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“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
–Ian MacLaren

During this time of COVID-19, we are all challenged in ways we never expected. Many of us are adjusting to social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic and are adapting to staying at home. It is ok to feel uncomfortable, fearful and uncertain. When you have these feelings, try to accept them. The actions you then take can make all the difference in promoting good mental health.

Ten Ways to Remain Sane While Staying Safe During COVID-19

1. Talk to Someone

If you’re feeling sad, scared, or lonely, talk to someone you trust. Share your feelings with a therapist, life coach, or friend. These people are just a phone call or video chat away.

2. Daily Routines

Set daily routines that are simple to follow and seem like normal life. This can help you feel like you have accomplished some daily tasks like showering, getting dressed, maintaining regular mealtimes, or completing household chores.

3. Eat Healthy

Take special care of your physical health and well-being. This includes healthy eating and good sleep habits.

4. Get Daily Exercise

Getting daily exercise and going outdoors, whenever possible, is important for maintaining mental health. Go for a walk, a bike ride, or a run outside. Many parks with walking and biking trails are open. Check out some different locations. If this is not possible, then try an exercise video or class online, many of which are free. Many yoga studios and gyms are also now offering live-stream classes. At the very minimum, know that just sitting in the fresh air can be invigorating.

5. Quiet Time

Take time each day to get quiet and relax your mind. Spending even 10 minutes a day doing this can be very beneficial to your emotional well-being. Many guided meditations and relaxation exercises are available free on YouTube. Two popular, online meditation services are Headspace and Calm. Subscriptions to these start at about $5 to $10 a month, with certain offerings available for free.

6. Stay in Touch With Friends

Social interaction is important! Stay in touch with friends and family by phone or online video communication services like Zoom or Skype. Although some plans require upgrades, many of their services are free. Some clubs and organizations are also now operating digitally, providing interactive platforms to help groups stay in touch. What’s important is to stay connected and to choose interactions that are uplifting and inspire creativity.

7. Laugh

Science reminds us that laughter boosts the immune system and can reduce stress. Watching old comedies, sit-coms, and funny videos can improve your overall health.

8. Take Up a Hobby

Be creative! This is a good time to take up a hobby, write poetry, garden, or acquire new skills. You can access many how-to classes and webinars online.

9. Enjoy Yourself!

Make sure you engage in some activities daily that make you feel happy.

10. Be Thankful

Research shows that gratitude can help people experience greater joy, improve health, and deal with adversity. Create a gratitude list for yourself. Be grateful for everything you have!

We, human beings, are very resilient. If we closely follow the social distancing strategies recommended by our medical professionals and scientists during COVID-19, we can maintain the necessary physical distance without feeling so emotionally or socially isolated.