Our Mental Health is just as important as our Physical Health. You turn on the news, look at a magazine or newspaper, or turn in the radio in your kitchen and all you hear about is the COVID-19 virus. You hear of the signs and symptoms. You hear of the death rates. You hear of all the closures taking place to help us practice social distancing in an attempt to help slow the virus spread down. But what you don’t hear about is the effects of closures, our current social distancing practices, and the sheer attention the virus has on mental health.
I think we can all agree that these times are stressful to say the least. The elderly, children/teens, those with mental health or substance abuse disorders, and those working in the healthcare field are those who are going to respond more strongly to the stress of the situation. For everyone, our lives are flipped upside down, our daily routines altered, our escape to the gym or other outlets are no longer available, and many are either out of work or working from home. This is most certainly causing stress to everyone to one degree or another. Fortunately, there are ways out there to help combat the overwhelming feelings of stress and fear that can be caused under these current conditions.
1. Take breaks from the news, radio, or even social media. Constantly hearing or reading about the pandemic increases stress levels.
2. Listen to your body and what it needs! Whether it be a nap, yoga, or meditation, take the time to really focus on the needs or your body.
3. Try to eat whole foods and set aside time in your day for some movement/exercise.
4. Learn a new hobby, study a foreign language, read a book, or check out a new certification. Keep your mind busy and creative!
5. Keep in contact with others-phone calls, FaceTime, snail mail-just because you’re isolated doesn’t mean you have to be 100% cut off!
6. Get outdoors when possible! You don’t even have to go anywhere-porch sitting is perfect!
7. Keep up with as much of your routine as possible! If you wake up early to workout, still try and get your workout in first thing in the morning (but maybe it doesn’t have to be at 5:00 AM)
8. While this time is great to be spending with family, alone time is also beneficial. It gives the mind a chance to relax and the body a chance to feel. Try meditation, yoga, a walk-anything you enjoy!
9. Children are experiencing many of the same feelings we are, they just don’t know how to process them yet. Many of these tips also work for children and teens. Just be sure that you are talking to them about the situation in a way they can understand, reassuring them that you are doing what you can to keep them safe, and work to limit their exposure to pandemic coverage as well!
10. Please remember, it is okay to not be okay. There are numerous resources out there for online counseling services and therapies. If needed, please reach out!
You have all been doing great staying active with the at home workouts and virtual gym interaction. Keep all of the social media posts, FB group chatter, and SugarWOD results and fist bumps coming! Keep pushing forward and think just how much stronger, physically and mentally you will all be when we reconnect in person!
Blog written by: Elizabeth Haughey