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  • Writer's pictureMallory Fuller

Covid-19 and Mental Health

I wanted to start by saying that the things that you are feeling right now are validated. It is okay not to be okay. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to be anxious. It is okay to cry. There are so many things floating around right now that are promoting productivity during this time. Daily schedules are being posted on the internet creating pressure to live up to a certain standard. I am here to tell you that if all you do is get out of bed today, that’s okay. The tips I list below are simply ways that I have found joy amid the chaos.

The moment that I got the email from Texas A&M that class would be moving online for the rest of the semester, I cried big, ugly tears. Everything that I knew to be normal was suddenly taken away from me. After being sad for myself, I got an instant pit in my stomach. With the sudden and abrupt changes in people’s lives, it was a matter of time before stress and anxiety started to kick in. I decided to make this blog post to address ways to maintain your mental health during this global pandemic. I want to give a huge shout out to my friend Kendall for helping me compile this list!

Keep a Daily Routine

With so much change happening in such a short amount of time, it is important to focus on what you can control. One thing we can control is how we spend our time. Whether we are working from home, doing online classes, or simply waiting for the time to pass, having some sort of structure to your day is important. When the things that we normally count on as a constant are no longer a constant, our life can feel out of whack. Creating a new daily routine will help you to reduce stress and stay positive. Try filling your new-found time with something that fills you up, and prioritize that daily!

Stay Active

Staying active is beneficial to not only your body but also your mind! Working out is scientifically proven to boost your mood. It also works to improve self-esteem, promotes better sleep, decreases stress, and gives your brain a boost.

For me, staying active looks a little different while social distancing. I joined Orange Theory this year, and it instantly became my favorite way to de-stress. With the closure of gyms across the nation, I have had to find new and creative ways to keep my body moving. One of the ways I do this is with BeachBody on Demand. I absolutely LOVE the Barre Blend program (shout out to Ashlee Gilchrist. If you want to be connected LMK). I also have been ALL about long walks. Walking outside gives me a chance to get out of the house, move my body, and listen to my favorite music or podcasts.

Fuel Your Body

Okay. Let’s be real. We have all seen and related to the memes floating around the internet (maybe a little too much in my case). From Quarantine 15 to “going through all of my self-isolation snacks in one day,” it is evident that we have felt the effects of boredom eating.

A couple of months ago, I was listening to a podcast that spoke on the link between mental health and our diet. I always knew that I felt so much better when I was eating healthy, but I just chopped it up to being proud of myself for making “good” choices. However, what I didn’t know was that a vitamin D deficiency (which is extremely common, especially in women) could lead to depression or that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids could help aid in the treatment of depression. Overall, a diet full of nutrient-rich food can lead to overall improved mood and mental health. Now while I am not a nutrition expert, I do believe that it is important for us to feed our bodies with good nutritious foods, with a treat here and there, to maintain energy and a healthy mind.

Communicate with Your Friends and Family

One quote that I have seen floating around social media in the past couple of days is “Socially distant doesn’t mean emotionally distant.” While our interaction is limited, we must find creative ways to reach out to our friends. My favorite thing to do is send a cute little gif that says, “sending a virtual hug!” In doing so, I am making sure my friends know that I am thinking about them and care about how they are doing during this time. It is also a way for me to take a step back and think about how we are all in this together. We have to rely on one another during this time and spread positivity to our friends and family.

Limit News Exposure and Catastrophic Thoughts

There is a fine line between staying informed and letting everything you hear on the news consume your entire being. I think it is important to find a balance that keeps your mind in a positive place. While I am not saying to ignore what is happening in our nation altogether, I am saying to put your happiness and mental sanity above watching the news. I know for me,when I focus on something for too long, my mind can start to spiral. This leads me to the second part of this point.

I think it is important for us to realize that one day, things will get better. I think it is extremely easy for us right now to feel as if the world is ending. Plans are suddenly changing, things that are normally a constant for us are no longer constants, and anxiety about what could is at an all-time high. However, we have to make sure that our thoughts are not catastrophic. Having hope in a time of crisis is imperative.

These are just a few of the things that I have found to relieve my stress about the things happening around me. Again, I want to reinforce that it is okay not to be okay. There are people who care about your well-being and happiness. If you or someone you know is having a hard time, you can text talk to 741741. Wash your hands, practice social distancing, and hold on to hope, because we are going to get through this.

All my love!


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