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>> Hi. My name is Dr. Michael Day, the Director of Counseling here at IU Southeast, and I have five tips for you today to maintain your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
On screen text. 5 tips for Mental Health with Doctor Michael Day.
Taking care of our physical health is something we all know we need to do, especially nowadays.
But keep taking care of our mental health is also very important, and there are some strategies that can help us in the same way.
As we go through social distancing, changes in our routine, some of the lack of control that comes along with that, that can all contribute to difficulties in our mental health, sadness, anxiety, sleep difficulties, anger, fear, frustration, and even boredom.
They're all very normal reactions to these things that we're going through, but they're also things that can be managed with a few tips, so here are my five tips for helping you during this time.
Tip number 1.
First, try to separate what you can control from what you can't control.
As human beings, control's important to us and this is a time when we don't feel that.
So what can you control?
You can wash your hands.
You can social distance.
You can help those that are in your immediate area, and those are very, very important things to do.
It helps to decrease the spread of the virus and even though it's difficult, you're making a difference by doing that.
You can also get good, accurate information from the CDC, from other trusted websites.
You could also do something like start a new project or fix something or learn something new with your time or start or revisit a hobby.
The things you can't control is what's going on on the national level, the world level, and those type of things.
We need to let those who are dealing with that deal with that.
You can focus on how much of that information you're getting, so maybe refrain from focusing on it too much, from catastrophizing, from spreading gossip and things like that.
Sometimes that feels helpful, but it usually contributes to our anxiety.
Tip number 2.
Tip number two, do what helps you feel safe.
Different people have different ways of feeling safe.
For me, I like to make lists and get things done, make some of my friends kind of frustrated because I'm always writing things down but it seems to help me manage my anxiety.
Spend time with your pets.
Watch a funny movie.
Cook something special.
Talk with your friends.
Practice faith if that's important to you.
Focus on the positive and on those that are the helpers, as Mr. Rogers said.
Take a walk out in nature.
Those are things that you can do to help you or anything that helps you to feel safe.
Tip number 3.
Tip number three is try to stay in the present.
What I mean by that is oftentimes we can worry about the future, try to predict what's going to happen.
At the present time, none of us can, but that can lead to anxiety and make us worry even more.
Regretting the past or thinking about what I should of, could of, would of done can oftentimes contribute to depression and make us even sadder, so if you find yourself stuck in the past or in the future, try to bring yourself back to the present by focusing on what you can see, what you can hear, what you can smell, what you can taste, and what you can do now.
Tip number 4.
For tip number four, I would say stay connected.
We are all social creatures and we need one another, so even without physical presence, we can deeply impact one another and deeply be impacted by sharing our thoughts and our feelings about what's going.
We can do that through social media, through phone calls, through all the various platforms that we have, through our technology.
Maybe have some social distancing parties or have some conversations or play some distance games that can kind of spend some of that time with friends and family.
Tip number 5.
And the last thing I would suggest is maintain a regular schedule for yourself.
Humans need schedules and routines.
Our work, our school, oftentimes provide that for us and when we don't have that, we kind of get out sorts, so you might want to try to think about how can you impose some routine on yourself, whether that's by making a daily schedule, thinking of things you can do so that time doesn't get away from you.
Make sure you pay attention to your sleep, and when you get up, when you go to sleep, meals and tasks that you can do for the day.
Maybe even set some goals for yourself for each day.
It can also be time to catch up on a neglected closet that you need to clean out or a project or something like that.
A yellow icon of an engine appears. The engine wiggles. Extra tip.
Finally, though not an exact tip, I'd say pay attention to your check engine light.
Just like our cars have that little annoying light that goes on and sometimes we ignore it until it's too late, if you find yourself getting particularly extra angry, extra grumpy, extra grouchy, or particularly extra depressed or isolating yourself even more, make sure that you reach out and let someone know.
You can call us here at the counseling center.
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You can also use a lot of resources that are available to you online.
So I'd encourage you to think about these things and I hope some of them are helpful.
You can check out IU Southeast.
Our main webpage has some ideas as well as our counseling center has some ideas as well as Active Minds and a variety of other online resources.
I U S dot E D U. I U S dot E D U slash personal dash counseling. Active minds dot org.
Remember that your faculty, your staff, your friends, your colleagues, we all care about you and we're all in this together, so somehow find some ways to practice some of these tips and to reach out and find creative new ways to take care of your mental health.
Thanks and hope to see you soon.
The Indiana University logo. Indiana University, Southeast. I U S dot E D U.