Life changes daily as the numbers affected by the coronavirus continue to grow. Metropolitan hotspots once booming with entertainment and industry are now concrete deserts.
Stay At Home orders have been issued to help stunt the spread of the virus. Numerous states including New York, California, Maryland, Virginia and Florida are urging citizens to only leave their place of residence for necessities like food, healthcare or fresh air.
This new normal can easily impact one’s mental health. Stress, anxiety or depression may take root at a time where social distancing and self-isolation have become a way of life.
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However, there are a few great ways to help maintain or recover your emotional health. Here are 9 helpful tips to get the ball rolling:
1. Gratitude. Always start with gratitude. Focus on what you are thankful for. Feeling grateful allows you to venture beyond the feelings of disappointment so that you can embrace what is good in your situation.
2. Faith, Prayer and Meditation. Faith teaches you that there is something greater than you. When you look at life through a faith-based lens you often notice that obstacles are actually opportunities — a chance to apply your faith, to grow or to help others. Prayer and meditation on God’s word also allows us to enter into a place of peace, where we can eventually find hope.
3. Stay Present. Depression is a preoccupation with the past, while anxiety is being hyper-focused on the future. Stay in the present. Try not to worry about what happened yesterday or what you think is going to happen tomorrow. Focus on the blessings of today. What am I thankful for at this moment?
4. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Remember to take a deep breath. When we are anxious we often take shallow breaths. According to the Mayo Clinic, conscious breathing can also help release negative energy that, if stored in the body, can lead to actual physical ailments.
5. Eat Right. Did you know your mental health is connected to what you eat? Well, it is. According to Harvard Medical School, “traditional” diets (like Mediterranean) that are high in fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains and seafood have a lower risk of depression than Western diets that included lots of processed foods and sugars.
6. Exercise. Get up and get active! Exercise should be a top priority, and it doesn’t have to be anything strenuous. A simple walk around the block or stretching in your living room is a great place to start. Endorphins released during exercise can help relieve stress by lifting your mood and allowing you to relax.
7. Get some fresh air. Sit outdoors on your porch or balcony. Breathing fresh air is a great way to reset. When feeling anxious or overwhelmed a walk in nature can clear your head and help you relax.
8. Clean up. It’s officially spring. What better time for spring cleaning! Freshen up your home. Get rid of clutter. A tidy space can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
9. Listen to Music. Change your frequency by listening to your favorite tune. Music is the ultimate mood booster because it can act as a distraction, a motivator, a liberator and a vehicle for reflection.