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How to Look After Your Mental Health and Combat Anxiety in Isolation

Marco Van Rijt

Photographed by Marco Van Rijt for Vogue Arabia

This Covid-19 pandemic is real and for many understandably feel scared, confused, overwhelmed, and out of control, the need to feel safe is a basic human need. The corona-crisis, it is a trigger for even the most positive to experience negative thoughts and feelings causing; lack of motivation, not being able to focus, low mood and general unease.

These times are uncertain as we have never been through something like this before, so it is important to understand it’s OK to feel like this. Now more than ever, looking after your health is a priority and the stronger we are in our mental, emotional and physical self-care, the more healthy we will stay. Staying at home doesn’t have to feel stressful or lonely, in fact, by staying at home you’re doing your best to help stop the spread of this virus.

When things feel out of control the best place to start is with you. Use these five tips from health and wellness coach Heidi Jones to help you cultivate positivity, calmer and healthier habits whilst staying at home:

1. Avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak.  Speculation, rumor, and sensationalized social media posts can fuel anxiety. advises everyone to limit the amount of time watching the news to twice a day or to only seek information from quality sources online. Accessing good quality information about the virus will help you feel more in control and help you to feel calmer each day.

Also Read: #TogetherAtHome is the Trend You Need to be Following

2. Stay connected: There is a huge amount of evidence that keeping in close touch with friends, family and support groups can help us feel happier and healthier and can prevent us from becoming unwell. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in psychology shows belongingness is a human psychological need. Quality social connection comes in many forms and usually the more connected you are the better the benefits. How you keep connected is up to you; online video calls, phone calls, voice notes, and live webinars are good places to start. Now is the time to prioritize staying connected, arrange to speak to someone that will help lift you up every day and make this a non-negotiable.

3. Learn to reframe negative thoughts: The most positive of people will experience difficult feelings, but what is important to remember is our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors continually affect each other. At times like this, it’s easy to develop negative patterns where unhelpful thoughts lead to unhelpful feelings and actions. By reframing you are able to prevent getting into a negative spiral. Reframe your thoughts by following these 3 simple steps: Recognize the thought, challenge the thought and replace the thought with something more positive by choosing to focus on things you can control. With practice, this will help you see problems from a different perspective.

Also Read: 5 Things to Do at Your Home While Social Distancing

4. Have something to look forward to each day: It’s ok to enjoy yourself, make space in your day to do something that helps you take a break from what’s going on. When we get in creative flow we experience more joy in our lives. Is it a hobby you can do from home? Learn a new skill? Watch your favorite comedy series or have a virtual dance party? It is time to branch out.

5. Prioritize the basics: eat well, drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep: As mentioned before, the more you can control the calmer you will feel. Supporting your immune system is essential in these times and something you can do from home. By focusing on the basics; eating well, drinking water and getting plenty of sleep you will be helping yourself not only in the short term but you will also be taking preventative steps for your future health too.

6. If you are feeling low, worried or anxious please remember it’s OK to feel like this, everyone reacts to challenging events in their own way. What is important is to remember that while staying at home may be difficult, you are helping others by doing it. If you feel you can’t cope it’s important to get further support and reach out to someone you trust that will be able to help.

Heidi Jones coaches high-flying career women to take action to balance their health, happiness and career goals. Join her New Free Online Healthy Lifestyle & High Flying Career 5 Day Challenge and learn the tools to help you take control of the controllable. Follow @heidi_jones_coaching or visit her website

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