Protect Your Mental Health This COVID-19 Season

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This season we are all being asked to practice not only social distancing but to take self-isolation and quarantine measures. Being asked to stay indoors and not go about our regular routines for weeks at a time can have negative impacts on your physical and mental health if you don’t take care of different aspects of what your mind and body needs. 

Going through a public health crisis such as COVID-19 can create a lot of fear, anxiety, and social distancing measures that can very quickly lead to increased levels of depression, anxiety, and other symptoms. We must take steps to protect our mental health regardless of if you have pre-existing struggles with mental health.

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Symptoms of Depression & Mental Illness

Depression and sadness

Fatigue, exhaustion, lethargy

Frequent napping

Heightened anxiety 

Mood swings 

Irritability 

Decreased motivation 

Changes in appetite and weight

Symptoms in Children
sadness, depression

Children and teenagers may display signs of mental illness differently; below is a list of symptoms and signs typically seen from young children to teenagers.

Excessive Crying

Irritability and aggravation

Sadness and depression 

Upset stomachs

Headaches

Restlessness

Unhealthy eating habits

Unhealthy sleeping patterns

It is crucial to make sure your children are getting enough physical activity and mental stimulation and proper nutrition to help improve and prevent these symptoms. 

Even though we live in a day and age where the majority of not only of what we do on a day to day basis is online, there is so much more than the usual that we can take advantage of online. It is vital for our mental health to keep a variety in what we do, keep ourselves learning new information, and even trying new things to make a significance in how self-isolation affects our emotional and physical health. We must try to maintain a healthy mix of social, mental, and physical activities. 

Here are some activities to help break your Cabin Fever this COVID-19 season. 
Things To Try Online

Online Courses

There are thousands of free online courses that you can take on just about anything. Upgrade your credentials, learn a new skill or language, learn how to code a website or app. Learn how to run a business or take the courses you should have studied in college. Check out Udemy and Coursea for some great online courses.

Get some online culture virtual museum & art gallery tours. Check out some of the word’s most famous art galleries and museums that you can visit in bed. 

You can give the famous Water Lilies a virtual visit.

Ever wanted to visit The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam? It is now available online

Van Gogh Museum Now Free Online

Here is a list of 12 more famous museums and art galleries that have free online tours.

If those inspired you, check out this list of 10 different art classes you can take for free online.

Start A Blog/Vlog

Websites and Blogs and Vlogs are much easier to start than you think! Check out WordPress or Godaddy for free and cheap websites and blogs! Videos more your thing? Startup a YouTube channel!

Missing Wildlife?

Check out this collection of live cams with anything from Birds, Aquariums to Puppies, or Pandas! This website has a wide variety of wildlife live streams! 

Try Yoga!

I put this one in the online category because if you’re starting, it might be helpful to start with an app such as Downdog or a YouTube channel, click the link for a good channel for beginners.

Things To Try Offline

Indoor Gardening

Scrap garden, kitchen garden. indoor garden,
Indoor Garden of Kitchen Scraps

Now that you’ve had to stock up on produce try your hand at scrap gardening! Click the link to see the variety of things you can regrow right in your own window!

Did you know that you can plant and grow your kitchen scraps? Try planting the ends of your chives, garlic, or even try your hand at an indoor avocado or pineapple tree.

Cooking

Now that you have some extra time around meals try cooking and baking your meals more than you usually would. Try experimenting with new combinations and recipes. 

Writing

Writing is hugely beneficial to your mental health! Whether you’re self-helping through journaling or just passing the time with creative or technical writing, it keeps you mentally stimulated, grounded, and gets the creative juices for everything else flowing as well!

Spring Cleaning

It is good that now and again to go through the junk drawers, clean out our basements and garages, purge the wardrobe, and finally test all of those pens that keep dying halfway through use. Not only does this benefit your house, but it can even help reduce anxiety and stress. 

Need a change?

Try freshening up the way things feel with rearranging your furniture and decor! 

Read 

Now is a great time to crack open those books you’ve meant to get around to, you know what they say, a chapter a day keeps the insanity at bay! 

Meditate and Yoga 

If you can’t go outside, go inside. Meditation, mindfulness, and yoga are all great ways of staying physically active and relaxed. These activities are also useful tools to help keep your anxiety, stress, and depression levels at a minimum.

Benefits of Meditation

Exercise

Get or stay in shape with at-home workouts, exercises, dancing, or get outside for a walk or a jog!

Work on your goals

Now is the best time to sit back and try to put a little reason for life’s rhyme. Try goal setting and financial planning for your current situation and future. 

Fuel Your Dreams

Start planning your dream business, or that trip, or start that book you’ve always maybe wanted to one day write. Even if its all for fun, these things that we think are silly in reality, might be the best idea on paper. 

Teach your dog (or cat) a new trick

Some old dogs can learn new tricks! Have you tried? Try teaching your animal a new trick; not only does it help your pass time, but it also keeps your animal entertained. 

Get Crafty!

Got some reno’s on the to-do-list? Start a new DIY project, refurbish, or renovation! 

Please remember social distancing is in place for everyone’s health and safety, including yours. Help flatten the curve by staying home as much as possible, washing your hands often and practicing social distancing.

Social distancing laws and other COVID-19 related news are updated daily. Follow us on here and on social media @operationheartheal to keep update an for more information on how you can stay healthy and happy at home!


Going The Social Distance

COVID-19 Social Distancing & Cabin Fever

Canada has seen a steady incline of positive coronavirus cases. Manitoba is for now on the lower amount of confirmed cases with only 35, whereas Quebec is now over 1300. Provinces and other nations are already in a state of emergency. Most areas are now limiting gathers to 5 or less.  

However, there are some essential things to take into consideration with these numbers. We can only test and confirm as fast as our time and resources allow. Tests are minimal, and the majority of cases will go untested and recover without any medical treatment. This is because it’s being advised that people only test if your symptoms are more critical and require medical attention. With that in consideration, there remain hundreds to thousands of people who will go unconfirmed, and may never exhibit severe symptoms. We must take this into account when asking if the social distancing is necessary.

In the past decade, we have seen a few dangerous viruses and illnesses that affected people on a global scale. Throughout the 2000’s we had seen Mad Cow, the SARS, H1N1, and Ebola. If you go further back, you see epidemics of the Spanish Flu, Small Pox, and Polio. But none of these epidemics had closed down our modern world like the coronavirus. 

Across the world, nations have had to enforce lockdown and other emergency protocols. Las Vegas has wholly closed for only the 2nd time in history, the first being JFK’S assassination. In more extreme cases, the Italian government has issued threats of using physical force and weapons to shut down large gatherings and social events if people continue to not comply with these temporary laws. While some of these measures may seem drastic, many people are still not taking these warnings seriously.

People who are sick, and people who have been returning home from travel have been proactive as a whole at practicing social distancing and self-isolation. These are not the only people who are at risk for infecting the rest of the public, just the most immediate. The more significant risk is a large amount of the population right now that isn’t showing symptoms and are at risk for passing the virus on unknowingly.

The coronavirus can take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to start. In this time, a seemingly healthy individual with no symptoms, but that has unknowingly picked up the virus can and will transmit it. The average person has the potential to infect up to hundreds of people in one day. You don’t have to come into immediate contact or proximity to transmit the virus. Anyone who accepts their money uses a door handle after them or picks up the jar that they put back is at high risk of contracting the virus. This is an example of the average person. Social distancing has been put into effect to try and reduce and eventually eliminate this from happening. 

With hospitality and customer service industries closing, many people have been transitioned to work at home or laid off. 

This proactive measure kept hundreds of thousands of us contracting and dying from the COVID 19. If companies didn’t take these precautions, the numbers would be significantly higher

This is the same outcome that social distancing is to have. There are a lot of people who work in health care, emergency services, network providers, customer service positions, retirement and care home staff, and many other vital professionals will still have to go into work. These people are working hard to keep us safe; our loved ones cared for and keep our resources going. We all must do our part to keep them healthy, too. 

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Together We Can Flatten The Curve & Bounce Back

While this measure is for the best interest of our entire population, it isn’t exactly practical for everyone. Having to follow these social distancing rules and being forced into self-isolation does pose the risk of experiencing cabin fever, a term used to coin the effects that being cooped up for long periods can have on the mind and body.

Some potential risks and symptoms of cabin fever include:

Depression or sadness

Becoming agitated 

Headaches 

Lethargy 

Restlessness 

Troubles concentrating 

Decreased motivation 

Frequent napping

Difficulty waking up

Weight gain or loss

Social isolation 

Here are some things you can do to beat cabin fever and making working and playing at home healthier and happier than ever!

Exercise at home 

Start a DIY project 

Take free online courses 

Virtual Museums 

Try meditation 

Do yoga/stretch 

Read 

Write 

Start a blog 

Set your goals

Work on your business 

Clean your house

At-home spa treatments 

Scrapbook 

Plan a trip

Learn your family tree

Learn a new skill, craft, or language

Try a new show or YouTube channel 

Play board games

Try to make every day different as much as you can, whether you’re with family or alone. 

While we should be staying away from busy public areas, you can still enjoy getting outside. It is vital for your mental health and body to get fresh air and sunshine (natural Vitamin D). If you are someone who has been transitioned to work at home, it is a good idea to take yourself on a walk after a long day of working at home before a long night of binge-watching Netflix. Give your eyes a break and your body and legs much-needed movement and stretching. 

We are all in this together, and together we can bounce back faster than ever.