We are living in tough times. While we started off thinking a lockdown is a novelty and having fun with it (Imagine not having to go to the office to work? How cool!), we have settled into the reality where people are away from each other, we are prohibited to gather, and we aren’t allowed to travel. Suddenly, this lockdown has become such a bore and hassle that we have forgotten the fun side of everything. Before, we considered what’s happening like a little inconvenience. After all, we are only asked to stay indoors as our contribution to the world overcoming this crisis. But then, everything has started to lose significance and meaning. What started as a fun and even ideal set-up for most of us working has become something that has affected our mental state, big time.

Since we can’t meet up with friends physically, we’ve lost our rhythm, we can’t blow off steam by engaging in outdoor activities, our stress and anxiety levels have gone haywire. We may be suffering from simple cabin fever, but then, there surely has to be something more to what we’re experiencing now.  What can we do to get back our “sanity”? How can we keep our heads together and come out thriving even when the COVID-19 crisis is through?

Build positive habits

Think of what your life will be like once the world shifts to the “new normal”. Would you still want to wake up at 10 in the morning and go through the rest of your day in pajamas and uncombed hair? Surely not! Continue good habits you’ve had prior to the lockdown, such as your early morning jog and a healthy breakfast after. You will have to tweak some elements of your habits like doing a home workout instead of a jog, but you get the idea. They say you form a habit after doing it for 21 days straight, so if you start developing one now, you should have enough time to make your system get used to it. Before you know it, you will keep on doing the activity without even thinking about it.

The thing is, habits are pretty important right now. They’re a big part of how able we are to cope. More than ever, we need to look after ourselves, mentally, physically and emotionally.

(Via: https://www.tes.com/news/coronavirus-lockdown-wellbeing-4-ways-maintain-positive-habits)

Extend yourself

Nothing can set your head straight then feeling a sense of accomplishment because you have helped another human being. Doing something good for your community doesn’t require you to leave the corners of your home. Check out volunteering opportunities that would usually be posted on social media and see where your skills can take you in making a difference with other people’s lives.

It’s a rare win-win proposition in a bleak landscape: In helping other people get through this crisis, you can help yourself in equal measure. “It’s a way of reframing your existence,” says bioethicist Stephen Post, “getting out from the negative vortex and feeling free to do something that is meaningful.”

(Via: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/helping_others_can_help_you_cope_with_lockdown)

Unleash your creativity

Remember the days before the worldwide lockdowns when you thought about an art project and thinking maybe you can go ahead with it only if you had time? Well, you surely have a lot of time on your hands these days, so why not keep yourself sane by applying your creativity in your daily activities? Go ahead and start your art project or get your creative juices flowing with your cooking, crafts, or even with just how you arrange your furniture and appliances at home.

Lockdown could turn out to be one of the most creative times for humankind, says Ms Mann, author of The Science of Boredom. After all, William Shakespeare allegedly wrote King Lear during a plague, Sir Isaac Newton reportedly formulated the theory of gravity in quarantine in the 17th century, while Alexander Pushkin wrote some of his greatest works under lockdown in 1830.

(Via: https://www.ft.com/content/75e4231a-7a5c-11ea-af44-daa3def9ae03)

Accept the Struggle and Emerge Better

It is a common practice for everyone to appear strong and be positive during times of crisis. But then, in our efforts to make everything appear fine, we sometimes overdo it by sweeping anything that resembles negative emotions under the rug. Is this really healthy? Not. There will be moments when we struggle, maybe because we know of someone who suddenly got tested positive of the virus, or a mom struggling with homeschooling her kids. Whatever these struggles are, we should acknowledge them and not let them get bottled up inside. What’s more important to staying mentally stable these days is to acknowledge our challenges and working through them instead of ignoring them or pretending that everything is fine when it is obviously not.

What I would like to say is it is OK if you are feeling overwhelmed, fearful, emotional, and freaking out. These are normal reactions of our brain that is trying to find solutions for us in this atypical time. You don’t need to force yourself to be ‘positive’ if you can’t.

(Via: https://welldoing.org/article/covid-19-lockdown-mental-health-ok-not-be-ok)

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Making Yourself Mentally Strong in a Crisis is Possible was first published to HDRA Blog

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