to stay safe, log off and stop talking about it. Continuing down the rabbit hole of information can be detrimental to your mental state and doesn’t serve any purpose other than to cause more worry.
  2. Take care of your body through eating healthy food. The best thing you can do for your mental health is take care of your physical health and to be conscious of all the things you are consuming.
  3. Look after your skin. Now you have the time to treat your face to a deep cleanse and re-hydration. And why stop there, you can create the perfect relaxation between you and your partner using simple massage techniques to ease away the stress.
  4. Reconnect with your body. One of the simplest ways of reconnecting the body to the mind is to use the breath. If you’re feeling stressed then breathing deep into the belly can act as the body’s brake, taking it out of the  ‘fight or flight’ response and  into a state of relaxation. There are many benefits to abdominal breathing – it reduces anxiety and depression, increases happiness and optimism, strengthens your ability to manage emotions and curbs impulsive behaviour. One technique, based on a yoga practice, is four-seven-eight breathing. Breathe in through the nose for four, hold for seven and then exhale through the mouth for a count of eight.
  5. Spend time consuming positive books, movies, and news to keep your mind busy.
  6. Use this time to work on something creative. This is a great time to do something creative—paint, study, write, or figure out your next step in life. We often don’t have this quiet time, so take advantage of it.

And at the end of the day, realize that this too shall pass. Maybe this is the universe telling us all to slow down and pay attention to our fellow human beings, maybe it’s just ill fate. Whatever you believe, believe that together we will pull through.