We should not underestimate the emotional and cognitive load that this pandemic has. Having a state of distraction, low motivation, and difficulty concentrating are expected. As we continue with our lives having a new rhythm of remote work and isolation, go easy on yourself. Adaptation takes time. In setting our goals both for ourselves and our surroundings, we need to be realistic. 

The COVID-19 outbreak is stressful for some of us. It tests our mental health, the capacity on how we can handle our new situation. Embracing good mental-health and relying on others can protect us and others. 

Here are some tips that may help you on how to manage your mental health during the outbreak:

  • Know your red flags

Identifying your key to thoughts or physical sensations is one way to manage moments of distress. Your thoughts and physical sensations contribute to your cycle of distress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Thoughts, feelings, actions, and physical sensations amplify this negative emotional spiral. You may address even one aspect such as enthusiastically decreasing the physical symptoms which can de-escalate the cycle and help you regain control. 

  • Manage your stress

By practicing good sleep hygiene and prioritizing your sleep, it may be a solid foundation for your well-being. Also, eating well and being conscious of what you are eating. You can also exercise because it lowers your stress level. Exercise helps you to improve your sleep and better regulate your emotions. 

  • Be compassionate with yourself and others

There is much that we can’t control right now. During these challenging times, how we talk to ourselves can either increase our distress or offers a powerful defense to these tough situations. Moments of feeling overwhelmed often come with big thoughts. This pandemic will cause a lot of stress for many of us and we cannot be our best selves all the time. However, we can ask for help or reach out when help is asked of us.

  • Make routine your friend

Make clear differences between non-work and work time. It helps to manage anxiety and will help you to adapt more quickly to this current reality. Discover a new thing that brings you joy that is not pandemic or not work-related. Being able to maintain your clarity of thought, you need to work with clear breaks in short bursts. 

  • Maintain connections 

 Even introverted people need some sense of connection to others. We need not feel alone because we are in social isolation. If you can, reach out to those who might be particularly isolated and feeling that they are all alone. Many working groups have created virtual forums where you can contribute or just sit back and enjoy the chatter. 

It’s normal to be stressed and anxious right now. However, the most important thing is to be gentle with yourself and others. Take steps to support both your own and your family’s mental well-being. If you can’t handle anymore the situation you are in, you can contact any of your family member or trusted friend to help you seek advice.