Protecting Your Health As The Pandemic Continues
As the age of the pandemic continues for a lot longer than any of us had anticipated, it’s natural for people to struggle.
While it seems that things are getting worse, rather than better, it’s important that we do the things that will help us to keep a check on our own mental health, as well as the mental health of others around us.
Back in March this year, we were filled with positivity surrounding the things that we thought would get done, learn, and work on. It may not have worked that way, which is OK.
Being placed into lockdown again doesn’t have to mean having a second chance at ‘getting things right’ this time. However, it does mean having to think about practicing self-care as we continue on this journey.
Here are some of the things we can do to keep our mental health in check as the pandemic continues to sweep the world.
8 Ways to Protect Your Health As The Pandemic Continues
1 – Get Moving
Exercise is an antidepressant without a prescription. It’s free, it’s something that can be taken at each individual’s own pace, and can show a marked improvement on physical and mental health over time.
With gyms closing, the only options are to work out at home or outside. Both with their own benefits to our mental health. However, as the days grow shorter and colder, those of us who are working from home may find it challenging to get outside to work out.
Thankfully during this online age, there is a huge range of options to get our bodies moving. They can range from dusting off the hand weights and workout DVDs, to HIIT workouts on YouTube, or on other apps and websites dedicated to at-home workouts.
Any way you can get your body moving and your heart pumping will release those feel-good endorphins which are excellent for physical and mental health.
2 – Go For a Walk in Nature
People living in cities know that it can be challenging to dodge past people at the best of times, not to mention when we have been instructed to stay 6 feet apart from others. When you can, seek out outdoor spaces in the form of gardens and parks.
Studies have shown that spending time outside in green and blue spaces has a positive impact on our mental health, as does breathing in the fresh air.
No matter how you do it, make sure to get outside in nature as often as you can.
This may, however, mean having to take some time out in the middle of the day as winter draws in and the days grow shorter.
3 – Establish a Routine
When speaking of routine, it’s important to create one, while also listening to your energy levels. Being stuck can make you feel as though you are in a lockdown rut, so while routine is important, try to mix it up a little too.
Humans thrive on routine and knowing what’s coming next at the best of times, and this is even more important during a time of uncertainty.
If working from home, as tempting as it may be to start work as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, it’s important to stay in a ritual. Take the time to shower and get dressed. Eat a good breakfast, and then get started with work.
Take plenty of breaks to stand up away from your laptop, and move around. When your workday finishes, take the time to transition into time away from the computer – maybe go for a walk in the daylight, or prepare a meal.
Make yourself a daily checklist with both work and personal related goals.
4 – Stay Socially Connected
Humans are sociable, and being apart during times of crisis, such as the pandemic – when we’re more drawn to being with others, will have an inevitable impact on our mental health.
While physically apart from others, staying in contact is very important to keep your mental health in check.
Text, email, or posting updates on social media are good ways of staying connected with people in our lives, but nothing beats picking up the phone to speak to people or dialing into a video conference. There are even apps where you can watch streaming services and video chat with loved ones at the same time – so there’s no excuse to stay connected even during downtime.
Even better, if possible, why not take the time to meet a friend for a socially distanced walk in the park? That way you get social interaction with the benefits of being outside.
5 – Supplement Your Way to Sleep
Getting well rested sleep is incredibly important for overall wellbeing – especially during traumatic periods in life.
When it becomes harder to catch the zzz’s you need, supplementations can help.
Melatonin can be taken in supplement form, and can be used to induce a good quality of sleep. The pandemic has impacted on many people’s sleeping habits for the worse, so taking supplements to help to bring on a good quality sleep.
Others may choose to use cbd gummies uk, a natural derived product which is easily ingested in gummy form. CBD can help to ease anxiety, offers pain relief, and can also help to bring on sleep.
6 – Take The Time to Be Creative
Practising creativity is excellent for your mental health.
If you like doing creative things such as playing a musical instrument, writing or pursuing art activities, make sure you spend time on these things during this challenging time.
For some, it might look as though you have more time to do things. So, if you always wanted to learn an instrument, but haven’t had the time, you can do so by following tutorials on youtube or by downloading apps that work to teach you how to play.
It’s time to dust off the laptop and notebook for something more than work – get writing, drawing, or whatever it takes to get you through.
Set up a camera and share your work with the world, who will likely enjoy seeing it as much as you did making it!
7 – Take More Naps
Our bodies naturally create responses to moments of trauma, such as sweat to cool us down during exercise, or goose pimples to warm us up when we get cold.
More than half of the year spent wondering what’s really going on during this pandemic is bound to have taken its toll on us.
During this time, it’s even more important to listen to your physical needs and not push them to one side. However, doing this is counterproductive – like not eating when you need to, will make you hangry and unable to concentrate.
The same goes for sleep. You may find yourself increasingly tired – for example, falling asleep in front of shows that would usually have you gripped, or unable to focus due to feeling tired during work hours.
Ignoring these signs of exhaustion will impact more so later on down the line. If you need to sleep – sleep. Naps make most things better, and having additional sleep will help with how you respond to trauma.
8 – Do More Of What Makes You Happy
It is more important than ever to make sure that you keep doing the things that (safely) make you happy during this time.
That may look like learning how to cook a new dish, taking longer baths, or making the time to speak with your loved ones.