Restaurants and bars may be closed. Your city may also be on lock-down, and social distancing is a practice of the present. While social distancing and self-isolation may be necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, it can also exasperate feelings of depression in certain individuals and populations of people.
Examples of populations who may be more negatively impacted by social distancing include: older individuals, chidden and teens, and those with mental health/substance abuse issues, and those with chronic illnesses.
No matter how you slice it, being cooped up inside all day can have a psychological impact on anyone.
Here are some recommendations and ideas to help you navigate this time of uncertainty from The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, or uichildrens.org:
1.) Set up Virtual Phone Calls, Playdates or Meet-ups
Set up time with those you love and miss virtually, and set up playdates for your kids via Zoom, Skype or Facetime to stay in touch.
2.) Spend Time Doing Something You Love
Have a hobby? Make time to engage in an activity you love or take up a new hobby!
3.) Give Yourself Some Grace
When schedules change, feel stressed and anxious is normal until you adjust to your “new normal.”. Give yourself some grace that things may be different for a while and it is okay to feel
stressed. Find ways to unwinds and to express your feelings in a healthy way.
4.) Enjoy the Outdoors or a Massage in the Comfort of Your Own Home
The rules of social distancing may be to stay at least six feet away from others. So, go outside and breath in fresh air as winter turns to spring. Or enjoy a much needed massage indoors. Check out our FDA-approved massagers at Medmassager.com that help reduce pain and inflammation and increase local circulation.
5.) Limit Time Online
Watching too many videos or news about the COVID-19 pandemic may only add to one’s stress and unhealthy behaviors to cope with negative feelings. Too much screen time can also be damaging for kids as well. Try to limit your time and engage in activities that are challenging, relaxing or encourage well-being.
6.) Do a Mental Health Check-In Regularly With Your Loved Ones
Check- in with loved ones regularly to process difficult emotions of uncertainty, fear, and/or confusion, and just to stay in touch.
7.) Keep as Much as Your Routine as Possible
Changing routines can cause undue stress. Try to stick to your routine as much as possible for yourself and your kids to give them some level of normalcy. Encourage flexibility for those other things that cannot be controlled.
8.) Plan Your Schedule to Help Pass the Time
Ever heard the saying that a cause without a vision will lead nowhere? Set a plan and stick to it. Plan “class-time” with your kids, or play-time with your pets. Set aside time to exercise and keep weekly hangouts with loved ones or friends by setting up a phone/video date instead! Weekly activities can all be managed for now to temper those feelings of loss and isolation during this time.
Be well, and check out the full article we used for inspiration here!