This pandemic is causing stress in every person on the planet, but especially those who are in the health care industry. The strain of this will be showing up for years to come. That’s why it is more important than ever to implement some simple ways to care for your mental health.
The great outdoors is still open for business. When you have time, go outside and walk around, the fresh air and simply moving your body can keep you from feeling stuck mentally. Nature is not just the wilderness, it can also be found in our community parks or green spaces. Tall trees can bring feelings of longevity, the sound of water is soothing and blocks out the sounds of the city, and even soaking your feet in a natural stream or lake helps ease stress.
Creativity has many benefits that include reducing stress and anxiety. You don’t have to be a professional artist to be creative. Start with something simple such as a rough sketch, a coloring book, sidewalk chalk art, or writing poetry. You can even write music or song lyrics, whatever expression is right for you. You can also exercise your brain by doing activities that require engagement, such as word games, puzzles, journaling, or reading. There are several smart phone apps that can help you. Not only will it get your mind working, it will take your mind off of the stress in your life.
Take care of your mind by taking care of your body
Maintain healthy eating habits. This means not only what you eat, but how often you eat. Maintain a consistent eating schedule that includes healthy fruits and vegetables to fuel your brain. Make sure that schedule includes drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Get active! Exercise can help reduce stress and improve your overall health. Even simple things like running in place or doing some jumping jacks if you have a few minutes will help clear your brain and gets the blood flowing.
Keep a daily routine as it will give you a sense of normalcy which can reduce stress.
Remind yourself that this will end. Although we don’t have a specific timeline, this pandemic is temporary and eventually life will get back to normal. Focus on today, sometimes thinking too far ahead can cause stress during uncertain times. Instead, take time to enjoy today and remain present in the moment. Check in with yourself to see what you need and do this 2 or 3 times a day. Limit your news exposure and rely on the experts for reliable information. Check in on the CDC’s website for current guidelines yourself, then move on with your day and get your mind off of it. And remember, you can always ask for help. Reaching out to others is a great way to ease stress, friends and family can provide comfort during this. And if your anxiety becomes severe, seek professional help.
Remind yourself that despite all of the challenges, you are making a difference and taking care of those most in need.