The spread of COVID-19 is causing immense stress on everyone. The fear of infection and the feeling of hopelessness will take a toll on your mental health. Other factors, such as sudden unemployment or issues with finances, have exacerbated these problems. As a result, many have neglected their own mental health and have spiraled into a destructive state.
Learning how to adapt and cope with these changes is important for your well-being. Not only does it reduce stress, but it can benefit your physical health as well. Though it may seem like a difficult task, there are things that you can do to alleviate this. If you want to know what you can do about this, here are things that you can do.
Create a routine
Everyone has had to experience some drastic change, and it can be hard for people to adapt to them. A lot of us are feeling lost and unsure of what to do without days. Since our movements and actions are limited, many people have lost motivation to do things that they have previously done before the pandemic. One thing that can help with this is to establish a routine.
Having a routine creates a sense of normalcy in our lives. Experts say that routines create a healthy positive level of stress that would keep us focused on a task. It also ensures that we are actively trying to take care of ourselves and meet our basic needs. These routines don’t have to be too complicated. It can be as easy as showering every day or waking up at a certain time.
For those that have depression, routines can give you a sense of accomplishment as well. Even if you think that you have not done anything for school or work, doing the tasks in your routine is a win in itself. Routines also reduce anxiety and stress because you can take charge of your day.
Get a pet
To the people who live alone, having a companion such as a pet can be a huge help to your mental health. It can alleviate feelings of loneliness, and the act of taking care of something can have a positive impact on your health. Human and animal interaction has been scientifically proven to increase oxytocin, known as one of the happy hormones.
Pets, especially younger ones, also make people more accountable and responsible. Some people have a hard time caring about themselves, which leads to erratic and irregular schedules. If you cannot maintain a schedule for yourself, your pet will force you to do so. It can also encourage you to do more activities that can improve your mental health. For example, playing with them can be an additional exercise for you.
Finding a new pet at this time may be a bit of a challenge. Shelters and such would likely not allow walk-in visits, so you might need to book an appointment to look through the pets. Ensure that your home has all the necessary preparation before getting one as you will have a harder time shopping in the current situation. If the shelter is a bit farther, you can get the help of dog-shipping services to make it easier.
Set a goal
If you are dissatisfied with your current state, you can try to make active steps into changing those. When you do things that contribute to your goal, it challenges and stimulates your mind. It redirects energy spent on depreciating and self-loathing thoughts into something else. Seeing the results of your work can also boost happy hormones in your system.
The key to setting goals that improve your mental health is to make it feasible. Large goals are good, but you also need to create short-term goals to achieve. These can be as simple as learning a new recipe or forcing yourself to wake up every morning. Goals like these are attainable, so you don’t always feel like you are working on something unachievable. You can gradually increase the difficulty and adjust to your comfort level.
It is also important to reward yourself after each milestone. Celebrating successes are great for improving your mental health. Whenever we do this, our brain releases positive emotions that ease anxiety. This also eases the stress of achieving said goals. The more you do this, the more motivated you become to work towards the goal you have set.