By Laura Julia Fleischmann
Trigger Warning: Mental Health, Anxiety, and Suicide
Staying inside and being isolated in quarantine can do some harmful things for people’s mental health. Below are 11 tips that can help you or someone you love to handle their mental health during this challenging time. We are all in this together and this will pass. You are so loved and your life is worth so much. Please don’t forget that.
1. Facetime a friend and watch a movie or TV show
Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t communicate with those you love. Watching a movie or talking is a fun way to connect with friends even if you aren’t with each other physically. Spending time with people you are close to will make you feel less alone and bring you a lot of joy and security. Check out my other articles about Top 10 movies on Netflix or my article about Top Programs to Watch on Disney Plus for ideas.
2. Go on a 6ft apart picnic or walk with a friend
As long as you stay 6ft apart to abide by social distancing rules, seeing somebody in person is one of the best ways to connect with other people so you feel less isolated.
3. Check out Ban.do’s resources (https://www.bando.com/pages/resources-downloads)
From coloring pages to worksheets to help you reflect and work on yourself, Ban.do has a lot of things you can use to keep yourself busy and boost those serotonin levels.
4. Bake or cook something
Baking or cooking are nice ways to make even the worst days feel a little better! My current favorite recipe is pizza in a mug.
5. Workout or do some light exercise
Exercise scientifically boosts your mood, relieves stress, and helps you sleep better. If you are currently struggling with dealing with your mental health, try to exercise a couple of times a week. I have been doing it and it for sure boosts my mood. Here is a spreadsheet from Girls’ Night In with different online exercises (for both boys and girls) you can do at home. (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Bh6lLRZex_kLSb1UCkJoq1DTCriLG9pafViX3TvPDAg/edit#gid=0)
6. Make a new playlist and listen to music
Music is always something that can boost your mood! Make it an activity to make a quarantine playlist. You can even do a shared playlist with some other friends. If you don’t want to make a playlist, Spotify makes personalized Daily Wellness Playlists for each account holder.
7. Make a routine
In this time of uncertainty, it’s important to have some structure in your life. If you are overwhelmed with school or just feel like the days are just being wasted away, try making a routine. It can be as strict or loose as you want it to be. For example, my routine has me waking up anytime between 10-12. This way I can give myself more flexibility. However, my sister's routine starts exactly at 9 every day. Bringing a routine into your life will give you the stability you need.
8. Check out Shine’s Coronavirus Anxiety Resources (https://www.virusanxiety.com/?utm_source=Shine&utm_medium=Blog&utm_campaign=Top_Nav)
Shine has put together a lot of resources to help you cope with anxiety during this time. They give you the chance to talk to experts, give meditation tips, and help you work through the different types of anxiety you might be having during this time.
9. Talk to or text a hotline
Talking about what you are feeling is one of the best ways you can heal. Not all of us have someone at home that we can talk to, so definitely try talking to a hotline. If you are thinking of self-harm, PLEASE call a hotline. Even if you are not thinking of self-harm or suicide, you can still call hotlines just to talk. The purpose of hotlines is to always help you go through ALL types of mental health struggles. This is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-8255. This is the number for the NAMI Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). Talking on the phone isn’t for everyone and that’s totally fine. If you feel more comfortable texting, use the Crisis Text Line. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor.
10. Subscribe to the Goodnewsletter. (https://www.goodgoodgood.co/goodnewsletter)
This newsletter puts five good news stories in your inbox every Tuesday morning. It’s important to find a bright spot, especially during these times.
11. Breathe or Meditate
Breathing and Meditation are great ways to keep yourself centered and feeling calm. Try to download apps like Shine, Headspace, or Calm.
You matter and your mental health matters. Use as many or as little of these tips as you need. Stay safe.