Desperate times call for drastic measures, and nothing reflects this situation more aptly right now…
These unprecedented times have changed our perception of normal. We can no longer walk into our favorite restaurants for a nice meal, travel to beautiful locations, or catch up with friends without risking contracting the deadly coronavirus.
Living a sedentary life has become the norm. People do not travel thanks to new government directives that encourage us to stay and work from home to curb the spread of coronavirus.
However, living a life of inactivity leads to several health conditions. Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some types of cancer
- Mental health issues
Frankly, the biggest challenge is our mental health. It is especially true for people living alone and locked up in a county/city/state/town/house with no friends or family nearby.
According to an article by WHO, the pandemic is causing undue concern, fear, stress, and worry in the population.
The main psychological impact to date is higher levels of stress or anxiety. The measures taken by governments to reduce the spread has made the situation worse, even if staying or working from home helps us all to minimize the spread of coronavirus.
Coronavirus goes beyond a mere lung infection. Now than ever, there has been a sharp rise in depression cases, loneliness, alcoholism, and divorces. And to think we are only a few months into the pandemic. We’re living with a plague. I know it’s bad news, but it’s our new reality.
Before you go bonkers, especially if you watch a lot of news, here are a few helpful tips to help you embrace the new normal and keep your mental health in check:
Find a New Routine or Schedule
With your regular routines disrupted, strive to come up with a new schedule that keeps you busy the whole day. Instead of fluttering about, keeping to your routine keeps you grounded.
Just because you’re working from home, don’t forget to wake up at the same time you did before. Shower, dress up, and have breakfast before you start working. Also, remember to schedule in the much-needed breaks to avoid burning out or overworking.
Here are a few things to add to your new plan:
- Physical exercise – Exercise for at least 30 minutes and, preferably, one hour a day. You could take a long walk or take up the challenges on social media to spice up your workout while sharing with your friends. Here are a few things you can do to keep fit from the comfort of your home or neighborhood
- Time for chores – They say doing house chores can decrease stress levels and anxiety. Also, who doesn’t love a clean and organized home?
- Slot in some self-improvement time – You could read a book, journal, do some meditation, listen to podcasts or learn a new skill
online. Find a new hobby or project to focus on during this period. It could be an appealing DIY (Do It Yourself) project that will help keep your mental health in check.
Connect With Friends and Family Daily
Set the time to reach out to family or friends every day. Especially when you feel overwhelmed, it may go a long way to hear a familiar voice. Where possible, video calls will fill the gap created by social distancing.
You can have a family/friends video hangout slotted in your schedule at least once a week. I particularly like the conference calls that go on for hours and leave me feeling like I was right there with them.
There are a lot of memes going around about how we will all come out of this pandemic fat. 80% of the activities we’re doing at home revolve around cooking, eating, and just being basic couch potatoes.
We need to make essential physical activity an everyday habit. Take a 30 minutes’ walk, use the internet to get a workable exercise routine, or take up a Tiktok 100 press up challenge.
I have challenged myself to do at least 500 skips every morning. On a good day, I get to 1000, and it leaves me bursting with energy.
Create a Meal Plan
Planning meals helps a long way not only in budgeting but also in eating a healthier diet. Do prior bulk shopping after writing down your meals for the week. In case you have no idea what meals to put on your list, you can always get weekly recipes online for free.
Alternatively, you can use a tool such as Eat This Much to generate meal plans automatically. Other than the main website, they also offer mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
Watch Your News Intake
As much as many people turn to social media to connect with others, it is paramount that you limit your screen time and information intake.
With so much bad news about the pandemic on social sites and other media outlets, if you are not careful, you may trigger anxiety and increase your stress levels.
Have a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting some good sleep is essential now more than ever. It is vital for the health of your body and brain. Maintain a routine and do not nap excessively. A healthy sleep routine will give structure to your day.
Finally, as we do all this, do not forget to wear a face-mask and sanitize or wash hands where necessary. Keeping sane has become an everyday task for now, but it will all come to pass. Remember, the choices you make will go a long way in helping you manage this pandemic efficiently.