To say that this is a hard time is an understatement. As I look at the window of my house, I wonder how the world has become the way it has in such a short period? We were all blind-sided in a way that has left us both speechless and grieving for the life we once knew. I miss the ease of everyday life and the enjoyment of seeing other people where I didn’t worry about them being contagious or infected. It feels as if we are at war, but we don’t know where the enemy is hiding or how to fight something that the best medical professional doesn’t even understand.
This time has left us with so many questions and “what ifs,” including what the future will hold for businesses as we know it. Aside from those daunting questions hanging over our heads, so are the various thoughts that are racing through our minds as well. While the government is working on loans and tax credits to assist in this unprecedented time, it still may not help to quell the anxiety and negative crescendo of thoughts that are plaguing many people right now.
That is why it is important to take care of your mental health as much as your physical health. I am a firm believer that if you let worry and anxiety consume you, that you only make yourself more susceptible to getting sick. After all, who feels good when they are anxious or fighting depression? I know from a personal standpoint when my anxiety is ramped up my concentration is lessened, my focus is down and I can’t hear what someone is telling me when they are standing right in front of me.
While I can usually quell my anxiety with outside activities, events, and partaking in things with my friends and family, this pandemic has changed life as we know it. We are now house-bound, with little to no contact with the outside world. Shopping in stores has been deemed unsafe, dining in a restaurant is no longer an option, sporting events have ceased, and exercising gyms have closed their doors. With all of these outlets taken away from us, we have to be creative and persistent in finding new ways to keep our minds strong and positive.
The only outside interaction one has with people are those on video screens, or grocery store visits that are tortuous due to the fear of catching anything or the passing of other people while out for a quick walk. This is the life we have come to live, one where we can’t hug those we love or shake hands with new acquaintances. How can we handle our mental health when taking care of physical health is quite stressful at the moment?
Many of you may be asking yourself that question, especially if you currently own your own business. Fears of paying bills on time, keeping employees employed once everything returns to normal, to simply people being leery about public outings causing a business to stay down are maybe just some of the worries crossing your mind.
That is why you should try to find alternative (and positive) outlets to keep your mental state strong, even when it seems like there is only so much one can do during this unprecedented era. Hopefully, these avenues will help ease your anxiety and assist in finding your happiness while we try to navigate this new world.
Therapeutic apps such as “Calm” and online counseling websites
The beautiful thing about this time is that we have access to multiple online avenues right at the tips of our fingers. In this digital age, our phones can help take our mind away from troubling thoughts or anxious moments by providing easy access to different counseling and relaxing apps with a touch of our fingertips.
Calm is a popular app for those who want to do a simple mental task to help ease their worry and anxiety. You can also utilize some well-renowned apps such as BetterHelp, TalkSpace, and BreakThrough to name a few. While they are paid services, most therapy services do require payment for their time. If you do have a therapist, it may help to propose using Zoom or Google to do video conferencing. That way, you can still get counseling in, but in the safety of your home.
Getting outside to take a walk or the childhood pastime of riding a bike
Like many of you, on the nice days, you want to get outside. Thankfully, Spring is in the air and we can get out to smell the roses (literally). This is the perfect time to try and safely get out and enjoy the weather. If you live in an area that is more rural or country, long walks or bike rides are a nice exercise to do to clear your mind. Something is reinvigorating about the fresh air and enjoying the natural scenery that our world provides us.
Get into online exercise programs
If you live in a more crowded area, getting outside may prove to be more a challenge or health risk. That is why finding or utilizing online gym programs is a great way to work out and clear your mind. I know from personal experience when I am working out, getting through it is more of a priority for my mind than my troubling thoughts. The “high” that one gets after a good workout is not only refreshing but also hard to recreate in another form. If you look online, websites such as DailyBurn.com, ObeFitness, and the YMCA offer classes right from your computer screen. You won’t regret trying a class, and I’m sure both your mind and body will thank you for it later.
I have been more intrigued by the content of webinars that have been offered since the COVID-19 outbreak than ever before. Different companies and websites that I follow have offered such out of the box themes since this outbreak that I find it imperative for many small businesses and entrepreneurs to at least try out some. Many financial specialists are offering webinars on the different loans being given to small businesses, along with insight on how you can plan for your future. This is the time to take advantage of these webinars, since our schedules have opened up and time has become more available to do so.
Online Trivia Nights, Game Nights, or Virtual Book Clubs
Finally, one more fun option to help ease your anxious or negative thoughts. Taking part in a virtual game night, trivia event, or book club can help you remember to have a good time, safely and with those who you enjoy being around. Granted, it may not feel the same, but I bet if you give it try you will be surprised at how much fun you can have regardless of where you are.
Just remember, you are not alone in this. People from all over the world are trying to find their new normal, and we are all adjusting to a new world that will eventually be a memory in time.