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Coronavirus kills, but so does mental health: Keeping mental health in check during social distancing

Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a very contagious, deadly virus. For this reason, it has gained public attention around the globe. In an attempt to reduce spread of the virus, the practice of “social distancing” has been implemented. Although necessary, it can really take a toll on mental health. Below are five tips to try and keep mental health in check during social distancing.

 

1. Try to stay in contact with friends and family

While it’s best to avoid in-person meetings and gatherings, thankfully in this day and age we have so many different types of technology to help us connect with loved ones. Making a Facetime call, or even texting is a great step to help reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation associated with social distancing.

 

2. Keep busy

Everybody enjoys “binge-watching” their favourite TV show, but why not boost productivity with all this free time? This is a perfect time to catch up on readings, assignments, or even work around the house. Keeping busy can help keep your mind off things. As well, completing tasks ahead of time will reduce stress.

 

3. Make a routine and set goals

For myself, I find it easier to get out of bed and get a start on my day if I establish a daily routine. Additionally, I try to set personal goals every day to make sure I am being productive. Goals can be as little as making sure to send off an email, or as big as finishing a paper.

 

4. Eat well and do well for your body

Eating well and drinking enough water always helps me feel my best. Like the rest of your body, your brain is fueled off what you eat. Treat it well with a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. If you take medications, this is of course also important. Taking medications, whether they be for mental or physical health, does not make you weak, or less than those who do not.

 

5. Don’t beat yourself up

If you weren’t as productive as you wanted to be, it’s ok. Don’t be upset with yourself. Tomorrow is always a new day, and it’s never too late to start over.

Yes, coronavirus is dangerous, but so is poor mental health. Approximately 800,000 people die from suicide each year (statistic from World Health Organization). Other mental health conditions can also lead to death, for example eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, and mood disorders such as bipolar disorder. Mental health is just as important as physical health and should not be overlooked, especially in this period of social distancing.

 

For a full list of mental health resources available at the University of Guelph, please visit https://guides.lib.uoguelph.ca/MentalHealthResources

 

 

Sydney is a first-year graduate student at the University of Guelph. She has a strong interest in neuroscience, reproductive biology, and veterinary medicine. Her articles consist of a variety of topics, most notably feminism and sexual/domestic violence awareness.
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