How to get a grip on your mental health amid the coronavirus outbreak

  • Stop reading the news, and unfollow those on social media who are focusing on the coronavirus. It’s good to be informed, but vital information should come from trusted sources, like the CDC, your local or state government, or your employer.
  • Communicate. Be open and upfront with your family, your partner, your employer, and anyone or anything else that matters about what might happen should this situation get worse. Is working from home an option? How will the family address childcare? Does a romantic getaway need to be postponed? A lot of the stress that comes from these issues also stems from not having spoken about them out loud.
  • Engage in physical activity. It is not mentally healthy to stay still in a single environment all day, for multiple days at a time. If you are not in a busy area or one that is under quarantine, go for a walk, a hike, or a bike ride—the virus isn’t airborne, and you’d have to be in close proximity to someone who has it (or touch something they’ve just touched) to catch it. If you’re uncomfortable with going outside or you can’t do so, turn on some music and dance. Follow an instructional yoga video on YouTube. Grab some hand weights and do some shadow-boxing. Plank.
  • Journal. No one’s going to read it unless you make them. You need to put your fears, stressors, and frustrations somewhere, and giving them to a blank page eases their weight.
  • Talk to loved ones. I know we like to gripe about technology, but Facetime is a godsend. It allows you to stay in touch with someone without sharing germs, and keeping up a conversation keeps you too busy to spiral deeper into depression.
  • Get obsessed with some form of media. Animal Crossing: New Horizons couldn’t be coming out at a better time. If you have a daunting TBR (to-be-read) stack, crack it open. Fall back in love with your favorite TV show. If you’re going to be stuck inside, it’s better to think about Schitt’s Creek than the panic going on around—or inside—you.
  • Create art. Who cares if it’s bad. It’ll keep your mind busy, and now is a prime opportunity to try out that hobby you’ve been considering since like, 9th grade.
  • Commit acts of kindness. If the world is anything like me, it needs reminders that humans are not inherently selfish and prone to madness. Plus, many organizations need more help right now than they usually do. Donate to a cause near and dear to your heart, if you can. Complete training to become a suicide hotline volunteer and do shifts from home. Write letters to your elected officials about things that matter to your community. Order flowers to be delivered to a loved one’s home. Give a few of the 25 bottles of hand sanitizer in your shopping cart to the frazzled mom next to you at Target. What would help you right now? Do that for someone else.

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social activism & technology writer | feminist | criminal justice/LGBTQ studies, ASU 2018

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Adrianna Nine

Adrianna Nine

social activism & technology writer | feminist | criminal justice/LGBTQ studies, ASU 2018

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