It’s natural to feel exhausted thinking about the next possible lockdown but it is something that is not only out of our control but also essential for the survival of our communities and the people that make them.
Considering the effects of the restrictions needed to halt this pandemic may become a trigger for our mental health and may very well cut us off socially from the things that help ground us and keep us connected, it is difficult and it is hard to live without the pleasures in life that life before coronavirus came easy to us.
The question therefore arises: how does one manage psychological health during such an uncertain time? To answer just that very question, here are a few ways you can find a way to still be your best self during the global health crisis. Carol Ryff is an American psychologist and is an expert on resilience; according to his model to achieve psychological wellbeing here are a few things you must do:
- Believe your life has both purpose and meaning
- You should feel that you have autonomy over your life
- You should be growing personally
- You should accept and feel that you manage your life well
- You should have in your life relationships that you can think are positive
- You should know yourself enough.
During a normal routine, daily interactions and mundane occurrences usually help and allow us to maintain the quality of our mental health without putting in conscious effort to maintain it. Meeting people, peers, colleagues all provide the energy and sense of connection that a lockdown prevents. Even seeing beautiful sights and places add the relevant excitement we need to feel happy with ourselves, sometimes it’s a holiday other times just a simple night out with friends that do the trick.
All of this however is not an option during the coronavirus pandemic because to limit transmission we must forego our usual routines and our days out with friends and family. This means most of our activities are erased from our routines and thus it makes it even more important for us to manage psychological health.
One way to help yourself is to create a plan of wellbeing, this will address and look at your psychological needs. Use Ryff’s Model to make this plan and expand upon it.
For instance, for exploring your purpose in life and the meaning it holds, you should set aside some time to ponder on these bigger questions of existence. For feeling autonomous over your life, you should find ways that make you feel like you’re still in control of some aspects of your life such as choosing what to eat or what to clean.
Ways you can experience personal growth maybe through learning some skills such as learning a new language or incorporating health-related goals into your life. When setting goals however you should keep in mind to incorporate only achievable goals or it may tend to make you feel worse. You can feel in charge of managing your life by doing mundane things like setting a consistent time for dressing up and leaving the house or setting aside a consistent routine of things.
Even though the pandemic makes it hard for us to socialize you can still invest in positive relationships like Ryff’s model suggests. You can try doing this via social media, email, phone calls, or video chats. The age of the internet will bridge the gap that coronavirus has created among us all.
You can also take this special time to learn more about yourself, identify your desires, your strengths, and the things that make you uniquely you.
Following Ryff’s model, you may find better ways to manage psychological health and help your stay grounded in these uncertain times.