While you’re in a global pandemic, it’s natural to feel that you’re letting your mental health slide during this stressful period. Not interacting fully with others face-to-face, having to conform to new guidelines that may seem foreign to you, and working at home may leave you feeling unsettled and that life has become beyond your control. This, although it may be common, can be dangerous if you don’t take the time out to give your mind a rest. Therefore, here are 5 ways you can be in control and protect your mental health in these uncertain times.
1. Take a stroll through the park
Going for a walk (unless you’re self-isolating) is a great way to cool your mind down after a struggle. Getting a breath of fresh air and exercising not only stretches out your muscles thus relaxing the body but going outside and looking at the green in one’s surroundings is scientifically proven to improve your mood, by the brain releasing endorphins, a chemical that reduces sensitivity to pain and makes one happy.
2. Try and laugh more
Listening to or reading a few jokes is an easy pass to become happier and more relaxed. Laughing reduces anxiety and burns a fair number of calories, for those who are wishing to slim down during the pandemic. Also, research suggests that laughter improves the activity of NK cells, a type of cell in the immune system that takes part in combatting tumours.
3. Express your feelings
Bottling up your emotions is never a good idea. Venting your frustrations and negative emotions to a friend or family member instantly lifts a weight off your shoulders. Even if you can’t find a person to talk to, you can write your emotions down on paper and tear them up. Sharing your thoughts and worries helps you reason with the problem and getting a second opinion may help solve it.
4. Eat a good meal
It’s no secret that ‘comfort eating’ works. This is because your brain tells itself that you wouldn’t be eating if you were in danger, which then lowers your anxiety. In addition to this, an empty stomach can make you feel much worse, and not eating enough lowers the immune system. Being vulnerable to disease is trouble, especially with Covid-19 about and you need to be ready to combat it so that it doesn’t make you feel worse. Therefore, eating a healthy and satisfying meal is fundamental in keeping your mental health stable.
5. Do something you enjoy
Although with new schedules constantly popping up, you must find the time to do something that makes you happy. While on a work or school break, find something to keep you occupied. It takes your mind away from what’s around you so that you can clear your mind effectively, along with causing your brain to produce happy hormones. Be it watching a cool video, doodling something funny, or even taking a nap, taking time out from your busy day does wonders for your wellbeing.