Social distancing is a primary and effective means of combatting the spread of COVID-19, but the practices comes with its own set of challenges. Social isolation and remaining cooped up at home can weigh heavily on the mind. To help manage the effect of prolonged social distancing, Dr. Chady Rhame, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Humanities (FH) at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), has six tips for staying mentally healthy during this period:
Meditation helps regulate emotions and keeps us aware of what we are feeling. For believers, connecting to the source of one’s faith through meditation or prayer is an excellent way to keep your mental health up.
2. Keep a Journal:
Keeping a written record of what you are feeling helps in your meditation and makes you more aware of what you are experiencing across different days. If you are stuck for ideas, think of at least one thing/person you are grateful for per day, write it down in your journal.
3. Read a Book:
Follow a story, get lost in it, disconnect from the panic around, and feel some downtime when you are transported into another world. Even if the book is not a fictional story, it will still take you elsewhere.
Physical exercise will reinforce your psychological system, pumping serotonin through your body, which will make you feel better even if you don’t experience the improvement immediately.
5. Communicate with People You Love:
In this age of mass communications, it has never been easier to connect with people, even when you can’t see them! Call and message the people you care about most.
6. Don’t Dwell on the News:
It is important to stay up to date, but to reduce unnecessary anxiety, try to limit reading the news to once per day!