The basic recommendations for maintaining mental health during a pandemic were issued by the Association of Clinical Psychologists of the Czech Republic (in Czech).
Steps to help mental health
- Don't blame yourself for feeling bad. If the situation connected with the pandemic causes you any unpleasant feelings, do not blame yourself. A pandemic is a completely unknown situation. Such unpleasant feelings, caused in particular by great uncertainty, are completely normal and natural.
- Maintain relationships and social contact as you did. People naturally live in relationships - partner, family, friends. Therefore, it is not surprising that social isolation does not benefit us. But it is this measure that is most effective in combating the pandemic. If you do not live alone, try to make the most of this time to take care of your relationships. Watch a movie together or play a board game. To communicate with others, use all methods of long-distance communication - mobile phone, video calls, social networks, etc. If you feel lonely, it is possible that you do not even want to be in contact, because loneliness feeds on itself. In that case, acknowledge but don't intentionally support this feeling and contact someone close to you, it will definitely help you.
- Hold the mode and live as "normal" as possible. Even if you work from home, try to maintain a regime similar to how you would go to work. Try to observe regular wake up time and working hours. When the days dissolve into a kind of "vacuum," anxiety or remorse are far more likely to occur. In addition, a regular daily schedule gives us a sense of security in an otherwise uncertain time.
- Don't focus all your attention on coronavirus only. While it is important to seek information about the current situation, it is also important to be able to turn off the media at some point. Overwhelming information can then cause feelings of anxiety. Set a time for you to read the news, e.g. 30 minutes in the morning and evening.
- Sport benefits mental health. Exercise plays a key role in our mental well-being. Try to go for a walk every day for a while or at least work out at home, for example, according to one of the videos of the Czech Army.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you feel that the situation is affecting you and you need to confide in someone, solve a specific problem or just talk to someone, do not hesitate to contact one of the helplines.
The article is an abbreviated version of the text Six Steps to Mental Health by Nela G. Wurmová, you can read the whole text.