What can you do to stay mentally healthy and resilient during the coronavirus crisis? Here are five things you can start doing straight away.
Limit your daily intake of corona news
When we read or hear about the coronavirus, our stress system is triggered. Our body registers danger and becomes more alert, whether the news is accurate or not. It is a natural response that helps us to react quickly. Continuous consumption of a never-ending flow of information, however, prevents our stress system from going back to rest. Instead, it stays on high alert. As a result, we become irritable, we lose the ability to put things in perspective and we lose sleep. So limit your daily intake of corona news. Don’t go online every five minutes to check the latest news – twice a day is enough. Choose reliable sources of information and apply common sense to determine whether news is real or fake. And limit your socials.
Learn to cope with a lack of distractions
Nearly all of us are used to a busy life with many distractions. Now that public life is coming to a halt, we suddenly find ourselves with more ‘personal time’. As such, this is a great opportunity to experience inner peace, but that usually doesn’t happen by itself. With nothing to occupy ourselves with, we start experiencing feelings of restlessness and tension, which are always present but usually stay in the background when distractions occupy our minds. So download a meditation or mindfulness app, and learn to look at your own busy mind. You will notice that your thoughts never cease. Many of them incessantly urge you to do something, or not do something. This process uses up energy and drains your mental health. Mindfulness and meditation exercises can help you avoid getting caught up in these thoughts and experience more, true inner peace. You will appreciate this just as much when your hectic life resumes.
Learn something new
The corona crisis makes many of us feel powerless, which erodes our mental resilience. For in order to be resilient, we need to feel that we are in control of our situation. There are many things we cannot control, certainly not now, but some we can. Use the extra time you have to learn something new, by taking an online course for instance. It doesn’t matter whether you do it for work or out of personal interest. Choose a subject that excites you, something you really want to master. When our curiosity is triggered and we are acquiring a new skill, we receive a boost of energy that makes us more resilient, in other areas of life as well.
Help someone else
Of course we’ve seen many examples of selfishness, but the corona crisis also brings out a lot of social behavior. People are increasingly considerate and help each other more. Caring for your fellow human being is a natural impulse. And what makes it special, is that it makes both the person giving help and the person receiving it feel better. There is extensive scientific evidence which proves that compassionate and caring behavior towards others makes people feel better about themselves and increases their mental health. But it cannot be tricked: it only ‘works’ if your intentions are completely selfless.
Talk to a coach
The corona crisis also presents a good opportunity to talk to a coach. If your employer has a contract with Resilians you (and your core family members) may contact Resilians on your own initiative and free of charge. Resilians offers coaching sessions by telephone to talk about work or personal matters. All sessions will be treated confidentially. In these times of uncertainty and rapid changes, it is nice to know that a coach is within easy reach. Book your single coaching session or start a personal coaching program.