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Protecting Your Mental Health During COVID-19

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

In these chaotic times it’s natural to feel anxious and uncertain about the future.

 

COVID-19 has thrown a monkey wrench into all our plans and the struggles we are facing can become overwhelming. We watch the news hoping for something positive and we hardly ever receive any. There is panic in the grocery stores and amazon is only over night delivering essential supplies. When the world spins out of control you don’t have to.

 

The Wake Up Project has decided to research and present to you some of, what we think, are the best tips to keep you grounded in these terrifying times.

Exercise

Stress is a given in this situation… you’re going to feel it throughout this journey. Finding time to exercise is vital in times of mental distress. Exercising releases endorphins and serotonin which improve your mood and can help you relieve some of that stress. Exercising not only relieves stress, but it can help improve your symptoms from things like anxiety and depression. You can read more about the benefits of exercise here.

Drink Water

Staying healthy during isolation is very important and part of staying healthy is drinking water. Some of us here at the Wake Up utilize an app called, “Water Minder”. Water minder is a great tool to help keep you on track with your water drinking habits. There are plenty of settings to help you decide how much water you should be drinking a day, and the app conveniently reminds you throughout the day to drink up! The app costs about two dollars to install but it’s worth every penny. It can also pair to your apple watch. Staying hydrated has a major impact on brain function and will keep you alert through your online classes or teaching your kids 1st grade math. You can learn more about the importance of drinking water here

Exercising and drinking water are both things you should be doing everyday even when there is not a global pandemic. Now that most of you have a lot of free time while you’re doing your part by social distancing, you have more time to build healthy habits. Now, you don’t have to use this time to build an empire or start a fashion blog or source a second income. You can use this time to try and change your lifestyle for the better. Make little adjustments to your daily life that you’ll be able to carry on with you into life after the coronavirus pandemic.

Other Activities to Help You Get Through the Day

Yoga is a great way to calm your mind and body through stretching. There is intense yoga that you can utilize when exercising but if you don’t want to do that, the calmer side of yoga can be great for starting off your day. A great resource to find free yoga classes is Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Adriene offers a wide variety of free classes you can participate in on your own time with the click of a button. She has yoga for newbies and long-time pros. She offers just about any kind of yoga you want to try, even 30-day yoga journeys. Starting off your morning with some relaxing stretching can set a great tone for the day, and it’s good for your body.

Another great way to spend time is journaling. There are some major mental health benefits to journaling, and many therapists recommend it as an outlet for your thoughts. Sometimes when we feel like we have no one to talk to, our feelings can get pent up inside causing us mental stress. Journaling is a great way to relieve some of that stress through expression. Nobody has to know you journal, you can keep it to yourself and hide your journal under your bed if that makes you feel safe, or you can turn it into a blog and share it with the world. The great thing about journaling is that it’s all up to you, you have all the control, and sometimes it’s nice to feel like you have some control in a tumultuous world.

And lastly, there’s nothing quite like sitting down with a good book. It could be an old favorite, a new story, or even something educational. Reading is known to reduce stress and stimulate cognitive function while also improving analytical skills and memory. Just like any muscle, the brain needs to be exercised in order to maintain peak performance. Reading is a great way of exercising your brain to increase knowledge that can help you at work or school and it also promotes good mental health.

Please take your mental health seriously all the time, even more importantly during difficult times like these. Check in on your friends and family who may be struggling right now or just to say hello or even to talk if you’re struggling with these tough times yourself. We are lucky to be experiencing this during the age of the internet. Friends and family may not be physically present in your life, but they’re only a call away. To slow the spread, we must do our part and physically isolate from each other, but you are still free to FaceTime, text, call, Zoom, Skype and connect with each other on whichever digital platform you prefer.