Taking care of our physical health right now by practicing social distancing, washing our hands, exercising, eating healthy, and getting rest is of the utmost importance. Tending to our mental health, however, is just as vital. So many people are feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, and isolated, and that can really take a toll.
As we navigate this trying time, be proactive about your mental health by implementing positive mental hygiene practices. In case you need some inspiration, below we share five simple ways you can take care of your mental health from home.
Create boundaries between life and work
If working from home has become your new normal, it’s important for your mental health that you establish clear boundaries between work and life. Just because you’re home all the time, that doesn’t mean you should work late into the night or outside your regular hours. Your mind, body, and soul need time to refuel. Rest is what recharges your battery so you can show up and be more productive the next day. Create some boundaries for yourself, such as only working during business hours or not allowing yourself to work from your bed, so rest and work don’t become intertwined. And most importantly, hold yourself accountable to those boundaries you set.
Go on a digital detox
There are a lot of scary things happening in the world, and it can feel heavy and overwhelming. While it is important to stay informed on what’s going on, it’s also not good for your mental health to obsess over it. That’s why taking a digital detox, whether it’s for a few hours, an entire day, or even a weekend, can be very beneficial. Without all the noise from social media or the news crowding your mind, you’ll be able to ground yourself, let go of all the anxious energy, and enjoy the present moment.
Treat yourself to skincare goodies
Skincare and mental health are seemingly unrelated, but in actuality, skincare plays an essential role in our mental health. As the saying goes, how we feel about ourselves on the outside impacts how we feel on the inside. The actual ritual of washing your face, popping on a sheet mask, and applying your serum also feels downright therapeutic on its own. And, the act of treating yourself to some new skincare products, consciously and responsibly, of course, also has its mental health benefits. When you purchase with the intention of self-care, it gives you a hit of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. And that feeling then gets amplified every time you use the product.
Connect virtually with others
Socializing is great for our mental health. It makes us feel good, supported, and connected. Social distancing protocols have made this a bit trickier, but it’s definitely still doable to spend some quality time with loved ones virtually. You just have to get a bit creative. For example, you can schedule a virtual happy hour on Zoom with your girlfriends or download the Netflix Party app and simultaneously watch movies with friends and family members. You can also have a dinner date over FaceTime or even take virtual tours of museums together. Thank goodness for technology and the internet.
Try virtual therapy
Speaking of how awesome the internet is, if you need additional support with your mental health during this time, you don’t have to go through it alone. Virtual therapy is an option you can explore. There are apps such as Talkspace or BetterHelp that allow you to speak or even text with a licensed therapist. Virtual therapy can also sometimes be more affordable than traditional in-person therapy making it accessible for more people.