The COVID-19 pandemic that continues to rage until today has a pronounced effect on people’s mental health and, consequently, their physical conditions.
Based on the results of a June 2020 study conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on 5,412 American adults, some 40.9 percent of them said that they suffer from “one adverse mental or behavioral” health issue such as substance abuse, depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
What’s more concerning was the fact that at least 10.7 of the respondents admitted to seriously thinking about committing suicide during the last month before the study was made. And with a great part of the country still lacking enough healthcare workers specializing in mental health problems, such individuals are greatly at-risk of acting out their thoughts about suicide.
All of these revelations and many others from similar studies conducted by medical health professionals and researchers prove just how devastating and far-reaching the pandemic’s effects on people are.
If you’re struggling to keep yourself sane and physically fit due to the stress and financial impacts of the pandemic, here are four simple tricks you need to follow:
Stage a COVID-safe family/community fundraising event
If you want to give your family, next-door neighbors, and other community members a chance to have fun, work out their muscles, and raise money for a local charity, then a COVID-safe fundraising event is a perfect activity to have.
By COVID-safe, it means holding the event in a large and well-ventilated or outdoor area with proper social distancing protocols in place. Participants should also wear masks throughout the event, while hand sanitizing stations should be put up in strategic spots within the activity area.
You may choose from a Zumba session, simple calisthenics, or routine exercise facilitated by trained physical fitness instructors.
You need to hire a company that offers affordable sound system rental services, coordinate with the local police for security details, and promote the event on social media. Attendees should be encouraged to join the event and make a donation in cash or in kind, which could then be turned over to a pre-determined charitable group.
Always keep your most favorite people close by
Pandemic or not, we all need to have a support system composed of family, romantic partners, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. These people can offer you advice, empathize with your suffering, and just make you feel that you’re not alone in the struggles you’re facing.
These days, technology has made it effortless to establish and sustain communication with loved ones living in another part of the world. With the popularity of internet-capable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets and the easily accessible and free-to-use mobile communications apps like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, all it takes is a few taps on your device and you can instantly talk with a relative or friend from another state or country.
Make sure you’ll use such available tools to keep the people you love and trust close by, even in a digital or remote sense. This should be easy since smartphones have become cheap these days, thus making them pretty much accessible to a large part of the US population.
Keep yourself busy and productive
They say that idle minds become a devil’s playground. In many ways, this is absolutely on point.
Without anything meaningful or productive occupying a person’s mind, the chances of having some devils in the form of mental health problems are highly likely. You can, thankfully, combat such devils by engaging in activities that will make productive use of your time.
Among others, you can exercise daily, run or job around the neighborhood or in a local jogging trail, and embark on some home improvement projects. These activities will surely make your mind and body busy and do you good, instead of just letting yourself sit idle for a long time and be inundated with worries and ideas that could trigger anxiety and even depressive episodes.
Practice mindfulness constantly
Mindfulness is all about doing things that do something to your mental and emotional state. In times of crisis, this simple technique can spell the difference between survival and be consumed by the entire situation.
You should explore different mindfulness exercises and techniques, including meditation, maintaining a diary, doing breathing exercises, and self-affirmation. You could also practice gratitude and focus on positive things around you, so the negative thoughts won’t have any chance of causing you unnecessary stress and anxiety.
COVID-19’s ill effects may be hard to combat, but they’re not impossible to defeat. With these simple techniques to guide you, you can surely triumph over the mental and physical impacts of the pandemic.