Here we are, hunkering
down at home for a while. Who would have
thought? How do we survive with each
other during this time of crisis? This
in itself can be quite the stressor unless we practice some good
Here are some of the
mental health practices oftentimes reviewed in the literature that you can
install in your home to make the time go smoother for everyone during the
a routine – Grab onto some
structure. Most of us are accustomed to
some kind of structure, be it work duties at our jobs or school assignments at
school. Now, with chaos arising at the
home-front, having a routine is a good thing to incorporate; sleeping and
eating schedules, exercise times, social distancing contacts, designated chores
or duties, selected fun time with new and creative activities, and school and
work time slots with designated breaks.
It doesn’t have to be a prison for everyone, but it surely doesn’t have
to be WWIII! Studies have shown that
having a routine can help reduce boredom, reduce anxiety and depression and
lead to more healthy patterns of coping.
This format at home can then allow more energy to deal with other more
important things that need to be tended to.
stop exercising because the gym is no longer open – Physical exercise is synced with good mental health. Get that heart pumping, build those muscles
and make that body move. Cramped
quarters can be a problem, but figure out how you can make it work – even if
you have to have a shared group exercise program in the living room, or if you
can find some exercises that allow you to stay in one place. It doesn’t take a genius.
time in nature – even if it is
through a TV channel, video or internet.
It is calming to your soul and it definitely helps your body relax. There is much research that has found time in
“green” and “blue” space is associated with a reduction in anxiety and
depression as well as helps reduce the risk of chronic health issues. Being out in the sunshine, breathing air
outside (with good social distancing) is a good habit for both your body and
mind. In fact, some studies indicate
that the chemicals released from the trees; phytoncides” can increase the
immune cells that help keep the body healthy.
clean out or organize your home – It makes you feel
productive, you gain a sense of control over times of uncertainty, and gives
you time to focus on something else besides the news flashes and all the media
clips about the Corona-Virus.
yourself some time to breathe, be quiet, and meditate. It helps your body
calm down, have better insight as to what is happening, and maintain a sense of
internal control and confidence that this too shall pass.
with your support team as you maintain social
distancing – We are social creatures and need each other; that is how we were
made. Take time to reach out and
your empathy at the forefront – While experiencing the
sense of being home-bound, you now can realize what so many people regularly
experience throughout their much of their lives. Reach out. – but don’t touch – at least not
yet. Empathy is a great experience
that makes you feel good all over. Doing
acts of kindness and thinking of others before yourself all have huge mental
health benefits. It provides you with a
sense of purpose. It also helps you the
opportunity to climb out of yourselves and give a bit of support and kindness
to someone else that also needs it.
thankful – Recognizing your
blessings, being grateful, trusting in a spirit greater than yourself can be
hugely beneficial to mental health.
Practicing thankfulness with others not only improves your mood, but
those recipients of such grace. Don’t
judge. Realize that we are all likely doing
the best we can with what we got. Sit
back and relax. We will get through
Claudia A. Liljegren,