Staying Sane During State Coronavirus Shutdowns: 4 Tips to Help Improve Mental Health During Pandemic Quarantines & Lockdowns by Jaya Jaya Myra
California’s most recent state order requiring everyone to stay home or at their place of residence has not so surprisingly crept back into our lives. New York City and many other parts of the country are on the verge of a shutdown as well. While the lockdown will undoubtedly reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus to the general public, it is likely to bring another unwelcome guest: an increase in mental health issues.
Cultivating strong mental and emotional health is super important because these things also help improve physical health, boost immunity, keep the microbiome healthy and so much much more. Never underestimate the power you have to improve overall well-being, just by making simple changes. Here are four tips for improving mental health during quarantine:
- Cultivate a daily habit doing something you love. This small act of self-care can go a long way – forming a new positive habit helps rewire your brain and create new positive neural connections that support staying mentally and emotionally wellness year round. This boot in positivity can help you weather other difficult situations.
- Get some fresh air and sunlight daily. Make sure to go for a short walk or spend some time outside. Fresh air and sunlight both boost mood naturally while promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. Sunlight even helps the body produce vitamin D, which has been shown to reduce depression.
- Try something new. One of the best ways to get out of a rut is to try something new – even if you’re at home, you can cultivate a new hobby or interest! Pick something, try it, and see how it makes you feel. Maybe that’s a new recipe each week, writing a letter to a friend, playing music or whatever makes you happy. Experiment with new things!
- Add mood-boosting foods to your daily routine. Foods help regulate serotonin and dopamine levels in the body – aka your happy hormones. Eating foods that boost these can help improve mood and mental health naturally! You can also add pre and probiotic foods that nourish the microbiome, and have been shown to reduce depression and elevate mood.
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