Self-isolation can be mentally taxing and very challenging for a lot of us. Being in the same space for a long period of time does not do any good to anyone, really. Unusual set-up and unusual regimen, plus a lot of stress about the whole Covid-19 situation can make a big dent to your health.
To help you find calm and peace during this period chaos and uncertainty, I decided to share some useful techniques with you that can help you get into a healthy headspace and allow you to still be happy in this pandemic crisis. So here are my top techniques to reduce stress and keep calm in the current situation.
Exercise – keep your body moving
Exercise is extremely important for our body and our mind. Exercise causes us to produce a hormone, called endorphin, which boosts our mood and can leave us with a happy buzz for up to 24 hours. Movement also increases our metabolic rate, which means that our blood flow will increase too, and our body will be able to combat any virus more efficiently. Lastly, if we sit all day, we tend to eat more, as we are bored, and regular exercise will help us maintain a caloric balance, as well as pay more attention to our diet.
Try new recipes/ learn to cook yourself
Cooking is a great way to take the mind of worrying thoughts, and those are omnipresent these days. However, medical professionals do not recommend to suddenly make drastic changes and start eating very healthily. These are challenging times, for our mental wellbeing too, so the recommendation is to stick to familiar foods, that you enjoy. Trying to cook a favourite restaurant meals yourself is an amazing way to occupy your mind, learn new cooking skills and satisfy your taste buds. Including vegetables and eating a balanced diet is still key to wellness, but enjoying your meals is just as important.
Practice self-care – make time for You
There are multiple self-care practices that can help reduce stress and anxiety. Journaling, meditation and mindfulness help tame the running thoughts and calm your mind down. Any self-care practice that you used before should remain in your routine. If your stopped one, try to revive it. Your mind really needs it more than ever in self-isolation. There are numerous yoga and fitness studios running Live Yoga and Pilates sessions on Instagram and YouTube, which are free to join – just tune in! Use all resources that are available to you and take extra time to make sure that your mental health is in a harmonious state at this time.
Keep socialising/ spend more time with family
We cannot see friends face-to-face, but we can still video-call them, and keep socialising over the internet. Take this time to re-connect with friends whom you haven’t spoken to in a while, and try not to talk about coronavirus, it’s all over the news anyways! We are all usually so busy, and this is the perfect opportunity to spend some time with your children and household members: do some exercise together, go for a walk, make a BBQ in your garden! Do something fun with your family! Use the time in lockdown in a positive way, do not focus on all the negativity around.
Control your headspace – limit the news
Everyone must absolutely keep up with the news and the changes with the Covid-19 situation. I advise, however, to reduce the frequency of checking the updates, but not completely stop. Check once or twice a day, and only on highly reliable channels. There is a lot of uncertainty, in both statistics and recommendations, due to the fact that is virus is very new. Do not believe in everything that you read and hear, filter the information very well and use your own brain to analyse it.
Examples of highly reliable sources:
Get fresh air
We are still all entitled to get out for exercise once a day. Use that time. Get out for a couple hours, if you can, especially with the weather being so good these days. Whether it is a walk in your local area, a run or just reading a book in your backyard – you must get some fresh air. If you do not want to leave your house, just go out into your garden or balcony and get some sun there. Vitamin D is essential for our immune system and overall health. Protecting ourselves from Covid-19 does not mean that we can neglect our general wellbeing. It is actually even more important now to take care of our health to reduce the likelihood of getting severe symptoms of this virus.
This pandemic is scary for everyone, but we do not have enough statistics to make clear judgements about how infectious it is and the mortality rates, compared even to the normal flu. Testing is mostly done on people with symptoms, and only now we are starting to get a wider picture, as general population samples start being tested in certain countries.
I encourage you to keep calm and pay increased attention to your mental health. Our state of mind affects everything, including our immune system and susceptibility to viruses. Stay safe, take care of yourself and your loved ones, but also stay sane.