The COVID-19 pandemic has shocked everyone around the globe. We see a fast increase in people who test positive worldwide and how the number still increases day by day. People have decided to stay at home and observe social distancing.
For both adults and children, fear and anxiety have become overwhelming because of the outbreak. People react differently, and this lockdown can take a toll on our mental health. It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, and loneliness during these times, and staying mentally healthy is challenging to do. But, while the world is in chaos, how do you stay sane?
A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology was about 658 students who were asked to keep tabs of their mental state during crafting activities. The study supports that everyday creativity is a way to nurture positive psychological behavior.
1. Encourage Creativity
School is out, and your kids have to be at home 24/7. School plays a vital role in their well-being and now, home is school. The school gives guidelines for home studying, but the rest of it is still up to the parents. Here are some tips for parents to encourage creativity or something they can do with the kids:
- Keep everything
- Keep recyclable materials for arts and crafts time.
- Set challenges
- Let your kids’ creativity run wild by asking them to do projects they can finish within time using things that can be found at home.
- Be creative with space
- Find a room or corner that they can paint or decorate it. This way, you get to declutter, and they get to play arts.
- Think outside the box
- Its easy to have kids do arts and crafts all the time. You can ask them to help you in the kitchen, or if they are old enough, you can ask them to take charge of the meal.
- Get creative with them
- Cook, paint or do crochet with your kids. You can teach them or learn it with them.
You may also find this guide helpful.
2. Allot a Family Time
Turn your isolation into quality time. It does not always happen that you get to spend this much time with the whole family.
- Play music
- Blast the music and dance or sing in the karaoke.
- Set up a routine with them
- Set nap times, school/work time, playtime, and family time. Meals can be enjoyed together.
- Decide whether the family time is with a gadget or no gadget.
- You can call family members that are not at home. You can also watch a film or play a game online as a family.
- Nurture a hobby and spend time with your children
- You can take an interest in what they do or introduce them to what your hobbies are.
3. Carve Out Social Time
One of the things that this pandemic has robbed of us is the chance to spend time with friends – go out for a meal or a drink. Ironically, this is also the time that we need friends most. Here’s how we can still spend time with them:
- Schedule a video conference during cocktail hour
- Spend an hour or two with a different friend or group every night. You can dress up, mix a drink, or even prepare nibbles.
- Cultivate your community
- Whatever your interest is, there would be an online social group for it.
- Spread love and kindness online
- Take a minute or less to send an encouraging word to someone. We all need that these days. You can also record videos of your kids and send them to family members.
- Have your kids call their friends
- You can talk to their friends’ parents to set up a time for your kids to talk. This may also be an excellent time to get a glimpse of their childhood friends.
4. Stay Physical And Take Care Of Yourself
One of the ways to kill time and stay healthy is to exercise. Anything that can get your heart pumping is good for both your physical and mental health. Here are other things you can do to take care of yourself:
- Get in nature if you can
- Stay away from people and with as much green as you can. Forest bathing can help your health. A study shows that people who spend time in nature had greater immunity cells.
- Start a home exercise routine
- Many home workouts that do not need equipment are available online.
- Declutter your home
- Cleaning offers a sense of control and can offer a breather from stress.
- Mediate or just breathe in
- Meditation is known to reduce depression and anxiety. If it is not for you, controlled breathing can also calm panic attacks.
5. Discover and Teach Life Skills
Now is the best time to teach life and survival skills to your kids or for you to discover other things that you do not know yet. Here are what you can learn yourself and impart to them:
- This can be done both indoors and outdoors. This will provide the satisfaction of seeing seeds that you planted grow.
- This skill is handy when the food supply is low. Prolonging the life of food past its original expiration date will one day come in handy.
- Learn different stitches for different materials. You can find tutorials all over the internet.
Above all this, take your isolation one day at a time. Something may not go according to plan, but that should be fine. Try not to be upset when things are unproductive. Try to make sense of the situation. Remember that despite the panic and fear, you are all in this together. Dwell on the things that would matter the most.
- Experts’ tips on surviving – even enjoying – life under lockdown. (2020, March 22). Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/22/coronavirus-social-distancing-activities-food-drink-exercise-kids
- Whiting, K. (n.d.). How to stay creative and keep your family sane during lockdown – from one of the world’s best teachers. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-education-homeschooling-teaching-creativity
- Tellis, S. (2020, April 1). Turn self-isolation into family bonding time: Tips to keep kids engaged during lockdown. Retrieved from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/turn-self-isolation-into-family-bonding-time-tips-to-keep-kids-engaged-during-lockdown/articleshow/74923722.cms
- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19. (2020, April 16). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
- Bell, J. (2020, April 9). Arts and crafts. Retrieved from https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/mental-health-activities-coronavirus-lockdown?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2
Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended or recommended for patients or other lay persons or as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Patients must always consult a qualified health care professional regarding their diagnosis and treatment. Mental health conditions are complex, people differ widely in their conditions and responses, and interactions with other conditions and treatments are best evaluated by a physical examination and consultation with a qualified clinician.