COVID-19 -Ideas to Stay Mentally Healthy While Experiencing a Global Pandemic
What might be coming up for you:
Anxiety around basic needs like food, shelter, and income
Reminders of past traumas or extremely uncomfortable vulnerability
Thoughts and fears about death or poor health
Reappearance of addictive or compulsive behaviors
What you can do:
Distraction Techniques (Go for a walk if you can maintain distance from others, play games, reach out to friends and family, read, listen to music, watch a light-hearted movie)
Sleep regulation (maintain a sleep schedule, practice sleep hygiene [don’t read, look at your phone, or watch TV in your bed], do crossword or other puzzles).
Shift perspective - As you may have heard: don’t look at this as being trapped at home, remind yourself that you are protecting your health and that of others.
Practicing gratitude - Be grateful for those who are providing services so that we can be comfortable (healthcare workers, grocery, deliver, and restaurant workers, gas stations that are open, convenience store clerks and many more)
Care for your basic needs (nutrition, sleep, hydration, hygiene)
Mindfulness (meditations, pay attention to surroundings, light a candle and watch the flame, take a long hot bath or shower and notice the smell of the soap and shampoo and the feel of the water)
Create and maintain a schedule to keep some routine in your life (go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, eat meals on a schedule, etc.)
Allow yourself to sit with your feelings. We are in a scary time and it’s ok to be afraid.
Affirmations, nice things to tell yourself:
It’s a global pandemic! Of course I’m feeling ________(vulnerable, sad, unsafe, angry, etc.)!!!
Things are weird and unusual now but will get back to normal eventually
It’s ok to be tired, we are adjusting to something scary and entirely new, it takes a lot of energy
Less than a month ago, my life was normal. It’s OK to allow myself time to adjust
I am doing the best I can with what I have
I’ve survived hard things before and I will now and in the future
This is a great time for me to get to know myself and prioritize what is important to me in life
I need to understand what I’m feeling so that I can heal and move forward
It’s ok to feel angry about this, many people are suffering
This is a traumatic time and there is validation and support all around me