There has been a lot of focus put on physical well-being regarding the pandemic, as it has potentially serious respiratory symptoms. However, while there are short-term and possible lasting physical effects from COVID-19, you shouldn’t ignore keeping your mental health in check during these times, says Patrick Bieleny, a real estate investor and mentor in Calgary, Alberta.
The worry and stress of the pandemic can weigh heavily on the mind and you need to make a conscious effort to check in with yourself and loved ones. That includes adapting ways to cope, as well as recognizing any signs of mental illness and taking action.
Unplug from the News Cycle
It’s important to keep yourself updated with any new developments, such as a vaccine coming soon — which is good news, says Patrick Bieleny. Being well-informed on the subject is important, but you have to leave room in your brain for other things.
Make sure you take a break from the news, whether you’re looking at the latest COVID-19 numbers or other world issues. Pick a time of day and spend a bit of time catching up on the latest, but don’t check in every hour as things will not have changed much and you’re not giving your worries a break.
Unless you’ve been ordered to stay inside, you should be getting out daily to stretch your legs, says Patrick Bieleny. Exercise, even moderate stuff like walking, has a positive effect on stress.
If you can’t leave your property right now or are working from home and don’t have much time for walks, you can still do some cardio exercises indoors. Whatever you choose, aim for about 30 minutes of moderate activity a day to benefit your physical and mental health.
Have a Game Plan
Knowing how to react if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and where to get help can go a long way in helping you keep your worries under control, says Patrick Bieleny. Look up where you can get tested, how to let others know in a responsible way if you’ve tested positive, and how to get prompt treatment.
Just like how you seek a doctor’s opinion if you have physical symptoms, you should also seek the advice of a counselor or mental health professional if you’re experiencing any decline in mental health (that could include unusual levels of anxiety or depression).
You’re Doing the Best You Can
Remember that everybody is in the same situation regarding the pandemic right now, and know that feeling some anxiety and concern about what the future holds is normal, says Patrick Bieleny.
However, try not to focus on negative outcomes and try to appreciate what you have control over, like taking care of yourself and your family. With some relaxation approaches (don’t forget proper sleep) and getting help when you need it, you can endure this challenging time.