Feeling stuck in one place can often cloud our judgement, it can make things feel worse than they actually are. This is why it is so important to protect your mental health during quarantine and show yourself a bit of self-love and care. Now, more than ever you need to pay attention to how you feel.
Your feelings are a clear indication to how you think. Are your feelings coming from a good, healthy mindset or a negative one? By becoming aware of whether our mind is in a good state or not, we’re able to effectively do something about it, to stay in control. Now is the time to really hone in on yourself and focus on what’s going on inside. When we aren’t aware of what’s going on inside, these little things we go through can often continue to grow and fester, into bigger, more serious mental issues, that we feel we lose control over eventually. These are things like chronic stress, depression, anxiety and general mental health issues.
Managing Your Mind
This is why you need to know how to manage your mind during hard times and prioritize your mental health. For many of us, we’re currently experiencing a world filled with chaos, fear and panic. Everyday we’re stuck between being informed and staying sane whilst doing so. This can have a negative impact on our the way we think, and therefore affect our mental health, which can also affect our bodies. When we allow ourselves to give into the daily pressures being put on us during this time, we allow this fear to control us until it to spirals into something bigger.
During quarantine we’re all dealing with so many things at once, from trying to stay sane, keeping the peace at home with family members, finding the space and time for ourselves, not seeing loved ones we miss and so much more. On top of this we are constantly opening our screens to the latest death toll numbers, infected rates, economic crashes, lockdown extensions and so much more. This is enough to make anyone go crazy!
The only way we can avoid losing our sanity during a time like this is by protecting our mental health during lockdown and giving ourselves the time and attention we need to do so. This is what self-love means. To be compassionate with yourself and to also do what’s best for you. The way you choose to spend your time and the things you give your attention to, can impact your mental health in a really uplifting and positive way, especially during hard times, like being in quarantine.
1. Limit Your Screen Time
Now that we’re being quarantined, this the perfect time to get away from everything that’s going on outside. This doesn’t mean you can’t stay informed, it simply just means that you just limit the amount of time you spend looking at a screen all day. Since the beginning of this whole coronavirus pandemic, our screens and devices haven’t stopped reminding us of it. In no way is this normal, or healthy for our mental health to be consuming so much negative information each day.
You need to understand that right now in the climate we’re all in, your phone and TV are the biggest contributors towards an unhealthy mindset. So put your phone down, switch off the TV, and just spend your time without looking at a screen all day. I promise you that your mind will not only feel refreshed, but your mood will be a whole lot better too.
2. Don’t Allow Yourself To Stay Stuck
When I say this, what I mean is, don’t allow yourself to stay stuck for too long. Get up and get yourself moving. Often times when we have a bad day, we’re just in a bad mindset, which can often affect our mood and how productive we are. When this happens, we tend to stay stuck in bed all morning, stay in the same clothes all day, sit in front of the TV all evening or just do the bare minimum until the day is over, only to wake up feeling like crap the next day too.
When you catch yourself feeling this way during quarantine, you need to understand that you’re just in a bad frame of mind, especially with every thing going on around us right now. However, this is exactly when you need to get up and stop the cycle so that you don’t spiral into a pit of negativity for weeks to come. When you don’t allow yourself to stay stuck, as simple as it may seem, this is how you get out of a rut. This is how you build momentum and boost your mood and become your most productive self.
The next time you find yourself not being able to get out of bed, force yourself to wake up and do something as little as brushing your teeth and taking a shower. The rule here, is to not-stay-stuck! Give yourself some time in the mornings and build your momentum slowly throughout the day. Be patient and caring with yourself, start your days slow if you have to, but get things done gradually. Slowly but surely you’ll see yourself get back into alignment again!
3. Stop Giving Into Fear
When we give into fear, it makes our brain feel uncertain and unsure, causing panic and chaos. The amazing thing about our brain however, is that we are able to control it and once we can control it, we can focus it. This is the art of mastering your mindset.
Know that right now, our minds are going through a lot, so we need to be understanding, patient and compassionate with ourselves. Our brain hates feeling out of control, moreso it hates uncertainty and this is exactly the time we’re living in right now. It can feel often feel like everything’s spinning out of control, however it doesn’t need to be this way. Simply stop allowing yourself to give into fear by becoming aware of your thoughts, not giving into the negative ones and focusing more on positive thinking.
4. Educate and Update Yourself
Speaking of fear, stop entertaining false news, everything you see on TV, social media or the opinions of family members or friends, that cause fear and panic in you. There is so much information on the coronavirus right now that is constantly going around. You need to be responsible in your search for information and educate yourself with what is right from wrong.
If you want to stay sane during this time and protect your mental health during quarantine, you cannot be listening to irrational people and stories that only spark anxiety, fear and stress in you. You need to updated yourself with the correct information, listen to the right people and always fact check things for yourself. A lack of information and education is where fear and panic arises from, it’s also where irrational behaviour stems from, like panic buying. Remember that knowledge is power, no one can influence your mind or make you feel scared when you are in the known.
5. Practice Self-Care
This is great for your mental health while stuck in quarantine. Do the things that make you feel happy and healthy. Practice maintaining good habits like working out, meditating and eating healthy, but also enjoy some time sleeping in, spending the day in Pj’s or watching a good movie.
Self-care is about taking care of yourself, but also doing the things you enjoy. Eat chocolate now, but fix yourself a salad for later, drink your green juice in the morning, but go a little out on the wine in the evening. Do whatever it is that contributes to your health and happiness! As long as you create a balanced self-care system for yourself.
6. Have A Daily Routine
If you want to protect your mental health during quarantine, it’s advisable to have a daily routine in place for yourself. This advice is also given to many people that suffer with depression because it gives you purpose in your day. When you have your day planned out or at least some intention for it, you’re more likely to accomplish something and get it done. This helps build your momentum, and as we know, anything that helps build your momentum, boosts your mood and makes you feel great.
7. Stay Productive
Don’t allow yourself to fall behind during this time, get things done. You don’t want to come out of quarantine having to do more things than you initially had to get done. If you have things like assignments, projects, tests to prepare for, etc. Use the time you have now to get it done, so that once quarantine is over, you don’t have to stress about these things later.
The worst thing you could possibly do right now for yourself, is procrastinate and fall behind. Yes, we’re all going through a lot right now but it is important to make the time for what is necessary and needed of you. Try splitting your days into sections, where you focus on the things you ‘need’ to get done, and spending the rest of your time on things that are important to you.
8. Give Yourself A Time Out When You Need It
You don’t always have to be busy, to feel like you’re worth it. If you need a break to just sit back, relax and review, then take it. As important as it is for us to get things done, it’s also important to protect your mental health during quarantine and take a break whenever you feel like you need it.
Often times, we need to just take a step back and look at the big picture in front of us. So be compassionate with yourself and give yourself time when your body needs it.
9. Get Out Of Your Pj’s!
Since everyday now feels like Saturday, it’s so tempting for us to stay in our pj’s all day. This might seem like a little innocent thing your doing, but I promise you it can make you feel really crappy by the end of your day. Get out of your pj’s every morning. Make it a habit, that even though you’re home, you take a shower twice a day and change into anything but your pj’s during the day! This doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on comfort, you can just simply use something comfy like sweatpants and a t-shirt.
10. Consume Uplifting Content
Pick up a motivational book, listen to an inspiring podcast, watch a good movie or consume uplifting videos on YouTube. Whatever it is, you have the power in your hands to contribute something worthwhile to your mental health, so do it!
Remember, do what feels right for you in the moment. If you feel like you have to force yourself to do something, take a step back. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time, do what works for you, not others. Sometimes things may get rough around you, or feel a lot worse than they actually appear, but don’t allow yourself to give into it. Whenever this happens or you’re feeling like you’re out of control and don’t know what to do, come back to this post.
Always remember that no matter how bad your situation may be, someone else out there is going through worse. We need to count our blessings and be grateful for our privilege. Right now, you have access to the internet whereas some people don’t even have access to food. This is not intended to make your feel bad in anyway possible, but instead to make you feel grateful, even if it may be in the slightest of ways possible. Practice gratitude and only repond to love!
I hope this post has put on smile on your face and made your day a little brighter. Always remember to prioritise and protect your mental health during quarantine! Show yourself a little extra love and care during this time and be a light to others as well. We’re all in this together, stay safe and sane.
Alana – Mae