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With the COVID-19 pandemic still an on-going and very important concern in society right now, there is also major change in lifestyle and work-life balance that results due to the pandemic. These changes can adversely affect your mental health if you do not account for them and understand that the pandemic is not a normal or “usual” situation. Various factors that can impact your mental health include: 

 

1)  Comparing yourself:

It might seem like everyone is doing the most or having productive days. However, this might just be an illusion created by social media. Don’t feel awful when you see these types of posts because these individuals might have an entirely different living situation compared to yours, they might be lying, or you just don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. Consider your strengths, unique learning styles, and time when you work best to create the perfect schedule for yourself to optimize productivity. If you find this is too stressful, then just take it day by day and focus on your emotions and ways to focus your day around them. For instance, if you feel sad on a particular day then focus on incorporating some self-care practices into your day and taking breaks. It is also important to remember that even though you may feel the pressure to be productive during this time, do not force it if it doesn’t feel right!

2)   Trusting everything: 

With the pandemic comes a lot of misinformation in terms of masks causing “suffocation” and injecting chemicals into your body to alleviate your chances of getting COVID-19. A lot of this misinformation might be caused due to a certain political figure (you know who ), as well as the experiences of non-healthcare professionals. These types of findings can hurt and harm your mental health and also your physical health. Take this time to stay away from harmful social media outlets, think scientifically and ask yourself if the information you’re learning about is backed by empirical evidence.

3)    Practicing social-distancing:

Another important point is not to be fazed by people who might be out drinking and dining. It may be hard to see others spending this time engaging in these activities while you maintain safe practices, and at times it may even feel unfair, but be reminded of the fact that you care about others - not just yourself and your desires to go bar hopping or eat at a restaurant patio - and that is a noble thing. Wear your face mask and try to minimize all unnecessary social interactions to flatten the curve – we are still in a pandemic. Of course this does not mean that you can’t see your friends, just do this in a socially distanced manner. The effects of COVID-19 can be fatal and it’s important to always stay safe for the greater good of society. 

 

 It is important to take a step back and reflect on your circumstances, social factors, and other personal factors, such as socioeconomic conditions, any other family members that you might have to take care of, all of which you might have to account for in order to go back to a lifestyle that works for you. For instance, if you like to run during the day, you can go running during the early mornings to avoid busier times during the day and to remain socially distanced.  All these factors can directly impact your mental health. It is important to take into account your unique situation, filter out harmful information, and take care of your mental and physical health to get the most out of your days. 

 

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