The pandemic has made the past 15-16 months difficult for many of us, especially for our own mental well-being. Amid tight work-from-home schedules and not being able to meet family members, friends and other loved ones, the feeling of alienation has given way to stress and depression.
Moreover, some unwelcomed changes, especially when they are unexpected, have left us with fear and uncertainty. COVID-19 has changed the way we travel, work, interact and relax — anything and everything that brought home comfort. Research, too, seems to buttress this — the ongoing pandemic has caused people to experience a host of mental health issues like stress, depression, anxiety and panic.
But, there are some simple ways that can help you stay calm during these days. Here are a few habits, like incorporating exercises in your routine and journaling from time to time, that will help you stay focused and keep your spirits high in this neoteric life.
Make a schedule, and stick to it
Feeling lost and directionless is most common among people these days. Charting out a routine will ensure that you get up with a purpose every day and move forward smoothly. Studies have also emphasised the importance of making and following a routine. One also derives a sense of control and feels productive when they know what tasks they are supposed to accomplish on a particular day. So, pamper yourself in the shower, take out your favourite pair of pyjamas and start your day.
Time for a digital detox
Try to disconnect yourself from social media and gadgets once in a while, especially stop mindlessly scrolling when you are trying to relax. A digital detox helps improve sleep and attention span, while also giving some much-needed rest to your eyes. Moreover, research has also found that people who don’t use social media often have lower symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Exercise for those happy hormones
Want to feel energetic and happy throughout the day? Try to inculcate exercising in your daily routine. Start small, with 5-10–minute sessions. The advantage: a study published in the journal Maturitas said that workouts help release neurochemicals like endorphins, serotonin and norepinephrine, which ensure a positive mood and reduce stress. Choose any form of physical activity — yoga, aerobics, dancing or HIIT — and practise it regularly. You can also kick off your workout routine with a short meditation session for a little mental well-being boost before doing anything else.
Find time for those you love
An 80-year-long research from Harvard reports that connecting with people is not only one of our basic psychological needs but also a crucial determinant of our well–being. Try checking up on your friends and family once in a while via texts, calls or video calls. It feels good to listen to and be able to share your feelings with someone you trust.
Try to practice gratitude, even if it is for the simplest of things in your life. An American Psychological Association research proves that writing even five things you are grateful about once a week has the power to greatly enhance your mood and mental well-being for the good.
Time to learn a new skill
Planning to learn how to strum a guitar like a pro? If your answer is yes, then now is the time. What’s better than experiencing the joy of learning something new or creating art that’s your own. Learn a new language, bake scrumptious delicacies or start writing a book — choose whatever makes your heart fill with joy.
(Main and featured image: Catalin Pop/Unsplash)