Social distancing is an important part of slowing the spread of COVID-19, and everyone should do their part to help. However, staying home and isolating yourself from others can cause problems for your mental health. Remember that you’re not alone, even while social distancing. Break down each day into manageable parts by following a normal routine, avoiding unnecessary stress, and practicing healthy habits. Take care of yourself with these tips for how to maintain your mental health while social distancing.
Create a Normal Routine
Staying home from school, work, and any other daily activities throws a wrench in your routine. Many of us rely on our schedules for a sense of normalcy and familiarity. While you’re home, do your best to recreate and stick to your regular schedule. Devote time each day to your productivity—whether that’s classes, work, or other responsibilities. While it’s okay to sleep in a little, don’t oversleep or stay up too late. Keep a regular eating schedule, too, just as you would if you were out and about during the day.
Limit News Intake
One of the most important parts of how to maintain your mental health while social distancing is to avoid unnecessary stress. While it’s important to keep up with the most recent updates, watching the news all day is a burden you don’t need to bear. There are a lot of biased opinions and false information floating around, and you can waste a lot of mental energy trying to sort through it all. Instead, try to limit the time you spend watching the news. When you do look for updates, be sure to get your information straight from the source, like the World Health Organization or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Use Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Stress is perfectly normal, and there are several healthy things you can do to relieve it. Stay in touch with your friends and loved ones who you can’t see right now. You can even play games online or share meals over video chat to get your much-needed social interaction. You might also turn to exercise or creative outlets to relax. As you search for healthy pastimes, be sure to avoid the unhealthy ones. If you decide to binge a Netflix show, take plenty of breaks to get away from the screen for a while. While a homemade cocktail night is a fun way to pass time with your family or roommates, you should never use alcohol as a coping mechanism. You should know the consequences alcohol can have on your life and instead seek out healthy methods of dealing with stress.
Get Some Fresh Air
As you stay at home and practice social distancing, make sure you’re also getting outside from time to time. Open the windows during nice weather, take a walk, or sit out on the porch or balcony as often as you can. Not only will the fresh air and sunshine help boost your mood, but you’ll also get a chance to see the normal parts of the world around you. Remember that some things haven’t changed, and even the most stressful parts won’t last forever.