If the COVID-19 crisis is causing you to experience anxiety, depression, or feelings of uneasiness, know that you are not alone. As with any situation where the outcome is unknown, a crisis such as a pandemic can have a negative impact on mental health, whether you’ve experienced anxiety or other symptoms before.
There are so many factors that may have changed recently for you (and your employees), like your work situation, your children’s everyday lives, concerns about protecting your family, financial stability, and more. Read on for some PartnerComm tips for finding peace of mind during this time of turbulence.
Find your new normal
Research shows that routines are great for our mental health – they can reduce anxiety and stress and increase productivity, giving you more time to do the stuff that matters to you. With the fluidity of the COVID-19 crisis, we’re all having to redefine our daily routines. And that’s okay. They key is finding a routine that works for your current situation and sticking to it. Whether it’s eating lunch with your kids every day, going for that morning jog before you start work or taking a mid-afternoon walk between meetings — routines help us maintain healthy habits and create stability even when life is unpredictable.
Make the healthy choice the easy choice
It’s easy to do what’s easy — and there’s no shame in that! But take advantage of that awareness and work on simplifying your options. Taking time to plan ahead will help set you up for success and eventually the healthy choice will be automatic.
Here are a few ideas:
- Lay out your workout clothes every night so your gear is ready to go when you are
- Set an hourly reminder on your phone to stand up, take a five-minute walk, decompress or clear your mind
- Keep healthy, unprocessed foods in your fridge and pantry. It’s a lot harder to eat unhealthfully when you have to leave your house to do so!
Take control of what you can
Remind yourself that you’re only responsible for the things you can control. Try not to think about all the “what if’s” and instead focus your energy on completing tasks that will give you a sense of accomplishment. One way to do this is to focus on process-goals. These are small, doable goals that lead you towards a larger goal (e.g. “I will run three times this week,” helps get you closer to completing that first 10K). Remember, no goal is too small — you can feel good about scheduling a mind-break in your Outlook calendar, meal-prepping for the day or even checking emails off your list.
Practice some positive reinforcement by rewarding yourself for making healthy choices. For example: “I will put $1 in a jar every time I meditate so I can buy myself a massage” or, “I will treat myself to an episode of my favorite show after I complete a 30-minute yoga practice.” This will help you stay accountable and motivate you to keep on keeping on!
No matter the strategies you use, whether it’s our suggestions above or some tips you pick up from a friend or therapist, it’s important to find what works for you. Remember that the COVID-19 crisis won’t last forever, that change happens over time, and above all, to be kind to yourself.