I’m so excited for todays guest post from Arcane Lost. We decided to speak on this important topic surrounding Mental Health and the Pandemic as its something a-lot of people are suffering with at the moment. Its so important that you remember if you are struggling then please talk with someone about it. its okay to admit that you aren’t coping well. Speak to someone and dont suffer in silence.
We hope you enjoy the tips we share and hope it can be of help to you if you are struggling.
1. FOLLOW A ROUTINE [AS MUCH AS YOU CAN]
We follow a routine in our daily lives to keep ourselves productive at what we do. We usually don’t follow a strict routine when we are at home, as for most of us home is a place we chill at. But during these tough times, locked at home people may feel that all bets are off. But it’s good for everyone to follow a routine, it makes you feel like, you are striving towards something, which is good for mental health.
“Studies in resiliency during traumatic events encourage keeping a routine to your day,” says Deborah Serani, PsyD, professor of psychology at Adelphi University and author of “Sometimes When I’m Sad.” “This means eating meals at regular times, sleeping, waking and exercising at set times, and maintaining social (socially distant) contact. Unstructured time can create boredom, spikes in anxiety or depression, which can lead to unhealthy patterns of coping.”
Routine can really anchor us, especially during these tough times; knowing that you’ll have your dinner by 8 P.M. and will be in bed at 10 P.M. can be a real comfort after all the uncertainties in life.
Incorporating acts of self-care like exercising, healthy eating, mindfulness routines etc. can be really helpful. Sleep is one of the things that a daily routine can really help with. Good sleep-wake cycles reduce ‘mental fatigue’ to a significant extent, thus helps in boosting your mood.
2. DECLUTTER YOUR SURROUNDINGS
It can be very frustrating, unpleasant and anxiety-provoking to be trapped in one location, quarantined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, feeling tired, unmotivated, sad, or experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions is totally true and natural. Focusing on what you have power over is the most significant thing. On this note, cleaning and organising your space are associated with numerous mental health benefits.
Studies say that cleaning not only provides a sense of control in the phase of uncertainty, but also gives the body and mind a respite from traumatic stress.
Cleaning and organizing are strongly associated with decreasing stress and anxiety. Sometimes, whether consciously or unconsciously, a cluttered or messy environment can be seen as “unfinished business,” and this can cause needless stress.
The process of wiping down your desk table, washing your sheets, making your bed, going through clutter, taking out the garbage, washing the dishes and enjoying the warm water, dusting the shelves, vacuuming, and other hands-on cleaning activities, can lead to a very blissful, meditative state.
You can feel like everything is “new” again once you have cleaned and organised your room, and this adds a sense of excitement. It can also contribute to a great degree of satisfaction and experiencing the good energy associated with being efficient by going through the process.
3. MAINTAIN SOCIAL TIES
We are fundamentally social beings, and it is natural to want to gather during crises. Social connectivity is perhaps the biggest determinant of well-being, as stated by this seminal 80-year-long Harvard study, and one of our most fundamental psychological needs. Unfortunately, this is something we can’t afford to do these days.
Texting and social media are fine, but picking up your phone and talking or video-conferencing, or talking to someone on the street (obviously from a safe social distance), are our best bets.
4. BE A HELPING HAND, FROM A DISTANCE
Being able to help society is the best thing a human being can do, and doing so we help ourselves as well, with a sense of calm. Studies have consistently shown that helping others has clear and immediate mental health benefits, even if they are small acts of kindness. And feeling a sense of purpose has also been shown to help people recover and build resilience from negative events.
Coordinating campaigns to assist neighbours in need of food or supplies, purchasing local business gift cards, ordering takeout from community restaurants, and helping to raise money locally will support the economic impact that is happening around the globe.
5. BE EASY ON YOURSELF
The most important thing to bear in mind is not to beat yourself up when things don’t go smoothly in your family. On top of all, it’s completely counterproductive to be angry with yourself. It’s not the end of the world if kids watch Netflix too much or play video games for too many hours. Things are going to be hairy for a while, and it’s actually not such a big deal in the long run if you can’t stick to your timetable or can’t fit into your at-home workout every day.
Cutting yourself some slack, taking the opportunity to focus on the important stuff, and trying to maintain a feeling of “we’re all in this together” at the forefront is much more beneficial for everyone.
Being an OCD warrior for more than a decade, Siddharth Chaudhary ( Co-Founder at Arcane Lost.) writes about mental health. He is also knees deep in the world of tech. Having watched more than thousand movies and a lot of shows, he has a special love for filmography.