How to Manage Your Mental Health and Adapt to COVID-19 Changes
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, managing your mental health has become more important. While better self-care and sleep can be essential for managing your emotional well-being during such a difficult time, it can also help to have coping mechanisms for dealing with change. Change can be hard to process, especially in the middle of a global crisis. To help you through these uncertain times, here are some ways to cope with common changes.
Even in the best of times, moving homes can be one of life’s most stressful transitions. If you’re a homeowner, selling your home can add to that stress, especially since COVID-19 has had some significant effects on the US housing market. While homes are still selling, the way those homes are selling has changed in the last few months. Real estate agents, sellers, and buyers are using virtual tools, like 3D walkthroughs and even contact-free closings, more than ever. You need to be prepared to deal with these changes if you need to sell your home this year.
Moving to a new home can cause stress, but so can having to stay put in your current home. Even though many areas are loosening restrictions, people are still looking for ways to adapt to new normals at home. For instance, with most schools closed for the remainder of the school year, parents are struggling to find ways to keep their kids learning and busy. If you’re having this issue, know that creating a routine for your children could be a simple way to resolve it.
If you have recently lost your job due to COVID-19 closings, know that financial assistance is available. If you are in an industry deeply impacted by the pandemic, you may also find yourself wanting to change jobs to avoid any future risks. Changing jobs can be a smart move if your industry is not expected to recover any time soon. If, however, you are passionate about your field, you may want to take some more time to decide. Why and how you change jobs can make a big difference in the level of stress and anxiety you experience as a result of a career shift.
Even if you are in an industry that is still going strong, you may be working from home for the first time in your career. While this may be a smaller change when compared to a complete career shift, it can still take some time to adjust to remote work. You can ease this transition by taking advice from folks who have been working from home for years. Those tips often include things like scheduling distractions and finding ways to stay active while you work remotely.
Adopting a New Pet
With more people home, animal shelters across the country have encouraged people to either adopt or foster homeless pets. While adopting a new dog or cat is a great way to relieve stress and loneliness when you are sheltering in place, this is still a big decision that can require some serious changes to your routine — especially if you end up adopting an animal. You can avoid unnecessary stress by keeping expectations for your new pet realistic, understanding your pet’s need for a consistent routine, and addressing unwanted behaviors before they get out of hand.
Growing a New Garden
Victory gardens are also a growing pandemic trend and much like caring for a pet, tending to plants can relieve stress. Of course, if you are already trying to grow your victory garden you may have realized that success does require some effort and planning. Keeping your plants on a consistent watering schedule and planting flowers to attract pollinators can definitely help.
Change can be hard but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. So take care of yourself as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. Also, make sure you have the tools you need to cope with change and to manage your mental health as we all work to end this crisis.
About the Author:
Jennifer Scott is a lifelong sufferer of anxiety and depression. A single mom, she writes about the ups and downs of her mental illness on SpiritFinder.org. The blog serves as both a source of information for people with mental illness and a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can come together to discuss their experiences