While the pandemic may be causing you and your loved ones feelings of anxiety and apprehension, now is a good time to look for reasons to be happy. Practice these tips to nurture yourself, improve your mood and help others.
1. Be kind. Call your friends and neighbors. Maintain social distancing, but smile to all the grocery workers who are keeping the shelves stocked. Ask an elderly neighbor if they need anything. An act of kindness boosts serotonin, a natural antidepressant in your brain, in both you and others.
2. Be thankful. Don’t rush through your daily interactions on autopilot. Slow down and notice when someone is kind to you, even in the smallest way, and show them your appreciation. When you practice thankfulness, you become more positive; that helps others feel good too.
3. Deepen your connections: Share your feelings about this experience with those closest to you. Encourage each other to make the best of this moment in time, and come up with a game plan to support each other moving forward.
4. Move your body. Exercise is vital to maintaining physical and mental health. Get your heart pumping by taking a walk in your neighborhood, going on a hike in nature or using an app for a guided training or yoga session. If you do go outside for a walk, maintain social distancing.
5. Write down your thoughts. Keeping a journal is a powerful way to get perspective. Clarifying your thoughts and feelings on paper helps you get to know yourself better and release the stresses of daily life.
6. Meditate. All you need to do is sit quietly for a few minutes, breathe deeply and let your mind relax. Meditation alleviates anxiety and helps you get in touch with your inner self, helping you face the world in a centered and focused way. Find free guided meditation sessions online.
7. Determine what is really bothering you. Vague worries are harder to manage because they are all jumbled together. Try to get clear on what you are specifically concerned about. Finding the root of the worry helps you figure out what to do about it.
8. Play games. Engaging in a game with others online, or even by yourself on your phone, helps you take your mind off other things. Give yourself permission to have some fun.
9. Dine Well. Have fun with food. Make your favorite recipes. Set the table with your finest dishes. Cook a meal with others. If you live alone, share pictures with friends for fun.
10. Remind yourself that this will pass. Try and come to terms with what you can’t control, and focus on what you can do to move through this time in a positive way. Draw on skills you have used during other difficult times, and remember how those times eventually passed by.
For more information and tips, visit MagellanHealthcare.com/COVID-19.