With everyone doing their best to stay in during the coronavirus pandemic, it can be hard to upkeep healthy lifestyle choices. In fact, the boredom and dreariness of staying in all day can cause people to fall into bad habits. People may start to make poor decisions regarding their diets, exercise routine, or even fall back into substance abuse.
The key to ensuring your mental health doesn’t deteriorate during this time is managing good habits. Individuals need to focus now, more than ever, on avoiding harmful coping mechanisms. This can include an abundance of alcohol, smoking, using drugs, or even unhealthy food choices. Here are four tips to help you stay positive and healthy during the COVID-19 lockdown.
1. Use Technology to Engage in Virtual Support
Whether you’re self-isolating on your own or with a roommate, a partner, or your family, it can feel like a lonely time. You’re no longer seeing friends and coworkers. The people we interact with everyday offer us support and can hold us accountable. Many rehabilitation centers focus on the importance of having a strong support system when leaving treatment. Now, you probably aren’t interacting with the people you relied on.
To avoid slipping into bad routines, engage in virtual support. You can call friends and family. If you prefer to see people, you can use free platforms such as Skype, Zoom, or Google hangouts. You can find support groups and forums online. Lastly, there are smartphone apps that focus on mental health aid. With minimal effort, the resources you need to get through this are easily accessible.
2. Don’t Allow For Complacency
Try to remember that the lockdown will be over at some point and this shouldn’t be considered a free pass. If you’ve worked hard to stay healthy, be physically active, or be sober, now is not an excuse to undo all that effort. Poor choices now may be hard to break when the lockdown ends.
Just because you can’t physically meet somewhere, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect yourself. If you can’t go to support meetings, check how your group is offering support. You can likely call in or meet online for sessions. If you used to run with a running group, you can switch to at-home workouts. Or, try running on quiet trails first thing in the morning. Don’t be complacent; make adjustments to fit your new situation.
3. Don’t Panic When Dealing With COVID-19 Anxiety
Maintaining positive habits during this time is particularly challenging because your anxiety is likely at an all-time high. Additional stress beyond travel restrictions and disruptions to daily life are present. Financial stress may be occurring for many Americans. Worrying about job security, financial obligations, the future, and your health can take a toll on your mental health. And, that is when it becomes tempting to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Instead, make the conscious decision to deal with your anxiety head-on. The coronavirus lockdown will pass, the anxiety will lessen, and you will go back to your regular routines.
4. Do Your Best to Stay Busy
People may turn to bad habits, such as drinking or eating unhealthy foods, mainly because they’re bored. It can feel like you’re trapped in your home with nothing to do. But, there are opportunities to find new things to do. If you are furloughed or have lost your job, it’s a great time to learn a new skill, update your resume, or rework your LinkedIn profile. You can get exercise inside or outside with the proper precautions. You can learn how to cook new dishes or tackle that home project you never got around to. This is the perfect time to take on all those things you used to think you were too busy to do! Staying busy will help you feel productive, feel happy, and distract you from negative thoughts or impulses.
About Diamond Physicians
At Diamond Physicians, we are doctors who get you. We understand you have a life and responsibilities, so we’ve made healthcare easier for you. We create custom plans for your unique healthcare needs. Contact us today to learn more about the healthcare services we offer.