If you live with a mental health condition such as depression, schizophrenia, or generalized anxiety disorder, isolation can make your symptoms worse. In the height of the coronavirus pandemic, we are asked to telework and stay inside as much as possible. The news and social media can easily trigger an episode for many of us.
As a person living with bipolar disorder and someone who works from home 90 percent of the time, I now realize how much time I spent in isolation before this crisis. Attending my 5 am workout classes is sometimes the only (in-person) human interaction I get. The gyms are closed. And I find myself cycling rapidly between manic and depressive episodes, and it’s challenging as I get adjusted to my new medication. If you are often on-the-go or work a lot, use this time to slow down and take time for yourself. If you are having a difficult time like me, here is a list of wellness tools to help you during this time.
Did you know regular exercise can boost your immune system? Complete a 30 minute workout by finding a YouTube video as exercise has been proven to increase your “feel-good” chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Your situation may not change as most entertainment and restaurant establishments are closed but your mood will improve and you'll have a stronger immune system.
Did you know that you can connect with a therapist in less than 24 hours with BetterHelp? All you have to do is take an assessment and once you are matched with your therapist, you can send them a text or audio message, and schedule a video, chat or phone session.
3. Binge Watch Your Favorite Show
Catch up on that TV show and enjoy a good laugh (or cry); you deserve time to kick your feet up and relax.
Write down your thoughts and feelings to track how you are managing your mental health during this time. Journaling has been proven to enhance your mental health.
5. Invite A Friend Over
If it were not for my friend Jordan, I probably would have lost it by now. She has been my go-to person for discussing my mental health challenges and she comes over to keep me company. We plan activities like creating vision boards and building a shelf for my home office.
Take a break from the news and social media as it can increase your stress and anxiety. Use a meditation app, listen to nature sounds or pray.
7. Practice Gratitude
It is scientifically proven that people who practice gratitude are happier. In the positive psychology space research has shown gratefulness and life satisfaction go hand-in-hand. Write down five things you are grateful for every morning and revisit the list throughout the day.
8. Listen To A Podcast
Just like you can binge-watch a TV show, you can binge listen to a podcast. Listening to a podcast can make the time go by fast as you can listen while cleaning, cooking or working. Click here to see a list of my favorite podcasts.