When we go through personal crises, we typically lean on our support systems to get us through. What do you do when the crisis involves isolating yourself from those support systems? Social distancing and social isolation are essential right now to protect our physical health, but our mental health is just as important. When we go through global crises such as pandemics and natural disasters, it’s natural and common to feel anxious, depressed, lonely, and overwhelmed. It’s even okay to feel apathetic and detached. We all react in different ways. However, recognizing these feelings and ensuring they don’t spur on unhealthy behaviors, actions, and habits remains crucial. It’s important to take action to protect your mental health so that you can continue to stay both physically and mentally healthy.
Ways to Protect Your Mental Health During Social Distancing
Here are a few helpful tips to not only protect your mental health, but to give you the tools to recognize unhealthy coping mechanisms and behaviors:
- Stick to some semblance of routine. Keep as much as possible to your sleep routine. Even if you don’t leave your pajamas, it’s important to practice good hygiene. Make sure you still brush your teeth, shower and wash up, and eat. Being clean and eating correctly may seem like small things, but a semblance of structure gives your brain and body control.
- Reach out to loved ones. Check in and allow them to check in on you. Even a few minutes of conversation per day will help you feel less alone.
- Step outside. Getting a little bit of exercise is best, but if that’s not possible, even standing or sitting outside in fresh air for twenty minutes per day has been proven to decrease stress. If you feel groggy or restless, step outside and change your perspective.
- Step away from news and social media. Know your limits. If news and social media start to make you either too apathetic or too overwhelmed, it may be time for a break. Try meditating, reading a book, or baking to take some time away from technology.
- Be wary of substance usage. Glorifying drinking and substance indulgence is dangerous during difficult times. With nothing to do, nowhere to go, and increased stress, it’s tempting to indulge yourself, but be careful not to overdo it. If you feel yourself relying on alcohol or drugs to keep calm or “normal”, take a break.
- Be aware of snacking. Eating can be very comforting and enjoyable. However, larger numbers on the scale will be very disheartening. Be mindful!
- REMEMBER TO BREATHE. Breathe deeply – Breathe intentionally!
- Consider tele-therapy. Tele-therapy is a great tool to speak with a counselor or therapist remotely. A therapist can give you tools to help you cope through crises, help you recognize unhealthy behaviors, and give you someone to talk to when you feel alone. Your stress and anxiety about the future, the economy, your physical health, and however you may be feelings can be addressed in tele-therapy in a safe, secure, and confidential space. And Tele-therapy is a covered treatment by all insurance providers during the pandemic crisis.
Tele-Therapy with Philly Family Life Counseling LLC
Now, it’s more important than ever to take account of your mental health. Protecting your mental health during social distancing can feel stressful, difficult, and even hopeless, but with tele-therapy and Philly Family Life Counseling LLC, it’s certainly not impossible. Now is the perfect time to work on yourself and develop good habits that allow you to live a healthy lifestyle. To learn more about how to protect your mental health during social distancing, tele-therapy, or to schedule a tele-therapy appointment, please contact us at 215-677-3810 or fill out our online form. For news and more ways to protect your mental health, follow us on Facebook.