Taking Time to take Care of your Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Mental health plays a critical role in protecting your safety and limiting the negative impacts of social distancing. Lanette Siragusa from the Shared Health organization suggests, “Take breaks, get proper rest, eat healthy, and keep connected to the people you typically reach out to in times of stress.” Preparedness, not panic, is the best way to mitigate the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are a few helpful recommendations to maintain physical and mental health routines while dealing with social distance.
1. Seek accurate information from legitimate sources
Social media and non-verified websites can be published by any source around the world. Limit yourself to reading information only from official sources such as:
These credible sources of information are key to avoid the fear and panic that misinformation may cause. Remember not to over saturate yourself with news and research. Consider limiting the amount of times you check in on media updates about COVID-19.
2. Keep your routine going
Certainty of a daily routine helps us cope with the lack of structure and unpredictability. Routines help to reduce stress levels and ground us with ‘to do’ lists during overwhelming circumstances. Having tasks as simple as cleaning your teeth, being sure to have dinner or go to bed at set times makes us feel more in control and less stressed. A great item to have in your routine would be a daily habit that promotes self-care such as quieting your phone or starting a journal.
The temptation to couch surf throughout social distancing is strong, especially if you’re not a fan of physical exercise. This is a great time to consider a new workout regime. Did you know it’s proven that exercise can boost your mood? Getting active impacts our wellbeing by improving mental clarity, focus and motivation. Exercise can also stimulate rest, relaxation and produces changes in the parts of your brain that regulate stress and anxiety. Remember, it doesn’t matter how simple your workout may be, your mood is benefited no matter the intensity of the physical activity. Adding exercise to your routine can significantly increase your energy levels and reduce your risk of chronic disease.
4. The great outdoors
We’re Northerners! What better way to spend some extra time than by being outdoors. Not only do we live in a country with a beautiful landscape but, being outside can be a very positive to your overall health. Sunlight is the best and most abundant source of Vitamin D which helps prevent heart disease, dementia, stroke, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and even Cancer. During social distancing Canada’s surgeon general says, that sunlight and fresh air is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.
5. Bank Online
Now is a great opportunity to streamline the way you do your banking. From paying bills, sending electronic money transfers, consolidation of debt, to automating payment schedules, Northern Credit Union can help.
Learn more about 24/7 online and mobile banking options. Keep banking while staying socially distant.
If you need assistance getting started, please call our True North Hub at 1-866-413-7071.
6. Be more mindful
Mindfulness is an incredible tool to help people understand, tolerate, and deal with their emotions in healthy ways. If you’re unsure of what exactly mindfulness is, it’s the practice of giving your full attention to the present moment and is a great way of being kind to one’s self for the sake of well-being both physically mentally. Some experts believe that mindfulness works, in part, by helping people accept their experiences rather than react to them with aversion and avoidance. The effect of mindfulness tends to be “dose-related”. This means the more you do, the more effect it usually has. It’s suggested that it takes at least 20 minutes for the mind to begin to settle. So, working in a minimum of 20-40 minutes of mindfulness to your daily routine is suggested for beginners.
There are exercise you can do to be more aware of your surroundings and begin mindfulness practices:
7. Learn more and have some fun while you’re at home
Many museums, zoos, academic institutions and famous musicians are offering free digital tours, spotlights and massive open online courses to Canadians free of charge throughout this time to make self-isolation more manageable. Online you can view the Georgia aquarium take virtual farm trips, learn a new language and more. During this time of social distancing Canadians are being given access to tourist locations all over the world for free. What an opportunity to take advantage of cultural attractions from all over the globe from the comfort of your home.
Here are a few resources to access and explore: