This is a very uncertain and anxiety inducing time for many people, young and old, and while there is no magic solution to remaining calm and content, there are many things we can try to mind ourselves and our mental health while at home.
Try to keep a routine
It could be very easy to fall into a cycle of staying up late, sleeping in late, and repeat, but if you keep some form of routine, it can really help your mind. It doesn’t have to be as rigid as your normal schedule, but even a loose plan of things you want to do that day can help. If you’re a school or college student, you could lay out different subjects to study or assignments you want to start tackling in a day.
Keep in touch
‘Social Distancing’ is the new buzzword at this time, but while you may be physically apart from people, you don’t need to be socially apart. Nowadays there are so many ways to keep in touch with friends and family. Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Zoom etc. all offer ways to voice call and video call others.
Using this can help you stay connected to others, and keep a sense of normality among your friends. There are even group video call features that allow groups of people to all see and speak to each other, which is also useful if classmates are helping each other out with work, or working on a group assignment.
Read a book or learn a new skill
This could be a perfect time to take up a new skill or hobby that you’ve been wanting to try. There are many online tutorials and platforms to learn anything from knitting to dancing! Apps such as Duolingo allow you to brush up on a forgotten language, or learn a new one. Libraries Ireland also has an app called BorrowBox which allows you to access ebooks and audiobooks from your phone, as well as other resources.
You don’t necessarily have to be doing a full gym workout at home every day, but getting out for a walk in the fresh air (maintaining distance from others) is great for clearing the mind and avoiding feeling claustrophobic at home.
In this case, living in a rural area has its advantages as there will probably be very little traffic or little possibility of meeting many other people. If you’re looking for a more intense workout, YouTube has countless videos to walk you through anything from yoga to intense circuit training.
Avoid over-consumption of media and news
There are many media outlets reporting on the pandemic, and it can be overwhelming and disheartening to read so many negative stories. Limiting the amount of times you look at the news (e.g once in the morning and once in the evening), and only trusting reputable sources like the HSE for information can be helpful.
Take it easy and talk to someone if you need to
Sometimes it’s okay to just relax, binge watch a series on Netflix and allow yourself the time to do nothing. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back from it all sometimes and losing yourself in some Grey’s Anatomy (or whatever your series of choice is!)
If you feel like everything is getting too much for you, there are always ways to access help. Samaritans and Childline are 24 hour services that can be accessed if someone needs to talk.