There has not been a great start to the new decade. Drought, raging bushfires, floods and now a pandemic literally shutting down the world. It is little wonder COVID-19 is impacting your mental health. Never before in our lifetime has the world shut down as it has at this time.
It is a time of worry with kids being home schooled, a lack of freedom, no sports events, restaurants and cafes shut down, and the inability to go anywhere safely. The loss of freedom is a stark reminder at the fragility of the world. And it takes a toll on your mental health.
Now as we start reopening to get back to business, the worry is what the new world will look like. Will it be the same as before? Or will it be a whole brave new world? That remains to be seen. But good mental health is crucial to taking on new challenges. Who knows but our new world could be better than we could ever imagine.
Not only has the pandemic taken a toll physically, it also plays with your mind. But there are things you can do stay mentally well in such uncertain times.
Minimise the impact of COVID-19 on your mental health
What can you do to minimise the impact of COVID-19 and the effects of social distancing and self-isolation? How can you boost your mental health to become more resilient and healthier? It is important to understand the link between regulating stress and your health and wellbeing.
First let us look at stress and some facts about it, your mental health and brain and how it all interlinks. Keep in mind, good mental health can help with any illness or injury. Here is why.
Link between your brain and immune system
You brain and immune system have deep links with each other. The immune system is the main go-between environmental forces such as COVID-19, chemicals and microbes. It has an intimate link to your mood and brain disorders such as depression, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
Stress can be healthy
In many cases stress is normal and healthy. It is when stress takes over your life it becomes unhealthy. Stress can have negative consequences on your vascular system, immunity and brain. This can cause high blood pressure, an imbalance in your blood sugar levels, and defective inflammatory and immune responses. This is the exact opposite of what you need to fight the potential effects of COVID-19 exposure.
Physical exercise is essential
Physical exercise is essential to improving your mental and physical health. There are links between physical exercise and changes in your in brain. It can decrease oxidative stress that damages tissues and cells and increase levels of neuroprotective proteins.
Use mindfulness to improve how you feel
Practice mindfulness techniques to improve your mood and to sleep better. Mindfulness is the conscious act of focusing on the moment and accepting life for what it is without judgment. It allows better control of your feelings and helps manage stress and anxiety. Download my free mindfulness audio track to help calm the chaos.
Invest in your mental health
Invest in your mental health. It can pay off with long-lasting positive results. Studies show your future physical and mental health depends on what you invest into them. The sooner you invest in your health the better. It helps you face life’s tough challenges.
Three healthy habits to help beat COVID-19
Now you understand the five facts that challenge your physical and mental health, you can see there is an opportunity to take control. So how can you do this? The following are three ways to help improve your overall health.
Focus on what you can do
Focus on what you can do. Take action no matter how insignificant you may think it is. You may think being in isolation you cannot physically exercise but nothing is further from the truth. There are plenty of things you can do. But observe local social isolation guidelines. Dance to your favourite music, go for a walk, get out into the garden, download exercises run by trainers from YouTube just to name a few. Sit in the sun to soak up vitamin D. Get creative. There is no need to spend all your time watching television.
Call a friend or family member you have not heard from in a while. It is a great chance to reconnect. Be mindful of how others feel. Offer support to those around you. Give someone struggling a helping hand.
Accept we are all faced with challenges. Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot do. Show kindness. It not only helps someone else but you will feel good as well.
Add new tools to shape your mental health
With social isolation, COVID-19 shows the value of online resources. People are turning en masse to the internet to ease the pain and strain in the brain. Explore meaningful social connection, telemedicine, eLearning, mindfulness and more online.
Find new technology to help shape your mental health. While apps do not help you eat, sleep, feel better or well, there are tools you can use that will help.
More and more developers offer free online tools in response to COVID-19. These promote more serious thoughts about your life to help you develop better habits that focus on improving your mental and physical health.
Nurturing new habits can significantly affect you in many ways including positive changes to your immune system. This can be the new norm for tackling mental health into the future where enough people realise the positive effects of new technology.
Empower yourself and others
Empower yourself and others around you. It is important to be responsive and supportive of family, friends and your communities. A new preliminary study demonstrates that moral public health messages help people take responsibility for changing their behaviour during the pandemic.
Most of us are seeing our old normal completely change for the first time. And this adds extra stress and our mental and physical health has become a secondary priority.
Now is a time to create a new normal. An opportunity to establish a more resilient, stronger community. One that becomes healthier in body, mind and spirit.
Impact of working from home
The CCOVID-19 pandemic is forcing many people to work remotely. And it could be a trial run for a new future of working. But working at home with the kids, partners and pets under foot is challenging. And the impacts can add to your stress.
While this is the new norm, most will go back to work once the social distancing guidelines relax. Here are some tips to help you overcome these while you try to work with chaos around you.
Tips for working with the kids at home
Usually when working at home the kids are at school. But right now many are at home as schools close due to the pandemic. This means there are endless distractions. Add to that your partner also working from home this means constant interruptions that can drive you to distraction.
Set up a daily schedule where you designate times where you take turns taking responsibility for meeting the kids’ needs. This gives you both blocks of uninterrupted time to work and be productive.
Post the daily schedule in plain sight so everyone knows what is happening. Make a date to have lunch together as a family so the kids know they have dedicated time to spend with you every day. This makes it easier for kids to stick to and understand the boundaries of you working from home.
Tips for better productivity
Productivity can be a challenge when working from home but it will get easier. There can be so much going on around you that you need time to adjust. It is like starting a new job. You need to work out what works best for you in a new working environment.
Be open to what works best for you and your family. It can be a time where you become a genius multi-tasker by day and productive at night.
Home schooling adds every day pressure
While we are in the grips of a pandemic which causes us all anxiety, consider how it affects your children. No matter what age they will experience anxiety too. But, in particular, older children will worry about their exams. And while most children’s anxiety is usually due to school, the pandemic and disruption to normal life will affect them.
Now you need to home school the children it adds extra pressure especially if you are trying to work from home as well
Are you feeling the pressures of home schooling your kids? Here are a few tips to help you.
Do the kids feel safe?
Kids feed off your emotions so you may see an increase in behavioural issues. They will protest about not doing the things they normally do. And this can manifest as anger and anxiety.
They know something big is going down and it is scary. Nothing is normal because they are stuck at home. And it is your responsibility to continue their schooling but they have no interest.
Ask yourself, “Do they feel safe?” When kids feel unsafe emotionally, they are difficult to teach. Talk to them about what is happening in the world to reduce their anxiety. Reassure them it is only temporary and they can cope with the new norm. Let them know social isolation will end soon.
Make learning fun
Make learning fun and give them time to process what is going on. Take regular breaks and enjoy meals together. Burn off energy by exercising or jumping around in the backyard. Encourage them to play and burn off excess energy or they will drive you insane.
Look for opportunities to educate around the house. When cooking a meal, there is the opportunity to teach cooking, science and chemistry by looking at how different ingredients interact with each other.
Education opportunities surround you in everyday life
Whenever you and the kids feel overwhelmed, remember you are in this together. They need to feel love and need comforting so throw out the schedule if it is not going to work. Instead give them more love.
There are education opportunities surrounding you in everyday life. Bake a cake together. Spend time painting pictures. Go for a walk. Play outside in nature. Take the kids on a virtual field trip to a wildlife park or the rainforest. Watch movies or read a book together and analyse the story. Even snuggle together under the doona and do nothing.
There are plenty of fun learning opportunities around you.
Minimise pandemic news to ease stress
Minimise your exposure to news of COVID-19 if it causes you stress and anxiety. Control what you hear and read. Only listen to trusted sources to stay updated with the latest guidelines in your state. The constant stream of COVID-19 news on social media and television is enough to cause anyone to worry with the media scare mongering. Get the facts. Avoid listening to misinformation and rumours. This can help to minimise the fear surrounding the pandemic.
We are still here to help
The COVID-19 pandemic affects so many lives and causes stress of the unknown and what the future holds. If you are struggling, consider reaching out to us. When you are not coping, contact us to find out how we can help get your life back on track. But, if you reach crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you through a crisis and can help you quickly deal with things better.
We can still work with you over the phone or via Skype. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you can start taking back control of your life. We can support and help you cope with mental health challenges that are the result of COVID-19. With our help, you can see life in a new light and soon look forward to a future filled with happiness and joy.
Let me help stop the effects of mental health issues
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped thousands of people like you deal with stress, anxiety and depression. We can help you move through and deal with stress, depression and anxiety which can be the root cause of mental health issues. I can help you replace these with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years so you can see a positive future. Listen to what Jasmine has to say about my program after her Positive Mindset Express Program.