Mental well-being during coronavirus
I was watching a video by Deepak Chopra (my go-to for meditations) and in this particular video, he discussed an important concept of having a quiet mind over a positive mind. The main theme of his video was that in times of crisis and uncertainty, like the current coronavirus pandemic, we constantly tell ourselves that we need to remain positive. Whilst remaining positive and trying to keep a positive attitude towards situations is important, it is also important to allow ourselves to actually feel the way we are feeling.
Deepak talks about how it is perfectly normal in the current situation to feel a bit anxious or stressed. The importance is in accepting those feelings and doing what you can to create a quiet mind rather than deny our feelings. Deepak states that forcing yourself to be positive when you feel unsafe and anxious can create more stress for you as your mind will be in constant conflict.
So what is a quiet mind?
In a quiet mind, your thinking is focused on greater awareness, if your mind is quiet you allow for greater self-regulation, imagination, creativity and healing. One of the important aspects of a quiet mind is it allows us feel a greater connection to ourselves and others and in a time such as now it is more important than ever to feel a connection to a global community. Everyone is facing some form of difficulty during this time. I’ve put together some tips to help create a still and quiet mind during this time of the coronavirus.
Know your facts
As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, make sure the facts you are reading about Coronavirus are from reputable websites and sources and keep in mind that there is still a lot that is not yet known about this virus. If you have information from factual and good quality sites this may make you feel slightly more in control and help to ease stress.
Connect with friends and family
Whilst we are social distancing physically, many of us are very lucky to have the means to still connect with friends and family through social media. Relationships between people are important during times of crisis, social support is vital in maintaining your wellbeing during difficult times. These connections are not only important for you but for the people you share them with. Check-in, not only with friends and family, but with people you know may live alone such as neighbours or colleagues.
Try not to panic
There is no current need to panic buy as the majority of companies are still manufacturing and still producing products that are essential. If you panic buy you make yourself and others around you feel anxious.
Several studies have found a link between nutrition and mental wellbeing. These studies suggest that following a healthy, balanced diet may increase mental wellbeing. Nutrition is not only important for mental wellbeing but eating the right foods can support your immune system. So try not to grab unhealthy snacks whilst working from home.
Create a routine
It is important not only for children to have a routine but also for you to have a routine. Whilst many employees have been asked to be flexible during this time, try as best you can to make a distinction between work-time and home-time while working from home. If you know you need to be actively working on your laptop from 9-5 then make sure at 5pm you put down the laptop.
Keep fit and active
During this time, if you are well and able to do so, it is important for your mental and physical well-being to exercise. Many personal trainers and gyms are running virtual classes and there are many workout apps you can download on your smart device. Try to make a standing desk so you don’t spend your working hours slumped on a couch.
There are several free guided meditations online that will also have great benefits in creating a quiet mind. I highly recommend Deepak Chopra’s meditations to start your morning routine and set your intention for the day.
After meditation or in the evening, writing down three things you are grateful for allows you to bring awareness to the positive emotions you are experiencing. Even though practising gratitude is sometimes a difficult task, especially in times where you may have lost your job or are dealing with grief, studies suggest it helps increase psychological wellbeing.
As humans, we strive for meaning and purpose and many of us cannot handle sitting around and feeling as though we have no purpose. Find purpose in contacting people you know who live alone, or helping out elderly individuals in your area who cannot do their own grocery shopping. If you are not displaying symptoms and are not self-isolating then you can sign-up to be an NHS volunteer through the GoodSAM app, or you can sign up to volunteer for the Red Cross.
Declutter your space
Use this time to declutter your home space. Decluttering and cleaning your space allows you to feel as though you have an element of control and your mind will work better in a clearer, cleaner space.
Speak to Someone
If you have feelings of anxiety or stress speak to the people around you. There is nothing wrong with feeling the way that you do and if you need someone to talk to and you don’t feel comfortable talking to the people around you, contact a counsellor as many are still offering online and telephonic sessions.
At the moment the situation is unfolding, and this means that you need to try to keep your mindset as flexible as possible and bear in mind that no one has gone through this before. The Government, employers and individuals are all doing their best to navigate through this situation. Try to do things you enjoy. Address practical concerns that you may have over employment or obtaining supplies; this will stop your mind from worrying over them. Remember it is ok to not be ok. Acknowledge your feelings and do what you can to address them. Be kind to yourself and others and reach out for help if you need it or if you are in a position to help others out then do so. You are stronger and braver than you know.
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