Protect your Mental Health during Stay Home Orders
May 1, 2020
The current challenge of COVID- 19 not only makes us carry extra pressures to observe our overall exposure to the disease but we must socially distance ourselves. Not to mention, living in a retirement community like Pisgah Valley, you may feel even more pressure at this time. That means we can’t be in the physical presence of our friends and support network that we lean on in times of crises. This has forced us to think about new ways of doing common activities. The changes that have taken place over the last few months have placed a lot of pressure on our minds to adapt, learn new ways, manage tense situations and survive. If someone is not careful, the pressure could lead to more health problems. Here are some ways to protect your mental health during a stay at home order:
Maintain some type of routine
For some, a break from the regular 9 to 5 can seem like a vacation. You can sleep in a little longer, pants are optional, and makeup does not need to be put on- that is, unless there’s a special Zoom meeting with the grandkids on the schedule for the day. When changes like this take place, maintaining some form of routine can help your mind and body feel less chaotic. Try to be consistent with going to bed at the same time, waking up at the same time, eat meals at regular times and practicing hygiene consistently every day.
Embrace technology but limit TV
Stay at home orders are challenging for many people but for the extroverts that lack socialization it can definitely weigh on the mind. If you find yourself itching to get out and be social then embrace technology. There are numerous virtual platforms for communicating with friends and family. Zoom has been very popular, Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime, etc. By utilizing technology in new ways for communicating we can truly be alone together. When it comes to entertainment, try to limit exposure to too much television. Pull out an old favorite book of yours instead.
Be good to your body and move everyday
Treat your body well and your mind will follow. Now that gyms, national forests and other group gatherings are closed, try to find ways to move around the house and keep that body working. Go for walks close by the home, look up free workout videos on youtube or other platforms. If you live in a retirement community, maybe you have gained access to some virtual classes through your wellness program much like Pisgah Valley has done for our residents. Share those with friends and family to get everyone moving!
Get quality rest
Make sleep a priority! Needless to say the amount of good quality sleep has been depleted by many throughout our current stay at home order. One of the best defenses against COVID – 19 is a strong immune system. In order to have a strong immune system, one must get adequate rest each night. Aim to get good quality sleep each night by going to bed at a normal time, moderating alcohol and caffeine intake, moderating technology use, and finding some time to unwind about an hour before laying down.
Take each day as it comes
Creating a gratitude journal is a great way to focus on the positive and recall blessings from the day. Take some time to start the day or end the day with a journal entry. By taking some time to write down your thoughts, you can practice mindfulness and not worry so much about uncertainties. By practicing some of the aforementioned tips, you may be able to escape this disease and keep your mental health during a stay at home order.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind,
but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”