As we grapple with the uncertainty of COVID-19, loneliness, financial stress and health concerns can lead to mental instability. But there are some simple ways you can maintain your mental health amid the pandemic.
When feelings of anxiousness come knocking relaxation techniques can help to calm the mind. There are plenty of mindfulness apps like Headspace, Shine and Calm that you can download to practice self-care and meditation at home. There are also some great mindfulness apps for kids, like Cosmic Kids Yoga, which teaches yoga, mindfulness and relaxation to help promote happiness and relieve stress for little ones.
Make a home cooked meal
Simply put, what you eat directly affects the functionality of your brain and ultimately, your mood. Nutritionist Alexia Doufos from The Girl Gang Wellness says reducing the consumption of stimulatory foods that are rich in caffeine and sugar is a simple way to support your mental health. In fact, foods high in refined sugars can actually worsen the symptoms of mood disorders like depression. So, while it might be tempting to snuggle under a blanket with a tub of ice cream and a block of chocolate, Alexia suggests introducing nutritious foods such as natural yoghurt, oats, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and salmon instead.
Do you have an endless to-do list? Is your home over-flowing with unfinished projects? Are your cupboards full of things you no longer use or need? According to a 2010 study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, living in a cluttered home can lead to depression and fatigue. The study also observed women living in cluttered spaces had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than women whose homes were organised. So, how do you best tackle a whole home overhaul? There’s no need to do it all at once, instead try decluttering for five or ten minutes a day. Start with one drawer at a time until you make your way through a room.
Keep in contact
It’s times like these where we long for a chat with our local café barista or even elevator small talk with the guy on the next floor. Self-isolation can lead to loneliness so now more than ever it’s important for us to remain connected with our loved ones. So, pick up the phone or join that Zoom group call and stay connected to those who are not so far away after all.
If you need someone to talk to you can reach out to organisations like Beyond Blue who have resources available to help during this time.
Words / Alyssa Cairo