Right now we're all focused on our physical health, trying to avoid coronavirus with hand washing, hand sanitizer, and social distancing. It's critical that we do all that we can to prevent its spread, and many of us are staying home to do that. But while we focus on our physical health, it's also important to make sure we are taking care of our mental health while we're at home. The mind and body connection is strong, so here are 3 ways to stay strong during the coronavirus pandemic:
1. Practice Yoga
Online yoga is a great way to relieve anxiety and stay in shape while you're unable to go anywhere. All you need is your laptop or phone, and a little space to spread out.
While many yoga teachers have taken their practices online in the past week, to protect students and respect local guidelines around group gatherings, some have also been there all along! Yoga with Adriene is a wonderfully compassionate and relatable yoga teacher on YouTube, and she also offers more in-depth paid and donation based video programs.
Meditation is a must if you're trying to reduce stress and anxiety. According to meditation teacher Sara Shah, “Meditation teaches us how to sit with whatever is happening with a sense of confidence even if we don’t know what’s going to happen." A lot of us are feeling scared and uncertain about the future, and grounding practices like meditation can help us feel calmer. It can help boost our immune systems, too. This is why she's launching a 5-day meditation series to help with anxiety people are feeling due to the coronavirus pandemic. You can access it by subscribing to her newsletter.
Tara Brach is another meditation teacher who hosts a weekly talk available anywhere you listen to podcasts, and she also has an incredible library of donation-based guided meditations. Also, Spirit Rock meditation center posts their Monday meditations for anyone who wants to follow along at home, or you can also join one of their virtual meditation sitting groups if you're starting to feel lonely. One of their teachers, Jack Kornfield, has even put together a free guide to creating your own home retreat. If you're looking for an app, Insight Timer is a free app that you can download and start using right away for guided meditations, and it's the one most recommended by meditation teachers.
3. Give Yourself A Content Break
The news is anxiety-inducing right now, and many newspapers are just recycling the same information over and over again. Try to set limits around how much time you are going to spend reading the news, and stick to them. Instead of going to the same news websites every hour, try setting a couple times a day when you'll check. This will help manage your stress levels, which can help your immune system and overall mental state.
We know this isn't an easy time for anyone, but we hope these practices and tips help you stay healthy.
If you could use more daily support through a breakup or divorce, you can download our app Mend (iOS only). You can also sign up for our free class on "Staying Home: How To Support Your Mental Health During Coronavirus."