Mental Wellness and Social Distancing
Covid-19 has rapidly brought about many changes to our lifestyle. There’s a great deal of concern for our physical health. We are paying more attention to our bodies as we monitor signs of illness. We are washing our hands, wearing masks, and donning gloves. As much as we are caring and protecting our physical bodies, we must be as concerned for our mental wellness.
The Covid-19 pandemic is something that we have never experienced in our lifetime. The unknown triggers a variety of emotions. Social distancing has disrupted our lives in several ways and disturbance to our norm brings about fear, insecurity, and loneliness. The flood of unprocessed emotions can have a significant effect on our mental health. One of the keys to coping during the pandemic is mental wellness. Here are some tips on how to manage your well-being during Covid-19.
Tips for Coping During Covid-19
- Unplug from reality. You can’t scroll past a post on social media and or flip through the channels on TV without seeing something about Covid-19. Constant exposure to the media can significantly affect our mood without us realizing it. Set limits on the amount of time you spend on social media. Set a time to unplug from electronic devices altogether.
- Get some sun. Spending time outdoors not only helps get a change of scenery, but it can also help improve your mood. Gaining exposure to sunlight can also help increase your levels of Vitamin D which guards against depression and boosts energy levels.
- Exercise. Those extra steps we take walking to our cars, throughout campus, or from meeting to meeting add up. Since social distancing, those steps are reduced since we are limited to the areas of our home. Exercising helps to increase mobility and energy. The endorphins produced by exercising improves your mood and alleviates stress and anxiety.
- Give yourself the freedom to feel. We’ve all been affected by Covid-19. Permit yourself to feel the way you feel. Most importantly permit yourself to feel happy. Take time to process your thoughts and express your emotions. Find a way to balance being empathetic to others while finding your joy.
- Be kind to yourself. You may feel as though you have to prove yourself in terms of productivity. Social distancing measures can rob you of your energy and your desire to function as normal. Give yourself some grace. Just because it seems that you should have more time and energy to do more, does not mean that you do. Pace yourself and allow a little extra time to complete things. Take mental breaks when needed. Set aside time for self-care and relaxation. Use the time normally spent commuting or participating in extracurricular activities to do things that make you happy that you wouldn’t normally have time for.
- Seek counseling. One of the benefits of social distancing is that counseling is more accessible. Mental health providers are now able to provide counseling via phone or video. Many health insurance providers are also waiving co-pays for behavioral health services during social distancing measures. If you do not have insurance there are options to access free or affordable counseling. Psychology Today can help you find a local qualified therapist.
As the pace of lives has slowed, we have an opportunity to spend more time reflecting and becoming more aware of ourselves. Being in tune with our emotions and mental health is a great place to begin.
At College Beyond, we value mindfulness and mental health. Take a look at how each of us is coping during the pandemic.