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

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.
Use the time to reflect on the important things, and try to keep a sense of “we’re all in this together” at the forefront.

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

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

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

forbes.com

9

Key Ideas

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.
Unstructured time can create boredom, spikes in anxiety or depression.

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.

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.

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 become obsessed with cleaning.

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. Controlled breathing has been used for millennia to calm the mind.

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 organizing a videoconference are some examples of fostering a sense of closeness.

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.

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 grateful for.
This exercise is linked to increased well-being, studies show.

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.
Use the time to reflect on the important things, and try to keep a sense of “we’re all in this together” at the forefront.

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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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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
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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.
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  • Wholefoods such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean red meat, and seafood, provide nutrients that are important for optimal brain function. 
  • Many types of fitne...
Reduce your vices

People with alcohol and drug problems have a greater likelihood than average of having a mental illness and have far poorer health outcomes.

Stopping smoking is an important step, as nicotine-addicted people are constantly at the mercy of a withdrawal-craving cycle, which profoundly affects mood. 

Prioritize rest and sleep

Sleep hygiene techniques aim to improve sleep quality and help treat insomnia. 

They include: adjusting caffeine use, limiting exposure to the bed (regulating your sleep time and having a limited time to sleep),  limiting exposure to the blue light from smartphones, and making sure you get up at a similar time in the morning.

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