Staying in tune with mental health during a pandemic

Mental destruction inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic has made it extremely important to maintain healthy and mindful living. Here is a guide on mental health focus during a pandemic.


Sophie’s Scoop: An Arrowhead column

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to take a step back and reflect on our innermost thoughts and feelings. Mental health is as crucial as ever to living a healthy life.
Let’s face it, living in a pandemic is hard. The reality is that we have been facing it, for almost a year. The unease, busyness, boredom and loneliness that Covid-19 brought has hit many people.
We must recognize that it is okay to have these feelings during this time, or during any time. There are various ways to work on a healthy mindset that may be beneficial.
For the feeling of unease, focus on self connection. My favorite practices for nervousness are meditation, making music, doing yoga and journaling. Find something that helps drown unease out and lets mindfulness come in.
Very Well Mind states that “[Meditation] restores the body to a calm state, helping the body repair itself and preventing new damage from the physical effects of stress.” My recommendation is to start out simple with short YouTube meditations.
Each day during quarantine, I focused on my mental health by completing a 10 minute yoga stretch every morning. “Yoga With Kassandra” on YouTube provides simple stretches with mindful affirmations.
There is no doubt that this pandemic has caused people unease. It is validly discomforting to feel the impact of a global health crisis. To reduce feelings like this, these practices are crucial.
No matter what role a person has played in the last few months, we have collectively experienced busyness and boredom. The turmoil of the pandemic has been chaotic for many, while for others, it has been a blank cloud of boredom. Perhaps you are like me, and the experience has been a little bit of both.
Here is my advice for busyness and boredom during a pandemic: if you are bored, be bored. If you are busy, be busy. Often, we get caught up in either of these feelings, craving the other one. However, this pandemic has taught us that we should not take boredom and busyness for granted.
As for loneliness, stay in touch with the little things that bring happiness. Also, stay in touch with people. Not being able to go out and do activities from past years is damaging. Humans don’t love change, but we adapt.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we salvaged our loneliness with virtual meetings. Time has passed and the zoom calls may be becoming endless. In the case where loneliness overwhelms the world, turn back to the simple things that spark joy.
According to Very Well Mind, it is beneficial to keep a schedule while in isolation. “Start each day with a plan of a few things that you will do and keep a daily diary about how you are feeling and what you are doing.”
While the conversation on mental health is slowly being encouraged more and more, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to center life around mental health. Be self aware of innermost thoughts and emotions, and act to stay healthy and help friends stay healthy.