Here’s What You’re Probably Not Hearing Enough of…
If you check the news or head to social media, you will surely be met with endless headlines of COVID-19 related news and health warnings. You will probably be given tons of virus-related advice and instructions on how to stay physically healthy. What you are less likely to hear, however, is a reminder to check in on your mental health.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by all that is around you, here are some reminders you probably aren’t hearing enough.
Take It Easy on Yourself
Many may see this period of quarantine as a time to explore new hobbies, get work done around the house, or learn a new skill. While you can absolutely partake in these activities it’s important to remember that it is perfectly OKAY if you feel like you aren’t being as productive as you typically are. The world is experiencing an unprecedented period of time, you cannot expect to function as if everything is normal.
At this moment, you and those around you are learning to adapt to circumstances many have never experienced before. Adjusting to an entirely new way of life can be exhausting and can take a significant toll on your mind and body. That’s why it is so important to give yourself a break. Understand that being able to accomplish anything right now is a success that you should take pride in. You are surviving each day of a global pandemic. You are facing the uncertainty and fear head-on, and that is enough.
It’s Okay to Be Disappointed
Have you ever had someone tell you “there’s always someone who has it worse”? I bet it didn’t make you feel any better. That’s because while it’s important to be grateful for what you have, whether that be your health, your loved ones, or a safe place to quarantine, you’re still going to feel a little sad about what you’re missing out on. Guess what? That’s okay! You may feel grief for aspects of your life that may never be the same, or you may feel anger over missing a celebration or milestone that was canceled because of COVID-19. Whatever it is, feel it! You can be disappointed about your situation while still having compassion for those who have it worse. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Don’t Feel Bad About Setting Boundaries
While you’re adjusting to life under these circumstances, you may need to reevaluate your relationships with others. This may mean having difficult conversations with people you care about. For example, are you doing your best to avoid too many COVID-19 related updates? You may need to tell your friends and family to limit their virus-related conversations when you are around.
Quarantine can make setting boundaries extra difficult, especially if you are quarantining with others. Since you’re home all day, you may be losing out on the alone time you typically look forward to as part of your daily routine. A solution may be to designate some time to be alone and asking those around you to refrain from interacting with you during this period. While setting boundaries can be uncomfortable, it can ultimately help keep your mind and body healthy.
Mind Your Media
With the status of the virus changing by the hour, staying informed is critical and can even be lifesaving. However, the way in which you consume and share the constant flow of updates should be closely evaluated. You may have been advised to limit your news consumption. Doing so may prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by the influx of new information, limiting your stress level. Furthermore, paying attention to exactly what you’re consuming is just as crucial to your mental health.
False news stories can spread rapidly on the internet, especially in times of panic and uncertainty. When you come across a piece of information that worries or alarms you, take the time to make sure it is factually true before you allow yourself to become stressed over it. You owe it to your mental wellbeing to protect yourself from unnecessary worry. This is also true for the sharing of information you find. Do not contribute to the spread of unwarranted fear by sharing false news stories. Not only is it harmful to your mental health, but it is dangerous to the mental wellbeing of others. Furthermore, before sharing news, remember to respect the boundaries of others who may be trying to limit their intake of updates.
What’s Most Important?
While you’re trying to do all you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, remember…
Many of us are so consumed with the health and wellbeing of our loved ones that we forget to check in with ourselves. You cannot be of great help to those you love if you are not taking proper care of your own mind and body. This period of fear and uncertainty may be taking a significant toll on your mental health, but it will not last forever. We will see an end to the uncertainty and the chaos will subside. In the meantime, just hang on. Be kind to yourself and take the necessary steps to maintain your mental wellbeing. Everything will be okay.