Do you feel like staying in bed forever, banging your head on the wall sometimes, or freak out because the bad news of the COVID-19 seems to have no end?
These are challenging times, you switch on the television or visit your favorite website, and the news is devastating. There are more deaths every day; new infections are on the rise, and there are more than 40 million cases worldwide. Not to mention that healthcare systems are reaching their limits; most countries are on lockdown while friends and family are cutting off contact with each other.
Below are some tips for staying positive during the COVID-19 pandemic
Get the Best Out of Media
News keeps us informed of what is happening around us. While it can be hard to avoid listening to how devastating the coronavirus pandemic is, limit the news intake to approximately 20 minutes a daily. Avoid being wrapped in news coverage that heightens anxiety. Instead, you can use media to learn a new skill, watch a comedy or funny videos whenever you feel gloomy.
While it is easy to dwell on the negative during these challenging times, starting a gratitude practice can offer incredible benefits. Researchers have found out that cultivating a daily gratitude practice is associated with better sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, and healthy relationships. You can schedule a specific time daily to write five things you are excited and grateful for. If you are not much into journaling, you can try a gratitude app to help you reflect on your daily highlights.
Stay Physically Active
Exercise boosts the production of happy hormones such as endorphins and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates your behavior and mood). The happy hormones help to reduce stress & anxiety levels, improve overall mental health, trigger positive feelings in the body, and enhance cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and decision making.
Therefore, indulge in some form of physical activity like a yoga session, home workout, a dance session, or a jog within your building premises.
Develop A Routine
It is indispensable to build a new routine during COVID 19 pandemic. Creating a routine can improve efficiency, reduce procrastination, build self-confidence, give a smooth flow to your day, and alleviate stress. Schedule a time for important activities like waking up, exercising, working on a project, having your meals, learning a skill, and sleeping. You can also write a TO-DO list, set short-term goals, and strive to accomplish them each day.
Once you achieve your goals, you can reward yourself with a bubble bath or favorite food. This will lift your mood and have you excited to accomplish the next milestone.
Get some Sun
Inadequate exposure to sunlight leads to a deficiency in Vitamin D, and it triggers a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Exposure to sunlight boosts immunity, helps you generate Vitamin D, and helps the brain produce serotonin hormone, improving mood. A serotonin deficiency can lead to negative thoughts, irritability, sleeping disorders, and low energy.
So, aim to stay in the sunlight at least 20 minutes a day because it is vital for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. You can choose to sit at the side of your house, which gets the most sunlight, but if you decide to go outside, always follow social distancing rules and wear a mask.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Psychologically, random acts of kindness make us feel emphatic, compassionate, and grateful. Acts of kindness can increase serotonin, happiness, pleasure, and energy. Additionally, it helps us release oxytocin (the love hormone), giving us a sense of belonging. Researchers have found out that kindness can help decrease depression, anxiety, pain, and stress. Some ideas for random acts of kindness can include:
- Sending a handwritten note to a friend.
- Sending a letter or calling a person you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- Helping your friend get active.
- Feeding strays in your locality.
- Offering groceries to a person in need.
- Donating face masks.
- Delivering care packages in support of the veterans, military, and first respondents.
- Giving free advice to impacted businesses like gyms, restaurants, nail salons, bars, and other organizations that have been impacted by the pandemic.