The lockdown can trigger all sorts of negative emotions ranging from anxiety to depression, to confusion, to fear, to anger, and even disorders such as insomnia. Humans are social beings; hence self-isolation goes against our nature. This explains why our mental health is most vulnerable during times of isolation.
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To prevent the negative effects of isolation, we suggest 5 ways to protect your mental health.
Avoid Spending Too Much Time On Social Media
Social media feeds are full of sensational headlines designed to keep us glued to our screens all day. That’s a recipe for disaster as far as our productivity and mental health are concerned. In fact, several studies show that excessive social media usage can lead to feelings of depression and loneliness.
No doubt, social media is a great tool to beat boredom when you’re isolated. But avoid scrolling endlessly through Facebook and Instagram. You can engage meaningfully on social media by connecting with friends and loved ones. Social connection is highly beneficial for your wellbeing.
Being stuck at home due to the lockdown may mean that you still have to work and meet up with the obligations of your job. If you don’t manage your time well and discipline yourself to do the work, you may end up being unproductive, and this can take a toll on your mental health.
First, don’t give in to the urge to sleep in and stay up late. Set your alarm to wake up early. Shower, eat your breakfast, make the bed, etc. Take your personal appearance seriously by getting dressed. While you don’t have to overdress or wear your work clothes, wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable.
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Plan Your Week
Prepare a schedule for the week. Follow a daily routine because it will help you have a structure and keep you settled throughout the day. Plan to wake up early every day and engage in activities that get you pumped up for the day.
You can make weekends different by preparing a more elaborate breakfast or learning a new skill. Whatever you do, let your week have a combination of structure and variation. This keeps people settled but energised which is both important for your emotional wellbeing.
Include some form of exercise in your daily routine. If you’re not confined to your house, you can take daily jogs and walks. Exercise and exposure to sunlight are powerful mood-boosters.
Lockdown might give you more time and opportunity to exercise. If this is the case, set goals to increase the squats, sit-ups, etc, you do every week. Exercise has proven to have positive effects on mood and it is highly recommended for mild to moderate depression. It should be a priority in your daily routine.
Plan to make the best use of the lockdown. Many famous scientists and artists came up with their best works while stuck at home due to an illness or crisis. While you should not feel pressured by this fact, plan to make the best use of your self-isolation. Devote your day to learning a new skill, writing that book, or working on a personal project (i.e. you blog). This will not only help you achieve your goals but keep your mind busy and active – both important for emotional wellbeing.
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