Since the beginning of quarantine in March of this year, life has been lonely at times. Sitting around in your home all day can be exhausting not only for your physical health, but your mental health as well.
Social isolation for a long amount of time can have lasting negative effects on your brain. It can lead to mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety.
Newcastle University epidemiologist Nicole Valtorta expresses her professional opinion on the topic saying, “In addition, loneliness has been found to raise levels of stress, impede sleep and, in turn, harm the body. Loneliness can also augment depression or anxiety.” Valtorta’s article continued on to say that it is not completely healthy to be without social interaction for so long.
Though it is easier to keep your physical body in shape, your mental health is more complex. A very common side effect and symptom of mental health issues such as depression is lack of motivation to care for their physical body. Even in such trying times, there are still ways to remain stable throughout isolation. Here are ways you can use physical practices to help with your mental health.
Meditation is a peaceful practice where a person tries to go into a clear head. This practice can lead to having a clean state of mind. Apps such as Calm and Headspace can guide you through the process.
Take the time at some point throughout the day to practice meditation. Nothing will be better than feeling calm and secure.
Doing at home exercises can make you feel energized and confident. Whether the routine is pilates, yoga, or just a personalized mix of your favorite workouts. Working out helps to release chemicals such as endorphins. These chemicals are associated with feelings of happiness, confidence, and relieving anxiety or stress.
Getting some type of physical exercise can help your brain think more positively. Senior Millie Vazquez-Pacheco says, “Ever since quarantine began, I’ve been getting more active. It keeps me energized throughout the day and I can get stuff done.”
Although sleep and exercising are the exact opposite of each other, they can both be utilized as sources of energy for your body. Prioritize a better sleep schedule for yourself to make your body and mind feel new in spirit. You should aim to sleep for less than an hour, however it’s okay to sleep a few minutes longer.
Practice your hobby
There are countless things you can do alone in your home with items lying around. . You could play video games, read a new book, write a song or a story, or bake a new treat.
Hobbies not only help time pass by when you are feeling bored, but also help you learn more about yourself. You could spend hours doing stuff you love and getting to know yourself better.
Phone a friend
A friend is only a phone call or text away. Phoning a friend and having a personal conversation can be just as good as seeing them in person.
A great way to try something different and stay occupied could be writing an old-fashioned letter to them. Athens Drive Senior Yasmine Zayid says, “I reconnected with some old friends I haven’t heard from a few years. Seeing their life updates in their genuine handwriting instead of through the same generic white iMessage was more than satisfying to my heart.”
It is important to understand that the irritability and anxiety associated with quarantine is entirely normal. The methods listed above are a great place to start to keep you mentally motivated and healthy.