Extensive “stay-at-home” orders and physical social distancing during COVID-19 has taken a toll on all of us. While it is important for us to stay safe physically, our mental health and well-being are equally important. Such a degree of social isolation can induce anxiety, depression, mood swings and insomnia. These mental health disorders, if not addressed immediately, can be nerve-wracking and affect our daily life severely.
If you can feel your mental health affecting your work and life, seeing a psychologist and attending therapy to address these mental health issues can improve your lifestyle considerably. Your concerns are valid and you can feel free to reach out to us.
COVID-19 has accelerated the transformation of our daily activities to online platforms. For some, it can imply convenience and flexibility, but for some, it can be draining mentally with the increase in daily screen time. While it is inevitable to spend longer time on the Internet, we also need to set boundaries to avoid addiction.
If you think you are struggling with an addiction issue, contact a registered or clinical psychologist to help you here.
In this article, we will walk you through a few ways to look after your mental health during COVID-19, especially at times when you are spending most of your day staring at your laptop screen. These include:
. Establishing boundaries on screen use
. Taking short breaks in between meetings
. Staying active
. Avoid using electronic devices before bed
. Taking a social media break
1. Establishing boundaries on screen use
Create a routine for your screen use habits, for example, if you are attending an online work meeting, then you might want to sit at your designated workspace at home. Conversely, if you are just jumping on a regular family Facetime, then you can sit on the couch. Simple tricks like this can help you to attune your headspace accordingly.
2. Taking short breaks in between meetings
You don’t have to feel guilty about taking breaks in between your meetings. Take a break and stay hydrated. Taking a break is not only about giving your body a break; it is also about taking some time out for yourself to collect your thoughts and relax. Incorporate intentional breaks to look after your mental health. Keep a bottle of eye drops handy to reduce eye strain if needed.
3. Staying active
Regular exercise is helpful in maintaining both our physical and mental health. Exercise stimulates the production of dopamine, a hormone that helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Take a walk after lunch, go for a jog after you have finished work or if you prefer indoor activities, yoga is always a good option.
4. Avoid using electronic devices before bed
Electronic devices emit blue light that disrupts our natural sleep cycle. Good night's rest is the key to keeping our minds healthy. Stick to your usual sleep schedule and avoid binge-watching in bed when you need to wake up early the next day. If electronic device use is unavoidable before bedtime, turn on the “eye comfort” mode. Having a fixed sleep schedule has proven to benefit an individual productivity and mental health.
If insomnia affects your daily life severely, get in touch with us today.
5. Taking a social media break
Constant exposure to an overwhelming amount of news information can induce anxiety. While it is important to keep yourself informed about the latest updates from the local health council, limit the sources that you get your information from. Often, news information is sensationalised aiming to create fear. Take a social media break to give your mind a well-deserved rest.
Practicing self-care can help you to be more conscious of the stress triggers in your life, helping you to better adapt to the challenges ahead. This, in turn, promotes mental health and well-being. If you need advice on how to practice self-care, navigate to our podcast series for more tips.
We understand that scheduling a physical psychological counselling session can be difficult at times like this. Hence, here at Inner Psych, we are bringing our trained clinical and registered psychologists to you, even if it means an extra mile for us. It is possible to schedule a virtual psychological counselling session with you. Book an appointment with us today.