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9 Mental Health Practices To Maintain (Or Begin) During Lockdown

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2020/03/22/9-mental-health-practices-to-maintain-or-begin-during-coronavirus-lockdown/

forbes.com

9 Mental Health Practices To Maintain (Or Begin) During Lockdown
As many of us are being told to hunker down in our apartments and houses, and limit trips outside and social contact, things are feeling pretty "real" at this point. Aside from the general worry people may have about their physical health as they digest the news from around the world and here at home, there's the larger toll this is taking on our collective mental health.

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Try to keep a routine

Doing so during stressful of traumatic periods of time will boost your resilience.
A routine could mean: eating meals at the same hours, sleeping, setting regular times to exercise, etc.

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Exercise routines

This is an excellent way to stay healthy and occupy your time while being indoors.
Anything that gets your heart pumping or builds muscle is excellent for both physical and mental health....

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Going outside

This is much easier in the country or suburbs. But remember to stay six feet away from other people.
Spending time in nature is a boon to both mental and physical health.

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Declutter your home

Take advantage of the situation to work on your home.
Cleaning has a dose of predictability and control that helps especially when dealing with uncertain times. Just be careful not to be...

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Meditate

Meditate

Meditation reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, and it can increase the volume of certain areas of the brain.
But if meditation isn’t for you, just breathing slowly might be. Controll...

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Maintain social connection

Social connectivity is perhaps the greatest determinant of wellbeing there is.
Even if you can't engage in physical contact, try to be creative about it: texting, picking up the phone or orga...

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Giving to others

Serving others from a distance, even via small acts of kindness, has strong and immediate mental health benefits and it arms us with a sense of purpose.

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Practice gratitude

Even though it might be a challenge right now (especially if you've felt the more brutal effects of the pandemic, like job or business loss, or illness), write down some of the things you’re gratef...

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Don’t beat yourself up

It's easy to be hard on yourselves when things don't go perfectly in your household. Don't focus on the hours the kids spend in front of the TV, or on the fact that you missed your workouts.
...

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Structure in times of chaos

Human suffering is often about freedom and constraint. We rebel against too much containment (“I need space!”) or if we have too much freedom, we feel lost in space. Fearful. (“Where did you go?...

Move

Our bodies need to stretch, reach, twist, bend, step, and sweat. It's not about staying in shape. It's about your immune health and mental health.

Build movement in your structure. Try for at least 20 minutes per day.

Nourish

You don't have to ban small treats. However, it is essential to set up a daily structure that fills you with nourishing healthy foods.

Make a dietary change, learn to meal prep, or teach your kids to cook.

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Be aware of your anxiety

Acknowledge and accept it. It is a normal reaction to something we perceive as a threat. Reframe your anxiety and don't identify with it. These are just feelings, thoughts and emotions that come an...

Schedule worrying

Dedicate 30 minutes a day to worrying. Do this at the same time and place. This will help you be more present in the rest of the day.
During your "worrying time", try to make the difference between what you can control and what you can't.

Reframe the situation

Try to switch perspective a little.
See this isolation period as an opportunity to slow down and focus on yourself and your household.

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Psychological Effects of Working from Home

  • Loneliness and isolation. And loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms like random pain.
  • Anxiety and pressure. The bounda...

Symptoms of Depression

  • Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration, even with unimportant matters.
  • Loss of interest or happiness in activities such as sex or hobbies.
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and sleeping too much.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy for even the smallest activities.
  • Increased cravings for food.
  • Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness.
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
  • Avoiding people.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

...while working from home:

  • Create a schedule and stick to it. Scheduling your tasks (and breaks) will help you to mentally prepare for the day.
  • Have a dedicated comfortable workspace, with a door that closes, preferably.
  • Fight the urge to stay sedentary and schedule active time to get your heart pumping.
  • Foster social connections (on the phone or via the internet, if physical contact is not possible).
  • Learn to say no. Know your limitations, set boundaries based on your schedule and workload, and don’t extend yourself beyond them.