By John Adams
Whenever a pandemic strikes, protecting physical health is the priority. The outbreak of Covid-19 forced the world into lockdown and taught us a lot about sanitary practices to kill and prevent the spread of germs. Isolating ourselves inside our homes may have helped us avoid the disease, but it did take toll on our mental health. Not being able to socialize, travel, and live a normal life was challenging and exhausting. Many marriages/relationships fell apart, cases of domestic violence surged, and all the deaths caused by the virus further added to global gloom and doom.
The survivors who came out without a scratch are those who managed to preserve their mental health during the tough times. You never know when the next pandemic might come around, so cling on to these guidelines to beat emotional damage.
1. Appreciate the Advancement of Technology
Not being able to leave the house and see friends promotes feelings of loneliness. You may have finally attained that alone-time you always craved for, but it gets unbearable at some point. You miss the face-to-face interactions, physical contact, and the warmth from the touch of a loved one. Luckily, you live in an era where you can communicate with people via phone and internet in the blink of an eye, even if they are thousands of miles away. Keeping in touch through social apps may not compare to in-person meetings, but your ancestors would kill for it; all they had were hand-written letters that took days or months to reach the recipient.
2. Stay Active
Most of us get bored and lazy after staying trapped in home for several days in a row. We don’t put an effort to make ourselves and the house look presentable. The messy surroundings and our haggard appearance reflect the state of our mind. Our life becomes stagnant, and the inactivity causes health problems like weight gain, cardiovascular issues, and constipation. Daily physical exercise is imperative for your emotional health, as it makes one feel light. It cleanses the body of toxins and triggers release of ‘happy hormones’. Household chores and cleaning are cathartic, productive, and keep negative thoughts at bay.
3. Maintain a Healthy Sleep Cycle
Just because you don’t need to wake up early to get to work does not give you a free pass to stay in bed all day. This kind of routine overwhelms a person with fatigue during the day, and keeps them sleepless during the night. People who don’t get a good night’s sleep ranging from 6-9 hours every day are most susceptible to emotional instability.
4. Plan indoor events and activities with your family
If you have kids in the house, they are probably more depressed by the fact that they can’t go out for recreation. However, you can cheer up the whole family (including yourself) by making the most of your time together. Plan something different to look forward to for every week of the day. For example, Wednesday can be game night, Friday can be for T.V show/movie marathons, Tuesdays can be spa days, Mondays could be reserved for family book club, and you can be creative with your hobbies or interests.
5. Cook and Eat Well
If you’ve always dreamt of becoming a Michelin star chef or wished to cook something decent by yourself for once, now is the time to develop those skills. Learning a new skill can be quite fun, especially if the outcome is something delicious to eat. Cooking at home with fresh ingredients will boost your mental and physical health.
6. Don’t Suppress Feelings
If you are grieving, do not stop yourself from crying out loud or seeking the emotional support of a loved one. If you are angry, worried, or frustrated, share it with the people who care about you. Expressing your anguish will take half the pain away and you’ll know that you’re not alone. You can also talk to a professional therapist if that’s what you prefer.
7. Help others
Whenever you feel lost and hopeless, help others in need. Good deeds and acts of generosity will make you feel better about yourself. The happiness you spread will multiply and come back to you. Acknowledging the pain of others and solving their problems will help you let go of your own worries and invest in the greater good.
John Adams is a paralegal who writes about widespread social and civil issues. He helps readers overcome personal injuries and traumas, by encouraging them to raise their voice. He aims to reach out to individuals who are unaware of their legal rights, and make the world a better place.