Over the last few weeks, countries around the world have gone on lockdowns and social distancing measures have been put in place in an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The Welcoming Center has gone virtual too — for now. A message from our President and CEO shared on March 12th announced that our physical location was going to close but that we would be still working remotely and delivering our programs and supporting our participants online.
As social distancing becomes the norm, the number of people experiencing social isolation and a decline in mental health is increasing too. And this is being seen in individuals who not only have preexisting mental health concerns, but also those in good psychological health.
How can we take care of our own and others’ well-being? Here is some advice from psychology experts.
Create a routine
Change out of your pajamas, shower and make a to-do of all the things you want to achieve each day to create a sense of normality and productivity.
Break up your day
Find tasks to break up your day and, where possible, change your environment for different activities.
Take care of your body
Eat healthily, get plenty of sleep and exercise daily. That could include conducting indoor workout classes, stretching and practicing meditation.
If you’re not under strict isolation rules yourself, and you’re in a position to do so, find ways to support those in need by offering to run errands and collect supplies for them.
Make the most of technology and stay in touch with colleagues, friends and family via phone calls, texts, social media and video conferencing.
Limit media intake
Stay informed about the situation via reliable sources, but limit your news and social media intake to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Prepare medical supplies
The National Alliance on Mental Illness advises, where necessary, asking your doctor for extended prescription supplies to tide you over for quarantine periods.
Make the most of catching up TV series, reading and exploring projects you have been putting off to beat boredom and stay mentally active.
Set strict limits to your work to avoid becoming overwhelmed and make time to unwind.
Focus on the positives
Amplify good news stories and honor caregivers working tirelessly to resolve the situation.
Take one day at a time
Try not to project too far into the future. Remember that these are temporary measures and you are not alone.
While we ride out this pandemic and stay safe by practicing social distancing, here’s a reminder: let’s all make a conscious effort to make sure we practicing physical distancing whilst we actively promote social inclusion in every way we can. Engaging with our community is now more important than ever.