Your 2021 Mental Health Action Plan
As the novel COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the world, it has resulted in a death toll of almost 1.88 million out of 86.8 million cases worldwide. In the US, the number of cases has dramatically risen since March and now the country has the most confirmed number of infected people and deaths than any other country in the world.
Overall, there have been over 21 million cases across the US and 630,000 in Canada, with 360,000 deaths in US and 16,500 in Canada resulting from the disease in 2020. In such turbulent times, it is normal to feel fear, anxiety and stress. For most North Americans — in fact, for most people across the globe — the pandemic has ruined all of their carefully-laid plans and hurled them into unchartered territories. Not only is the world struggling with a public health emergency, it is also trying to cope with economic upheaval and the removal of face-to-face interactions.
During this time, it is important to exercise self-care and take care of your mental health. Although we cannot control the pandemic, we have control over ourselves. With this in mind, we have created a 2021 mental health action plan to support you during the pandemic.
Consider your Household Needs
A great way to begin any plan and deal with uncertainty is to develop a list that gives you some measure of perspective. For example, if you want to prepare yourself for isolation for a few weeks, you should count all the things that you would need to make your social distancing more comfortable.
These lists should include food, pet food, medications, and household items you need for everyday work. If you go to the gym, you can invest in simple equipment to create a home gym for yourself. You can also join online meditation/yoga/workout groups that are hosted on Zoom.
Exercise Self Care
Contrary to popular belief, self-care is not selfishness. The second wave of coronavirus has proved to be even more dangerous than the first wave and the heightened fear and stress mean zero relaxation and a lot of neglect for our own needs.
However, we need to keep in mind that things will not always stay this way. Times will get better and it is important that we take some time to ourselves and put some effort into our own wellbeing.
It is important that you eat well, take out time to do what you love, get enough sleep, and keep yourself groomed. Just because you have to keep yourself distanced from your loved ones doesn’t mean you cannot go for a walk in the woods or a nice bike ride.
Create a Routine
Humans are creatures of habits. We feel the most comfortable when we are working with a structure in mind. For many of us, this means getting up in the morning, dressing up, and leaving for work. As many of us are now working from home, we find a disturbance in our normal routine habits.
However, developing a new routine is crucial for everyone. Even if you do not go to your workplace, make sure to dress up professionally. If you find yourself with more free time on your hands, take this opportunity to set out times for certain activities.
You should dedicate a portion of your day to take care of yourself and talk to your loved ones. You do not need to keep a very tight schedule. But creating a tentative routine can help you maintain control and help you look forward to the next day.
Maintain Social Contact
The term “social distancing” is a misnomer. Just because we have to keep physical distance does not mean we have to take socially isolate ourselves. Working remotely without being surrounded by your team can have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing. But there are plenty of ways to keep your connections to your friends, thanks to technology.
Today, it is now easier than ever to keep in touch with friends and family by text messages phone, and best of all, video calls. If you miss socializing with your loved ones, just pick up your phone and have a meet-up with your friends on Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or whichever video call tool you prefer.
It is important to maintain a sense of community in such times.
With each day bringing more and more sad news primarily related to the COVID-19, you may be feeling anxious and depressed at times. It is very important to keep yourself informed; however, constantly looking for updates and looking at sensationalized stories can have a bad effect on your mental health.
Try to limit the intake of news and only listen to trusted and verified new sources. In the same way, limit your consumption of social media, which can propagate the same kind of news. Although many people find it cathartic to talk about their anxieties over social media, others may feel worse when participating in such discussions.
If you think social media is not helping you, there is no reason you shouldn’t let your loved ones know you don’t want to participate.
These are unprecedented times and it is OK if you need some extra help. Understand that there is support available if you need it. For more information, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html (Canada) and https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus (USA)
At Paradise Valley Healing Center, our doors are always open. With Covid-19 still a major concern for the world, our team has implemented the directives and guidelines put forth by the Health Authorities to ensure the highest level of safety for our guests and staff. We also provide therapy through online means. Contact us by visiting our website or call us at 1-888-802-3001.