Every individual has patterned responses to things that worry them. Keep in mind that responses are neither good nor bad. Knowing your stress response could help you regulate the best coping approaches that support your needs. Cultivate a mental health plan that fits your present stress needs. Consider following some of these tips;
Structure Your Day
Your schedule each day has significantly changed. Identify your preferred way of scheduling days and re-create them in your current reality.
- Let your schedule be consistent especially when it comes to bedtime, class, or meals. You can use programs or apps that will remind you about your schedule within a day.
- Focus on what you can realistically accomplish.
- Make boundaries for work and rest to help you shift your mental states.
- Exercise and stay active.
- Make time to do things that lightens your mood. You can watch movies, read books, sing, dance, or play music.
Connect With Others
Social distancing and self-isolation could bring up feelings of loneliness, frustration, and boredom. It could be helpful to maintain a sense of belonging by engaging with others.
- Establish a time when you’ll communicate with your classmates, friends, colleagues, family, or other relatives. Telephone calls, video calls, and texting are ways to stay connected with them even if there is a protocol of physical/social distancing.
- Contact your family at your comfort level. You might be placed in situations where you need to interact with people that you don’t have a good relationship. Keep physical and emotional proximity at the level that is right for you.
Manage Negative Thoughts
This time could bring up thoughts or feelings that are related to change. Take time to reflect on your mood and what is coming up for you.
- Recognize and label your feelings. Sooth these feelings by journaling or doing something until the feeling pass.
- Identify negative thinking patterns and take some time to challenge defeating statements.
It is normal to experience concern about contracting the disease during an outbreak. Create a plan that balances your needs and the needs of others.
- Know the symptoms of the coronavirus disease
- Update emergency contacts in an accessible place
- Make a plan if you get ill
- Think about how you can support someone you know who becomes seriously ill
Set boundaries with your social media or e-mail. While online communication enables being on all the time, it is often not helpful. Recognize the most important communication channels and manage how often you engage with them.
- Make a schedule for interacting with e-mail and social media. Limit screen time before bed because this lessens anxiety and increases sleep quality.
- Consider which e-mails must be reviewed right away and which can wait.
- Uninstall social media apps from some of your digital devices.
- Block social media for a few days on your browser.
- Information is fast changing that provides constant coverage. Get information from trusted media outlets.
- Keep distance from sensational media coverage that might be exaggerated.
- Set a concrete limit on the number of minutes or hours each day that you spend from getting some updates about the current situation.