Maintaining Mental Well-Being While Practicing Social Distancing
As public health officials work to slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many have recommended social distancing and self-quarantining. Some states across the country have issued orders for people to stay at home unless it’s essential they leave, and some employers have had to send employees home or ask them to work remotely. While these actions can help slow the spread, they can have negative effects on your mental health.
Maintain a Routine
One of the best things that you can do to preserve your mental well-being is to stick to a routine.
Maintaining as much normalcy as possible with your daily routine can help keep your mood as lifted as possible, and prevent boredom and distress from taking over.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
This suggestion goes hand-in-hand with sticking to a routine. While you’re at home, it can be easy to go to bed or sleep in later than you typically would. Breaking your normal sleep routine can have negative effects on your overall mental well-being, so you should try to stick to your typical schedule as much as possible.
Spend Time Outside
Unless health officials give you explicit instructions to stay in your home no matter what, try to get outside periodically throughout the day. This could involve going out in your backyard or taking a walk around the block, but shouldn’t include going to a park or other areas where large groups of people may be.
Leverage the Power of Technology
Advancements in technology have made it easy to connect with others without having to physically be in contact with them. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends reaching out to loved ones with technology to reduce feelings of loneliness and anxiety, and to supplement your social life while you’re quarantining or social distancing. If you’re feeling down, use video calling technology or social media to get in touch with friends and family.
Don’t Obsess Over the News
It can be easy to become overwhelmed by watching the news and reviewing the updates of the COVID-19 situation. While it’s important to be informed of the situation, you should not obsess over the news. For example, instead of monitoring the news all day from home, consider checking for updates once in the morning and once at night.