Coronavirus - Taking care of your mental health during confinement

09 April 2020

Coronavirus - Taking care of your mental health during confinement

09 April 2020
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In these difficult times, confinement is necessary, and we understand that. Nonetheless, its affects on your physical and mental health are not to be ignored: anxiety, lack of exercise, frustration...

As a caregiver, you may also be concerned about the well-being of your loved one who is not with you. A combination of easy and accessible daily actions described below may help ease your mind. Do not hesitate to draw inspiration from them, and if your loved one’s condition permits, share these solutions with them, so that together you can get through this situation in the best way possible.


Take time to breathe

Have you already integrated exercise and recreation into your new routine? That’s a very good start. But have you taken the time to focus on your breathing? A true mirror of our emotions, our breath becomes more rapid, jerky or even stops altogether depending on our feelings. Taking the time to breath is so natural that we lose sight of its many advantages: reducing stress, revitalizing our body and mind, stimulating our creativity. Bel Âge magazine features an article to help you become familiar with the basics of good breathing (in french). If you are interested in new technologies, mobile phone and tablets apps (in french) are also available to help take you further into learning breathing techniques. Whatever method you choose, it might not take long to feel the benefits.


Take breaks

Whether you are working from home, with your children, retired, helping your loved one at home or from a distance, always take time to take breaks. Go out on your patio, make yourself a warm drink, get up and walk around if you work sitting, breathe ... These few minutes to yourself - insofar as possible - are for you to take a step back and get a clearer picture. Do not hesitate to give yourself these moments in your new routine. Your role with your loved one and your family responsibilities are important. Therefore, it is necessary to save time for yourself. A habit that you should also think about keeping after confinement.


Get the right information

Being confined in a pandemic increases our need to have information in real time. In a context as disturbing as the one in which we are currently living, this desire can quickly get out of hand. As practice, choose a suitable time of day to catch up on the latest news. Starting the day or going to bed with updates on the situation is certainly not the best way to reassure yourself. The breaks suggested above are not necessarily the best choice either, because they are meant to clear your mind. Over the course of the morning or the afternoon might be more pertinent. That said, choose trusted sources of information, mainstream media and verified information. The last thing you need is to consult sites with little credibility, alarming titles and the famous fake news that are especially rampant on social media networks.


Enjoy your loved ones … and your pets!

Time passes so quickly, and we often feel like we are always on the run. So, what if you used this time of confinement to chat with your family members at home or via video platforms or your good old telephone if your loved ones, especially those you usually take care of, are away from you? Right now, you are living in the present. You can talk about the news of course – perhaps exchanging positive news for a change – and chat with your children if they are under your roof. The most important thing is not to anticipate a bleak future, but to savour these precious moments that are so rare in “normal” life.

If you have a pet, you might be surprised to notice the benefits of their cheerful and casual attitude. A strange fact that may incite a smile: the healing power of cat’s purr is a serious research topic. Purring is considered a natural method of soothing that, among other things, reportedly reduces stress and tension, in addition to boosting our morale.

Sources

Le Vif. Comment gérer l’anxiété liée au coronavirus? 2020. [in French]

Âge Village. Confinement : comment gérer son stress? 2020. [in French]

Vie saine, vie sereine. Les bienfaits de la ronronthérapie. 2019. [in French]

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