Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19

     COVID-19 caught all of us by surprise and has forced us into a modified lifestyle that can be hard to manage. Everyone has been impacted differently and there is a lot of concern, anxiety and stress surrounding our world today. So, how do you manage your mental health, balance expectations, and make the most of social distancing? Here are some tips to make the most of COVID-19 and put your best mental foot forward!

Note: Before I give you my tips, I just want to preface this guide by acknowledging that everyone copes differently, and my strategies are not better nor worse than your own. The most important thing is that you find methods that work for you and make you feel better in your body and mind!

 

  1. Make a schedule that works for you 
Everyone is different, so obviously we all thrive on different schedules. If you are a morning person, maybe that is your time to get stuff done. If you thrive in the afternoon, maybe that is when you tick off the tasks on your to-do list. Making a schedule is just a tool to help you create some structure in your days. It helps you stay busy, avoiding the ‘antsiness’ that comes from having a full day to kill.
 
Building a schedule isn’t too hard. I start by making a to-do list and work those tasks into my most productive times of the day. I personally like to start my morning with a workout, I try a new makeup look, do some work or chores, and try a new recipe for dinner. Even this small structure helps my day feel more productive and makes me feel more normal in all honesty!

 

  1. Get your body moving 
You don’t need to be a fitness influencer by any means, but a healthy body and healthy brain do go hand in hand. There are lots of great workout programs online (many of them are free due to COVID-19) but you can easily go for a walk or run, do some yoga and just get moving. We also all know how easy it is to fill yourself with junk food when you get to relax on the couch all day (trust me, this is my greatest struggle) but remember to fuel your body properly. Now, I am not saying you can’t eat your favourite chips – just maybe don’t consume them all in one day!
 
For more benefits of physical activity for your mental health and some helpful tips, check out this article!
 
 
  1. Find your fulfillment
What is something you have always said you would love to do if you had the time? Well now you may have some extra time on your hand! For me, I've always wanted to publish my poetry, so I signed up with a self-publishing agency and now I am editing my manuscript. This is something that I have always wanted to accomplish, and it makes me excited every time I go to work on it. I feel fulfilled by this task and that is something that greatly benefits my mental health. Challenging yourself and your mind is an important way to stay occupied and content in life.

  1. Learn something new

Challenging your brain and your cognitive functions is as important as keeping your body healthy. This helps you to get stronger mentally and can be a great way to manage your time during quarantine. Personally, I am learning to play guitar. It is challenging but provides me with a much-needed distraction if I am feeling overwhelmed and helps to give me some joy when I start to see growth.

 

  1. Stay connected 

Just because we are social distancing, does not mean you need to feel isolated from your friends and family. My mental health greatly benefits from the support of my social group. Luckily, we live in an era of technology and people are truly just a phone call away, so make sure you utilize it. Also, coming up with fun ways to stay connected can help ease the loneliness. Have a trivia video call night, or social distance meet up on a nice day. There are tons of ways to stay connected! I know it can be easy to curl up into your own bubble (I am definitely guilty of that) but the little bit of effort it takes to stay in touch will make you feel a lot better. 

 

  1. Games, crafts, recipes, oh my!

This has been my favourite part of COVID-19 (if that is a thing), there are so many fun things I've always wanted to try or DIY and now I have some time to do so. I’ve learned to bake bread, started baking really fun cakes, tie dyed literally everything in my closet, and started some home makeover projects. They may be time killers, but they keep me busy, engaged in my day, and add some joy to this whole ordeal. It can be difficult to stay positive, but small things make a difference. 

 

Remember to always check in with yourself. I have found doing either a morning or evening check-in or meditation session has helped me to remain present, understand where my mental health is that day, and implement strategies to manage myself better if need be. You have the power to make this situation a positive one and I hope some of these tips work for you!

Erin Murray, Calgary AB

Erin is a dog lover, coffee addict, and aspiring poet with her first book on the way. She is a mental health advocate, often sharing her journey with others to help remove the stigma placed on mental health. Instagram: @erinmichellemur

1 comment

  • Great tips! 😍

    Shruti Bagmar

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