As we all take measures to practice social distancing and isolation to protect our physical health during the coronavirus outbreak, we can also take steps to bolster our mental health.
Consider these seven practices for you and your family to help you make it through this health crisis. Additional resources are also provided.
1. Establish a routine for yourself and your children
Kids need routine, and when they’re suddenly taken away from their normal school routine they may feel disoriented. Wake up at the same time each day, eat breakfast as normal, and begin a schedule of tasks. Families can make schedules each night for the following day, writing down school assignments or meetings and adding activities, projects, or other to-do’s. Once that agenda is written down, stick to it so you can all feel happy about your accomplishments at the end of each day.
At-home exercise can be done by engaging with many online resources, many of which are offering extended trial periods or free access. As the weather gets nicer you can also take walks or bike rides outside, while continuing to practice social distancing to stay safe. If you have a toddler at home, try mimicking everything they do for 60 minutes, including climbing up a couch and yelling ‘Yay!’ when you get to the top!
3. Tackle some home-improvement projects
If you have been meaning to clean out the spare bedroom or go through your closet to remove the clothes you no longer want or need, now is the time! You can pack up items you no longer need for donation and enjoy the extra space you have created.
4. Limit the amount of time you spend watching the news
If 30 minutes in the morning and another 30 at night is enough, limit yourself to just twice per day and avoid other news sources so you are not bombarded with constant COVID-19 death toll updates.
5. Virtually connect with your family and friends
Call up those family members or friends you usually see only a couple of times a year, or those friends you used to see daily. People appreciate a check-in and having catch-up conversations that can take everyone’s mind off more serious matters even if just for a few minutes.
6. Try to re-frame this time mentally
Rather than being forced to be home and not able to work as many hours as you used to, you get to be home and do not have to work as many hours.
7. Give yourself a break
We are living through stressful times and things may not be getting done according to your original plan and that’s o.k. We are all in this together and adapting to live safely until we can get back to life as we knew it.
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This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional.