The rapid rise of the novel coronavirus dubbed COVID-19 has been unprecedented, as has the response to the pandemic. Most countries have been put on lockdown, with residents forbidden from leaving their homes and strict penalties for those who violate the ban.
Right now, 97% of Americans are on stay-at-home orders with travel restrictions, business closures and other extreme measures being implemented. And while these actions may well stop the spread of the virus, they could also take a toll on the mental health of those effected.
Doctors will tell you that the way you feel emotionally can have a profound impact on the way your body reacts to new threats, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are 10 smart ways to maintain your emotional balance during the COVID-19 crisis.
1. Stick to a schedule. Whether you are working from home or temporarily unemployed, sticking to a schedule will make you feel better. You do not need a written schedule; a mental to-do list will do just fine.
2. Video chat with your colleagues. If you are still employed and working from home, you can break up the monotony and get some face time through video chats. It will make your feel better – and remind the boss that you are still a vital part of the team.
3. Turn off the news. Staying informed is important in the midst of a crisis, but so is taking a break. If you are feeling overwhelmed, turn off the TV and listen to music or just chill out.
4. Meditate or start journaling. If your religious faith is important to you, spend some time praying on your own. Church may be cancelled for the time being, but you can still connect with the spiritual. If you are not traditionally religious, learning to meditate could give you some divine connection. Or, if you’ve been wanting to start journaling, now is a good time. I wrote about the how to start a journal and the benefits of journaling. I still do it daily.
5. Connect with loved ones far away. Being isolated and unable to travel can really take a toll on your mental health, and on the mental health of your loved ones. Pick up the phone, video chat or just text or email with loved ones you cannot reach physically.
6. Spend some quality time in the kitchen. With grocery store shelves running low and travel prohibited in many parts of the country, coming up with creative meals has become a real problem. Now is the time to test out your creativity in the kitchen, so grab your favorite recipes and whip up some delicious meals.
7. Get some exercise. Even the most extreme stay in place orders make exceptions for outdoor exercise, so lace up your sneakers and take a walk or enjoy a run on the new empty roads. Just be sure to maintain social distance and stay six feet away from your fellow outdoor enthusiasts.
8. Start a new project. Whether it is creating a quilt for the family, knitting scarves for the kids or finally finishing that oil painting, a new project can give you something to do and a reason to get up in the morning. You have plenty of time on your hands now, so why not make the most of it.
9. Read to your kids. If the kids are home from school and going stir crazy, why not break the monotony with family story time? You can start by reading your kids a favorite story, but you do not have to stop there. Ask the kids to come up with their own alternate endings, or encourage them to make up their own original stories.
10. Research your risk. It is easy to think that catching COVID-19 is an automatic death sentence, but that is simply not the case. Even for those at highest risk, the rate of recovery is in excess of 80%. Those odds should be reassuring, especially if you continue to take common sense precautions like avoiding unnecessary travel, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently.
The global COVID-19 pandemic is terrible, with enormous loss of life, the risk of financial collapse and changes to the social fabric that could linger on for years. But the emotional turmoil and mental health challenges caused by the coronavirus response could prove just as devastating, especially for those who succumb to panic and fail to put things in perspective. The tips listed above are designed to help you maintain your emotional balance while safeguarding your physical health from the coronavirus outbreak.
I think it’s been easier for me because I’m used to working from home, but my poor husband is going crazy. He’s finally back to work thank God!
These are some excellent tips we need to consider. Meditate and stick to my schedule are really great for me. and I always trying to connect with my family.
Great tips! I’ve been applying most of these in my “new” daily life. Glad to know I’m on the right path?
These are wonderful tips to help get through these trying times.
These sound like some great ideas, I have to admit I’ve had to turn off the news, I can’t watch it anymore it plays on my mind just to much.
It’s not easy to live this difficult moment. But we don’t give it up. Thanks for these ideas!
I’m a huge fan of meditation and journaling. Both are helping me keep my sanity during this time. ??
I find that I have moments where I am super emotional. I’ve slowly realized that if I don’t keep myself busy I tend to over think and worry.
I really enjoy reading this post. These are great tips to maintain emotional balance.
Completely agree with all of these, especially starting a new project! We all need something to keep our minds occupied during times of stress.
I’ve been trying to avoid the news as much as possible but it’s so hard. Unplugging at the end of a long day seems to help though!
Very useful post! I stopped watching news long ago cause I noticed it was making me sick 🙁
I love all your advice. Since the lockdown started, my son and I started reading some books before our bedtime.
Great tips, I try to avoid the news, by creating more content for my course. Thanks for sharing.
These are great tips to maintain emotional balance. Yes nowadays it is very difficult not become emotional.
I know I’ve been doing my best to make sure I don’t look into too much of the stats. Trying to keep on the positive then the negative. Because I know quite well how your mental health can affect your physical health
Great tips, I try to avoid the news, by creating more content for my course. Thanks for sharing
These are some great ideas to stay sane during quarantine. I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, baking and experimenting with new recipes.
Great tips! I think that turning off the news is the biggest one. News producers are definitely sensationalizing this. We have chosen to just use an online source once a day, to keep up on what we need to know, but not watch it on TV, so we have more control over it.
I feel like basic needs are important–good sleep, regular exercise, healthy eating. I also need to connect with friends on some sort of social media platform. I have come to terms with staying at home and feel most comfortable here. I hate going to stores now.
This is such a great blog post,thanks for sharing. I totally have been avoiding the news
We’ve been creating a sense of our own new normal. We stick to our schedule and devise fun inside or yard games to play. I even have our oldest lead us with workout activities.
We’ve been busy doing DIY projects and taking some R&R in between. Preparing home-cooked meals is one of my fave things to do too.
Those are absolutely great ways to balance our life now during this pandemic. It helps a lot when we have our communication with our loved ones.
I really love these tips and ideas! Thank you so much! We could get over this soon!
These suggestions are very nice, and I think that they can help a lot!
Sticking to a schedule is so important! I’ve been waking up early every day and going through my routines!
I have family overseas it has helped me being in contact with them via social media and facetime. Losing anybody I love due to this pandemic would be catastrophic. I pray every day for my family and loved ones.
These are some really good ideas. Staying sane during this time is becoming a chore! Lol.
These are all great tips. Since I work from home I have been sticking to my same schedule. The only difference is that my teenage son and husband are home as well.
I need to figure out an exercise routine I can stick to. I kayaked daily before this all started, but I store my kayak at a park that was closed by the city.
Yes! Turning off the news has made a huge difference in the overall stress level in our home. I’ve even stopped scrolling Facebook because of the arguments surrounding the virus.
I think it’s important to turn off the news. I was starting to get depressed with the headlines so I only check once a day now. It helps.
I really enjoyed reading this post. These are very helpful tips.
These are fabulous tips. I am a huge supporter of turning off the news. The constant negativity does no one any good at all!
I’ll keep these in mind. I do turn off the news for the most part. I find if it’s on too much I start to worry more.
Keeping your mental health in check right now is one of the best things anyone can do.
I love all these, I have been avoiding the news and making a schedule for myself and it has really been helping me.
Love the tips,I am definitely connecting with my relatives from faraway.