Follow these tips for maintaining mental health in these days of isolation

We are all in unprecedented times. Isolation is new. Creating one’s own schedule is new. Sleep patterns are new. Online learning and working is new. Everything is new. Managing a new environment, work, one’s mental and physical health, isolation, etc. is all very hard. I’ve been swaying between being bored, lonely and feeling overwhelmed with how many things I have to do every day. To help myself not freak out, I’ve followed some tips, here they are: 

Productivity/ Work  

    • Get dressed for your day. Changing out of my pajamas and putting on “real” clothes helps me to feel less lazy and more productive. Wearing my pajamas all day allows me to go back to my bed and laze around. But when I put on something I would wear to school it reminds me of the mindset I have at school and makes me want to get school work done. I challenge you to throw your pajamas aside and put on something you would wear to school! 

 

  • Create a schedule for your day. It is very easy to make a list of things you want to do/accomplish during the day, the hard part is getting distracted and not following the list. To make sure I get things done during a time where I have slim to zero motivation, I have been making a schedule that is very detailed. I suggest putting down approximate times you want to do and have assignments done by. It is okay to not follow the schedule exactly, but having something down to refer to can be very helpful. 
  • Plan something to look forward to after finishing your work. Everyone has work they need to do in life, whether it’s for school, their job, house work, etc. Like me and a lot of people I have talked to, it’s not usually on the top of one’s list of what we want to do. But often, it’s something one needs to do to be successful. A lot of times this success may not come right away, or there is no immediate gratification from doing one’s work. I find myself struggling a lot of times to do my work because of this. One way to combat that is to give yourself something to look forward to after your work is done. Plan a phone call with a friend or family member! Cook yourself dinner afterwards! Anything that brings you joy can be a great motivation for one when having a long day of work. 
  • Be kind to yourself. Although school has continued and so did many other responsibilities in life, it is still important to be generous with yourself. Quarantine is a new experience for everyone and one can’t expect the same effort and productivity in a new time. 

 

Mental Health 

 

  • Go outside everyday! Nature’s qualities, like the sun, soil and trees, are proven to provide mental health benefits. Check out this article for specific details. http://www.hiline.cfschools.org/2019/02/shinrin-yoku-forest-bathing-provides-benefits-for-health/ Also, being inside all day, which is our only option now, can become lonely and repetitive. Most of us want something new, new is fun. One way to “get” new is to drive or walk to different nature trails or forests. This is something you can do alone, but not feel alone because of the plant life and animal life surrounding you. 
  • Decipher the difference between lonely and alone. Recently I’ve been feeling really lonely. I can’t come up with any reason why I am feeling this way because I am living with my four family members and have many friends who love me unconditionally. I also believe that most of the time I’m company for myself and love myself. But why then do I feel so incomplete and lonely? Last week I came to the realization that just because I feel lonely doesn’t mean I’m alone. If I need to reach out to someone, I have tons of people who I can contact. I just accepted the feeling of loneliness and stopped looking for a reason. I also realized that one can be alone and not feel lonely, and feel satisfied. Now whenever I feel lonely, I just remind myself that I am not alone and have many people by my side, and most importantly that it’s OK to feel this way. 
  • Read a book. These past few months have been hard, and they weren’t expected. The upcoming months are also going to be hard. For me, I find comfort by escaping what is troubling me. Right now that is if I will be able to physically attend college in the fall. One way to escape is to get lost in a book. Just for a little bit you can get out of your own life and worries and focus on someone else’s. 
  • Read motivational/feel good quotes. For me, there are many times, especially during this isolation where I have no motivation whatsoever or feel very down in the dumps. When I feel this way, sometimes I just lay in bed and watch Netflix or snuggle with my sister, but other times I scroll through Instagram. On Instagram I follow a lot of influencers who post motivational quotes, and/or positive messages about mental health. Reading these messages sometimes inspires me to do my work, or just to accomplish one small thing in my day. Although I’m not always able to get motivated on my own, these quotes can help me a lot when I just need to do something productive. 

Follow this link to Therapist offers tips for mental health during COVID

 

 

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