I think I speak for everyone when I say the pandemic has taken it’s toll on us – financially, emotionally, and mentally. Many of us are coping with similar feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress, and more given the current climate. We want to have fun. We want to hug our loved ones without worry. And we want our jobs and businesses to survive.
It’s important to view this time as a challenge that will end – like any other challenge you’ve faced or will face in your life. Because I can guarantee you, you'll face more challenges ahead. Here are my tips on how to get through the pandemic while keeping up with your mental health.
Whenever I exercise, I instantly feel much better. Wear your workout clothes and not pajamas. Get a good sweat and develop a routine. Have an idea of what you’re going to do workout wise before, or even come up with a plan. It’s tempting to just sit and watch Netflix all day or after work, but you’ll feel much better if you resist that temptation.
Lay off the sugar, artificial foods, and fast food. It’s easy to get lazy and develop poor eating habits when you’re inside all day as the time can fly, but use your quarantine as a time to experiment with healthy foods and recipes! Try different challenges, whether it be to consume more water, vegetables, or lay off the junk food for five straight days. And when it’s Saturday or your cheat day, order that pizza and eat that ice cream! Most importantly, if you fall off the wagon, don’t worry – you’re only human. Just stay positive, and eat cleaner the next day.
Forget social media
Having run a business where social media is of upmost importance, I feel like I’m lecturing myself on this one. Don’t waste your time on Instagram and Facebook. What do you get out of it? There is so much more to life (even while quarantined). Pick up a book. Go for a walk outside. Just lay off the screen time.
Rediscover old passions (or find new ones)
I recently read this piece by Mark Manson the other day and it really struck a chord with me. “What’s true about you today that would make your 8 year-old-self cry?” What were your passions when you were young? What were your dreams? How did you spend that time - painting, writing stories, playing sports?
Chances are, you probably stopped doing it for whatever reason. Maybe you didn’t, I know I did. And I know most of my friends did too. Perhaps you stopped because you didn’t make any money from it? Or didn’t get more fit? But it did give you happiness. Try to rediscover those old passions. Or, try and find new ones that you might love just as much.
Maintain a schedule
Waking up and going to bed at the same time daily can help a lot. Just getting into that rhythm gives me a lot of motivation and gets my day really going. It’s really tough to do, but I guarantee you it helps and you'll be more productive and happier. It takes about 21 days to form that new habit, so get started tomorrow and you have 20 days left.
Find inner peace & appreciate your solitude
Figure out what truly relaxes you and do it. It could be taking a hot bath or shower, meditating, drinking tea, or reading. Just figure out what works for you and do it.
As an introvert, I find that I really appreciate solitude and my time completely alone. It allows me to recharge, think, and focus. For others, especially extroverts, I understand it can be more challenging, but it's important to find ways to help you enjoy that solitude more.
if you find that you cannot cope with the daily struggles contact a medical professional who can help you. There is no shame in reaching out.
As a disclaimer, I’m not a mental health professional. I’m just a guy trying to get through each day of this pandemic and share what works for me. I encourage you to do the same in the comments.