With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s easy to find yourself feeling overwhelmed. It’s important to remember that your mental health is equally as important as your physical health. We asked our instructors to give us their best tips for positive mental health during this stressful time. Here is what they had to say!
- Find that one person with whom you can consistently share thoughts, feelings, ideas and questions. It helps not to feel so alone and will reduce stress and anxiety. (That and exercise!)
- If possible getting outside to get air in the lungs/ activities around the house. I know the parks are being utilized. They have things set up for now to engage individuals i.e. scavenger hunts (Summit Metro Parks) fishing programs (Cleveland Metro Parks).
Another idea is to get organized or doing some sort of craft. My daughter has been asking to put together a model I have. In my house we have plenty of family games outside of the computer ones. Lastly, yoga or Tai Chi online. I’ve started doing Tai Chi at my local community center through my community organization. It definitely helps me physically and mentally.
- I define the confinement in my terms, meaning instead of looking at it as a negative, i.e. I HAVE to stay in, I look at it as a positive – I GET to stay in! I then use the time for the things I’ve always wanted to get to – books I’ve been wanting to read, documentaries or movies on my wish list. I look at it as a treat to have so much time to myself!
- Go outside when you can and get some fresh air. Exercise. And only look at the news or social media when absolutely necessary.
- Use the time to do things we never have “time” to do – organize a closet, reach out to a faraway friend, try a new exercise, experiment with a new hairdo, etc. And get OUTDOORS! Go outside and look for signs of spring.
- Focus on prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, eating healthy foods, practice physical distance and social connectiveness.
Many of us are now working and learning from home. Like many other things in life, this is a skill that takes time and practice to master. To help you adjust we asked our staff for their best tips on how to work and learn from home.
- From experience, I’ve learned that when working from home for an extended period of time, it’s best for me to “dress for work” to feel more motivated and productive.
- I would say to appreciate the little things – even though it is hard to have two working parents working from home WITH a two year old, I am trying to remember that it is pretty amazing that I get to have breakfast and lunch with her every single day! Also, to quote Mr. Rogers, to look for the helpers – there are SO many people doing such neat things – Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf in Frozen) doing book readings for kids, the Laurie Berkner Band is doing facebook live songs, and the Cincinnati Zoo is doing animal safaris! It shows that people can really come together to help each other out.
- My favorite work from home tip is to create a separate space that is only dedicated to working–whether it’s your dining table (and you eat your meals somewhere else that day), or a corner of a room with a makeshift desk, I think having a dedicated space is really helpful! OR it’s also helpful to set clear working hours–I think at home especially your personal and work life can blend together, so setting a hard clock in and clock out time is helpful, while also taking small breaks during the day to hit pause for a few minutes.
- sticking to a schedule, taking outside/fresh air breaks. I find consistency is most reassuring during this crazy time!
- For me, it’s still exercising even though I can’t get to the gym. So I’ll take the dog for a walk or do a workout from YouTube (I’ve been going to Fitness Blender, Allison 4 Fitness and Yoga with Adriene). And having some music on in the background while I work!
- I like to start everyday by making a to-do list. This helps me to stay on track and prioritize my tasks for the day. It’s also super satisfying to cross of tasks as I go about my work day. The whole process gives me a sense of normalcy in such uneasy times.
Ohio Department of Health:
Stay up to date on the most current coronavirus updates for Ohio.
Courage To Caregivers:
Support groups and mindfulness groups now offered virtually.
NAMI Greater Cleveland:
Support groups now offered virtually.
SAMHSA Disaster and Distress Helpline
University Hospitals Mindfulness:
Explore the benefits of mindfulness with free guided meditation videos.
Ohio Department of Health:
Resources for coping with COVID-19 anxiety.
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Crisis Text Line
Resources for coping with COVID-19 and numbers to call and text for assistance
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