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How To Look After Your Mental Health During The Coronavirus

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If you have been feeling overwhelmed by the coronavirus crisis, you are not alone. Many people have reported feelings of anxiety and even depression which, given the situation, is not all that rare. Most people have had to give up their normal routines, their hobbies and even seeing their loved ones to stop the spread of coronavirus, but even though the situation can often feel stressful and lonely, there are a couple of ways to ease your anxiety during these uncertain times.

Realize it’s okay to feel anxious

Numerous studies have shown that it is common for people who experience quarantine to feel anxious and depressed. Many factors, like being away from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainty over disease status, and boredom can take a toll in our mental wellbeing. However, one of the most important things to do is to not beat yourself up  about feeling down and not to be too hard on yourself if your anxiety prevents you from being as productive as you would want to be. This is new to everyone and we are all doing the best we can to cope. 

Take breaks from social media

We tend to be glued to our phones on a regular day, but with unlimited time in our hands, it can be even more difficult not to do so. However, experts advise that even though being informed and keeping up-to-date with news can be helpful, too much of it can be a greater inducer of anxiety. Think about it this way—this is a virus that is still under study by scientists, and even though learning the latest developments can be beneficial, there is also a lot of misinformation spread around by people who might not know best but have a significant media platform. Additionally, constantly hearing about the pandemic can prove to be upsetting.

Take care of your body

Physical and mental wellbeing are correlated, so by taking care of your body you will also start to take care of your mind. Many of us have been guilty of overindulging or overeating when spending too much time at home (for which, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself, by the way), but starting to be mindful of what we eat can greatly improve moods and even make you sleep better. Experts also advise avoiding the consumption of alcohol and recreational drugs because they often make you dehydrated which could cause fatigue and even feelings of depression. 

Activities such as yoga and meditation can have huge positive impacts in both the body and mind. Check out some of the cool online  yoga and meditation classes that are popping up everywhere. 

Make time for hobbies

If you have a hobby, now is the perfect time to enjoy it. Whether it be painting, knitting or crocheting, doing things we enjoy can help to make us feel better. Furthermore, if one of your hobbies is sewing, you might find comfort in volunteering to make face masks for the medical staff combating the coronavirus at hospitals. Can’t think of a hobby? Real Simple magazine lists some practical ones you can try.

Look for extra financial support

Losing your job is never easy, but to have it happen during a global pandemic can be even more stressful. With a record number of people filing for unemployment, the U.S. Congress has created a website that offers multiple resources to people that have lost a job during the health crisis, including COVID-19 unemployment insurance information. If you are still in a tight spot and are looking for extra money, many companies such as Amazon and Trader Joe’s have listed hundreds of openings around the country.

Connect with others

One of the harder parts of being in quarantine is being away from your loved ones. So calling up your friends and family and talking about your concerns and how you are feeling can be helpful during this time. 

Finally, if you feel like the situation is too overwhelming for your mental health, there are resources that can help available at the CDC website.

Alexandra Tirado Oropeza is a Venezuelan journalist covering politics, immigration, entertainment and social justice. She moved to the U.S. in 2014 to pursue a Writing degree at The University of Tampa, and after graduating, she moved to Los Angeles where she works in broadcast and as a freelance writer. She’s passionate about equality, freedom of speech, art and dogs.