When the pandemic began affecting the world in March 2020, most people believed they could handle a few months of quarantine. But the new way of living and the lack of social interaction over the last nearly two years resulted in many struggles with mental health. In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to practice self-care.
Top Tips for Mental Health Self-Care During the Pandemic
Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, extended periods of limited social interaction coupled with current stresses in the country and the world will eventually take their toll on everyone. And while taking care of one’s self might look different for each person, some common threads are universal for every human being.
Choose Your Food Wisely
It can be tempting to reach for chips, ice cream, or macaroni and cheese to comfort yourself when you’re having a bad day. But loading up on sugar and fatty foods can bog your body down and make you feel worse. Not only is your body going to struggle trying to process all the excess sugar and fat, but you’re also depriving yourself of the nutrients you need to stay stable.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have comfort foods. Just be sure to fill most of your diet with a wide variety of healthy and nutrient-dense foods to help you function at your best. There’s little that can bring your mental state down faster than when you don’t feel well physically. Be sure to choose the best fuel to support your health.
You could also talk to your doctor to see if you need supplements to round out your diet. They may recommend probiotics, Vitamin D, or CBD oil pills, depending on your personal needs.
Get Enough Rest
Sleep is an essential part of your physical and mental health, so make sure you’re getting enough of it. And while sheltering in place might result in less movement overall, you still need to get enough sleep to function at an optimal level. Sticking to a schedule and having a nighttime routine can help ensure that you get the rest you need. In addition, physical activity in the form of exercise or work can help tire out your body, so it’s ready to rest at bedtime.
Reach Out for Health
Although the pandemic isolated many family and friends from each other, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch. With access to messaging and video apps, it’s easy to continue socializing even if you can’t be with your loved ones in person.
In general, humans are social creatures, and continued isolation can take its toll on your sanity. To stay healthy, consider finding new ways to reach out to loved ones by setting up a regular schedule to keep in touch.
Take News Breaks
In this age of technology, it’s easy to stay connected, but it’s also unfortunate when news headlines bombard you from all sides. It’s hard to turn on the television or pop on social media without exposing yourself to the negative happenings around the world.
Be sure to take regular breaks from the news. If anything earth-shattering happens, you’ll hear about it tomorrow. Even if you can’t stand taking a whole day away from current events, dedicate a couple of hours at least to close your computer, put down your cell phone, and stop thinking about news for a while.
Take Care of Yourself
Thinking about self-care might seem selfish to some people, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. After all, how can you be there for anyone else if you’re not well? Tending to your own mental health is not only an act of love for yourself, but it’s also a great way to take care of those you love.