Mental Health and COVID-19
COVID-19 has caused an immense amount of change and as a result a drastic increase in mental health symptoms. COVID-19 is traumatic. How? Trauma is anything that overwhelms the brains ability to cope. So much of COVID-19 and the repercussions is overwhelming and sadly, so much of it is outside of our control. So how do we find balance, alleviate mental health symptoms and adjust to the trauma of COVID-19? Are we expected to establish a new normal?
One place we can find balance is in routine.
Our routines have been shaken up, thrown around, stomped on and neglected. Survival mode kicked in and we did what we could to make it through. As society attempts to provide safety, precautions and balance, we too must find ways to seek balance, if anything, for our mental health.
Lack of routine can lead to irregular and disturbed sleep cycles, poor emotional management, impulsivity, an increase in mental health symptoms, and an overall lack of feeling safe and secure. Having an established routine can create safety, balance, and ultimately it is something within our control when so much feels outside our control.
How to begin establishing routine (with or without COVID-19):
- 1. Firstly write it down, set reminders or schedule it in your phone/day timer.
- 2. Set these activities on a regular basis. This could be daily, weekly or monthly.
- 3. Schedule in something just for you. This may be allowing time to have a cup of coffee, do a yoga class or journal.
- 4. Schedule something in for your relationships. Activities to help you connect. This could be scheduling a date night, having a zoom chat with a friend, or joining a book club.
- 5. Schedule something in for work/school. How do you want to grow? What would make work/school more enjoyable. This may mean taking on a new project, reading a book or taking training.
- 6. Schedule something for your family. Family meals are so important for connection. Activities you all can do together, such as a board game.
If your struggling with all of the changes, the fear of the unknown, or your just not coping well mentally, reach out and ask for help. Talking to a professional can help: to set a routine, to find balance, to process trauma and to overall become a healthier and happier person.