My 8 Strategies For Mental Well Being During COVID-19
I am not sure about you but I found the last week of isolation quite difficult. I found it personally to be a “trying time” for me mentally and emotionally. I found myself being “on edge” and sensed being more uptight and stressed than I like to admit. I think the constant flow of “bad news” about the spread of COVID-19 worldwide was causing me stress. For those that missed my blog last week, I summarized the 10 Things I am doing to Avoid COVID-19. If you missed reading it or would like a refresher, you can access it here:https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/10-extra-measures-i-am-taking-to-avoid-covid-19/
This week I wanted to share some of the strategies I am personally trying to do daily in order to stay mentally and emotionally well during this very trying time.
I also want to suggest to please treat the Corona Virus very seriously and please self isolate and stay home. As I have said many times before, our most important asset is our health and at this time we have to do everything possible to protect ourselves, our family members, our co-workers and our communities. Please stay well, healthy and take all necessary steps to avoid the spread of this terrible Virus.
Strategies For Mental Health
For those that read my blog regularly, you know how much I believe in exercise. For me, the benefits of exercise are as much for mental well being as well as physical well being. There have been numerous studies that clearly outline the mental health benefits of exercise. During this time where we are spending virtually all of our time in doors, I am making a point of scheduling fitness every day. I typically start my day with a workout as I find it puts me in a positive state of mind the rest of the day. Some days I am also doing another recreational activity later in the day as well in order to get out of the house.
2. Get Outside – With Social Distancing
I believe there is no better time than now for us to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. In fact I am trying to exercise outside as much as possible as I believe there are so many benefits of getting close to nature as it is great for our mind and our soul. Of course, when we do get outside we need to avoid other people and ensure we stay distanced a minimum of 6 feet away from others. To read more on my blog on The 5 Reasons I Exercise outside, you can access it here: https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/the-5-reasons-i-exercise-outside/
3. Schedule Your Day
I find that it is important that I treat a work day as a regular work day and have a schedule. I try to keep a similar schedule to what I would normally do prior to COVID-19. It is important to schedule your exercise, your work time, your lunch, your meetings just as you typically would do. I had a friend comment to me yesterday that they were working non stop and are having trouble sleeping at night as they are still on the computer right before bed so it was tough to shut work “off” in their brain. I stressed to them the importance of scheduling everything including breaks and “downtime” in the evening.
4.Self Isolation Does not mean Social Isolation
With so many of us working from home it is more important than ever to stay connected with friends, family and co workers even if it is by phone or virtually. It is important that we schedule time with business associates, co workers and clients as that seems to be a missing void with working from home. There are many opportunities to connect by phone, email, or virtual meetings through Apps such as Google Hangouts or Zoom. I have made a point of joining any “Virtual Meetings” that I can in order to stay connected to the outside world. I have also made a point to reach out to family and friends just to “check in” and see how people are doing.
5.Don’t Watch The News 24/7
If you are like me, last week when COVID 19 really started to gain momentum, I found myself watching the news many times during the day. I believe this is one of the reasons that I have been more stressed than usual over the past week as it was continual bad news. I am making a point now of getting caught up once per day on what is transpiring however I am making a point of not having the news channel on all day long.
6.Stay Positive – What is the Silver Lining
It is important that with all the bad news we are hearing every day that we try to stay positive. My view is that although we are in a state of crisis now, this will end. I always believe there is a “silver lining” to every situation that we face in life. If we can, we should view this as an opportunity to spend valuable time with our families and children. I had one friend say that this opportunity to spend time with their children may never happen again and they are treating this valuable time as a “gift”. If you missed my blog on Is Your Cup Half Full, you can access it here: https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/is-your-cup-half-full/
7.Practice My Daily “Mantra”
I am finding that in order for me to keep in a positive state of mind, it is more important than ever for me to practice my daily Mantra. The Mantra I practice daily is as follows:
1.Gratitude/Appreciation – This is where I spend time thinking about all I appreciate in life and what I am Grateful for. This varies daily however could be items such as our good health, our good fortune, our families, or our life.
2.Love – This is where I think of all the people that I love in my life. I think of my wife Barb, our children, our family, Grandma Marge, our extended family and friends. I also reflect back on those people that have had an impact on my life and are no longer with us such as Grandma Joanie, Grandpa Howie, Uncle Bill to name a few. I also typically think of people I know that are going through a tough time and send them positive thoughts.
3.Be In The Present – I am finding more than ever it is important that we focus on the present and what is happening all around us. I typically practice my Mantra while exercising so I really just focus on what is going on around me. This could be noticing the beauty of nature, the sun, the snow, the birds, the wind in my face or whatever I am experiencing at that time.
4.The Future Is Bright – It is more important than ever that we focus on the future with the thought that the future is bright. It is so easy to get hung up in all the bad news right now and we need to realize that this crisis will end and the future will be bright for us.
With the added stress right now with the spread of the Virus worldwide, our lives are being turned upside down including working from home , I am finding that practicing my breathing and/or mediation is more important than ever. I am making a point of practicing one or more of my breathing techniques at minimum oncer per day. As a refresher to My 3 Simple Breathing Techniques To Reduce Stress, you can access it here:https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/my-3-simple-techniques-for-stress-reduction/
There you have it. My 8 strategies to stay positive and remain Mentally Healthy at this tough time:
2.Get Outside Daily(with Socially distancing a minimum of 6 feet)
3.Schedule all aspects of your day.
4.Virtually Socialize with friends, family and co workers.
5.Limit your time listening to the news.
6.Stay Positive – This will end
7.Practice your own “Daily Mantra”
8.Practice Breathing and Meditation
In this very difficult time, it is so important that we remain mentally well. I ask you to please play your part in social distancing and staying home and away from others. This will help us decrease the risk of getting and passing on this terrible Virus.
Wishing you and your family a healthy, safe and stress free week,