The past few weeks have been difficult and trying for all of us. While we're all working to manage our physical health, I'm here to offer some tips to help manage mental health. We're all living under circumstances prime for increased anxiety and depression.
Remember this is temporary
Like everything else, this moment is temporary. Come back to this mantra when you feel overwhelmed by the largeness of this moment. It doesn't help that we can't quite see an end in sight yet, what we do know is that there will be an end.
Limit access to news
Watching news is not conducive for mental health in normal circumstances, and this situation only makes it worse. Getting stuck in the news cycle can make it hard to escape any anxiety you're feeling about the situation. Limit your news intake to about 30 minutes per day and stick to print media over TV or social media.
Take it one day at a time
When I think about having to stay home and away from my loved ones for another month or more, feelings of hopelessness quickly arise in me. It's just too much to make sense of. But I know that I can get through this day, and I'll worry about tomorrow when the sun rises on it. Take this one day at a time and you've got a better chance at decreasing anxiety and depression.
Help someone in need
Studies show that we feel better when we're able to help others. Whether you donate money to a local food bank or help an elderly neighbor purchase groceries, find some way you can be helpful in your community. Being able to help someone else, no matter how small the gesture, helps us feel a little more in control of this world where we may feel so little of it right now, and just makes us feel good all around.
Feel your feelings
You might feel pressure to try to stay happy right now, but that's hard to do when you have so many other big feelings competing for your attention. It's okay to feel any of our feelings and ignoring them actually make them worse. It's okay to feel angry, sad and fearful. Make some time to feel and journal about them and they won't feel as powerful.
Maintain your physical health
Our physical and mental health go hand in hand. Staying indoors and eating pantry staples is not really best practice for either. Make some time to move around, go for a walk and make nutritious food choices as much as possible.
Keep in touch with family and friends
This level of isolation is difficult even for introverts. Use technology to your advantage as much as possible. Phone or video chat with family and friends to help you maintain some level of connectedness when we're all forced to distance.
Check in with a therapist
Now, more than ever, our mental health is going to be effected by the climate around us. Every aspect of life is counter-indicated for a healthy state of mind. Most therapists are offering telehealth sessions over phone or secure video conference tools to offer help. They can help manage your feelings of depression or anxiety with tried and true techniques. At Playa Vista Counseling, our therapists have recently completed courses to stay compliant on HIPAA regulations of telehealth as well as trainings to help clients through a pandemic. We're happy to offer a complimentary consultation to discuss how we can help.