COVID-19: Turning your thinking from ‘cant’s’ to ‘cans’

Written By: Ali Zamzow, undergraduate UWSP Intern

In a time like this, there has been a strong focus on everything we can’t do: don’t leave your house, don’t see your friends and extended family, don’t stand within six feet of a stranger. I think with all these “can’ts” thrown in our face from the media, we have forgotten about all the things we still can do, and possibly the ability to do more now with this extra at-home time.

Though this time can be scary and feels unstable there are still ways to make the most out of it, to stay happy and to grow. With this extra time at home, we are able to reconnect with family members we aren’t able to see because of work, school or other scheduling conflicts. We may now have extra time to do work around the house, organize and do extra spring cleaning we otherwise might have put off. We have the opportunity to get more creative with how we are getting active and staying fit. There is still so much we can do.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

This time can take a toll on mental health or bring past struggle to the surface again. Some ways to stay positive and on the right track mentally are:

Creating a routine- this might be as small as a morning coffee or tea ritual to bring some structure and peace of mind to the beginning of your day.

Setting goals- Making a ‘To-Do’ list for the day can be helpful to keep you motivated and accomplishing tasks throughout the days or weeks.

Getting ready- A huge way to maintain a positive state of mind is to get ready for the day, yes, that may mean getting out of your ‘day pajamas’ and putting on some jeans every now and then. This may help motivate you to start tackling your ‘To-Do’ list.

Sleep schedule- It is more important than ever to maintain a health sleep schedule, even if you don’t have work or school to get up for, going to sleep and getting up at a decent time will help keep structure to your days.

Staying Active- Try to stay active or get outside, even if it’s for 20 minutes a day. For those who are used to going to the gym or workout facility, there are lots of online sources you can turn to for workouts or tips for staying active and moving.

Self-care- Listen to what your body and mind needs. If you are working from home and you’re feeling restless, get outside and take a walk, take a brain break and meditate. If you are feeling bored at home, look up projects to do, read that book someone suggested months ago, or take a bath. Your self-are may look different than the next person’s, but it’s all about listening to what your mind and body need in that moment.

Reaching out- Even with the need to practice social distancing rules, that doesn’t mean we need to be distant ourselves socially. With today’s technology, we are about to be more connected than ever. I think it is comforting to know that most friends, family, and therapist are just a text, call or video chat away.

We need to remember that yes, we are all alone, but we are all alone, together.

Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- 1-800-273-8255

Domestic Abuse Hotline Number- 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Or Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor