While the numbers are once again on the rise, Covid-19 or the novel Coronavirus, seems to be weakening, having a reduced effect on the body, and that’s a good thing. However, while it’s important to adhere to the CDC guidelines, that only addresses one problem. Unfortunately, mental health is becoming a greater concern.
The entire population agreed to lock down and bunker in place for a period of two weeks. That was in mid-March. Today, seven months later and counting, many states still have restrictions. For those who have a mental illness, this can make their illness worse. Even people who don’t have a mental illness are beginning to experience bouts of depression and anxiety. People need to socialize to feel normal.
Developing Bad Habits
As a result of isolation, adults are turning to drugs and alcohol as a way of suppressing their emotions. It’s a dangerous practice and one that can lead to a life of codependency. Not only that, drinking too much and abusing drugs can cause health problems in the future. If you are among the population that has one of these bad habits and can’t seem to quit, contacting a treatment center or signing into a rehab facility may prove beneficial.
Benefits of Exercise
Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are still on the rise. This means that you will have to wait a bit longer to return to a normal life. In the meantime, you need to find positive ways to feel good versus returning to potentially damaging habits. Exercise is one example. When you workout your body releases endorphins, a chemical that makes you feel good naturally. Exercise is something the entire family can do. Not only will you feel better emotionally, but you’ll also become stronger physically, helping to improve your chances of sustaining your overall health.
A Healthy Diet
Certain foods can trigger negative emotions. Foods high in nutritional value are good for the brain. Fresh fruits, fresh veggies, whole grains, lean meats, fish, and even nuts will help you not just look better but you will feel better, too. They also have a lower content of sugar and bad fats, helping you sustain a healthy weight and fit physique. When you feel good you release positive emotions that can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
Importance of a Hobby
Life these days is anything but normal. However, you can fill the void with a hobby. A hobby will help keep your mind occupied. With an abundance of time on your hands, it’s easy to feel depressed or anxious. Engaging in a hobby such as painting, gardening or woodworking will boost creativity and lower stress levels. Online resources open the door to seemingly endless possibilities. You can take up dance or singing lessons or enroll in a few college courses.
The Benefits of Laughter
When you laugh you reduce stress and anxiety. Laughter can also stimulate the heart and lungs, giving them a continuous supply of fresh oxygen. When you laugh you improve your immune system and lower your pain levels. Find a good movie or comedian to take your mind off the current environment. Or, use FaceTime or other platforms to connect face-to-face with loved ones and enjoy fun and stimulating conversation.
Add an Animal to the Home
Feelings of loneliness are common for those living with depression. One way to reduce it is to adopt a pet. Shelters are always in need of good people to take pets. Dogs and cats are common animals in these facilities. Many pet owners have a lower risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stress. Take a brisk walk with your loyal dog and enjoy the many benefits.
The lockdown doesn’t have to trigger ill emotions. Find ways to offset the effects through a good diet, exercise, therapy, and positive mental stimulation.