Mental Health

Keep Calm and COVID On

Does it seem like COVID-19 is hurting your mental health more than your physical health?

You're not alone.

With all of the cancelled meetings, school closures, and Presidential announcements, it is growing hard to “keep calm and carry on” when we we fear what’s going to pop up next in our news feeds. So, how do we cope? 

Well, we turned to hoarding toilet paper.. which actually made sense in a way. 

Hear me out. In a time of confusion and panic, we turn to things we can control – like the amount of supplies we have on hand – to keep ourselves feeling, well, in control. Is hoarding toilet paper and lysol the healthiest response? No. Did I go and buy toilet paper and lysol anyways? Yes. But that feeling of control was fleeting, and reality has set back in. 

So, what do we do now? What can we control in the midst of this pandemic?

I’m so glad you asked! 

Introducing to you the 5 Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-Being developed by the Campaign to Change Direction. Although we can’t control what tomorrow’s news will bring, we can control today’s activities.

You may not connect to all 5 of the habits, and that is okay! By practicing just one of these, you are taking steps in the right direction to better your mental well-being. 

Let’s learn about them, shall we?

The 5 Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-Being

1. Take Care 

This seems simple, but when your mental health is poor it can be the hardest to do. To take care is to “eat, sleep, and be active” according to the Campaign to Change Direction. “We don’t often think about how important these basic activities are for our mental health – but they are crucial”. 

During COVID-19, this can look like…

  • Drinking enough water 
  • Eating foods that fuel your body
  • Showering/Bathing regularly 
  • Brushing your teeth twice a day 
  • Walking around the block
  • Getting at least 7 hours of sleep

2. Check-In

Checking-in and getting check-ups for our emotional well-being is just as important as physical check-ups. Talking with a doctor, mentor, faith-based leader, or trusted peer to make sure you’re mental health is doing well. 

During COVID-19, this can look like…

  • Calling your local 2-1-1
  • Sending a message via online services to your physician 
  • E-mailing your Pastor/Priest/Spiritual Leader

3. Engage

“We can’t be healthy if our relationships aren’t,” according to the Campaign to Change Direction. Keeping in touch with those you care about is crucial for your mental health. Be sure to take care of your relationships as you take care of yourself. 

During COVID-19, this can look like…

  • Facetiming your friends 
  • Writing letters to those you care about 
  • Calling your family members
  • Staying connected via social media (but staying away from “Breaking News” pages) 

4. Relax

Ahh, my favorite! “Learn ways to reduce the stress we all face – and practice what works for you”. 

There are so many options, but a few of my favorites are listed here!

During COVID-19, this can look like…

  • Taking a bath, or using a face mask 
  • Reading a good book 
  • Binge watching Netflix (hello, Love is Blind anyone?!) 
  • Playing video games (okay, not a fave of mine but it appeals to some!) 
  • Practicing mindfulness 

5. Know the 5 Signs

“The Five Signs are changes in personality, agitation, withdrawal, decline in personal care, and hopelessness” according to the Campaign to Change Direction. If someone you love is exhibiting one or more of these signs, they may be going through emotional destress. 

Encourage them to talk with you or a professional and let them know you care. 

During COVID-19, this can look like…

  • Knowing the 5 signs and what to look for 
  • Asking yourself if you know someone who has exhibited one of more of these signs 
  •  Having difficult/awkward conversations with friends about their mental health

Now you know what YOU can do during COVID-19 to keep your mental health as strong as your physical health (if not stronger!). 

Learned something new? Comment below! Have a friend who could learn from this? Share this blog post with them today! 

Most importantly, friends – wash your hands and practice gratitude. 

 

 

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