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6 ways to protect your emotionsThis column will be focused on our mental health/emotions during these times of the coronavirus outbreak. There are so many ways we are affected by the things we are asked to do like, social distancing, mask wearing and hearing all the changes to life as we have known it.My goal is to assist people with healthy tips to make sure information is provided to work through every situation we face. I have been a counselor for many years but, I have never faced anything like what we are currently going through, and we are going through it together.DO
THINGS YOU ENJOY One of the best ways to keep your spirits up during the crisis is to do things that make you genuinely happy. That could mean binge-watching your favorite television sitcom, listening to your favorite songs, or even going for a leisurely drive along a scenic highway. Try to do something you love at least once a day. Then, experiment with new hobbies if you’re feeling adventurous!
STAY AWAY FROM DRUGS AND ALCOHOL You may feel bored, lonely, or stressed during our changing world. That might make you want to turn to drugs and alcohol to either entertain yourself, relax, or escape the negative emotions that you’re feeling. Using substances for any of these reasons and during times of great adversity increases risks of addiction
FOCUS ON YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH There’s a direct link between your mental health and your physical health and one does not exist without the other. Therefore, it’s important that you prioritize a healthy diet, frequent exercise, and adequate sleep. Each of these has the potential to improve your mood and reduce your current level of stress. Commit to a workout schedule (perhaps 5 days a week), eating a balanced diet (add as many colors as possible), and sleeping (aim for 7-9 hours).
FIND A WAY TO COPE The best way to protect your mental health is by having a healthy coping mechanism to help you work through your emotions. Luckily, this is the perfect time to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Be sure to experiment with healthy methods, such as talking with someone you trust, prayer, meditation, reading, deep breathing, exercising, or expressing yourself via art. The perfect coping strategy will ease your mind and reduce your stress.
STICK TO A ROUTINE Though a little freedom is great, it’s best for your mental health to stick to some sort of routine schedule and especially during these trying times. Be sure to take a shower and change your clothes each morning, eat around the same times each day, and create a work schedule that you can stick to. Consistency is key.
STAY IN CONTACT WITH LOVED ONES Not being able to spend time with your family and friends can lead you to feel lonely and isolated. To keep your relationships and improve your mental health, be sure to stay in contact with those most important to you. Schedule video calls with your best friends and don’t let physical distance deter your relationships.I hope you find these six keys helpful in your journey. If you have questions, contact me. Remember, you were Born To Win and Bound To Excel.
We can, and we will work through the coronavirus situation. It is my goal to assist you with information and guidance to help.
Thanks for reading.
Dr. Michael Layne