Every year in the U.S., one out of five adults experience a mental illness. Today, there remains a stigma surrounding mental illnesses and issues. To help raise awareness on the issue and normalize discussion about mental illnesses, organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America, Anxiety and Depression Association of America and other affiliates observe Mental Health Month every May. Mental Health Month has been observed since 1949 and is done to highlight the importance of mental health and help stop the stigma around mental health disorders. With the Covid-19 pandemic causing most people to stay indoors and in isolation, it’s more important now than ever to care for our and our loved ones’ mental health. The coronavirus quarantine has forced many to isolate to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from getting Covid-19, which may cause feelings of loneliness and sadness because of the disconnection from the outside world. However, it need not be too difficult to deal with such isolation. Here are some tips on how to stay calm during the coronavirus quarantine.
Mental Health Awareness Month: Tips on Staying Calm While Dealing with Covid-19
We are knee-deep in Mental Health Awareness Month and as more people choose to stay home and away from their friends and relatives during the coronavirus quarantine, let’s help raise awareness on how to maintain better mental health throughout these challenging times.
- Eat well. Mood depends on food and unhealthy eating habits can lead to mood swings. According to Mental Health First Aid, “Low levels of zinc, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids are associated with worsening mood and decreased energy.” Take note of what you put into your meals. Remember that fighting Covid-19 also requires a healthy immune system that’s supported by the best nutrition you can give yourself.
- Follow a routine. Our busy pre-coronavirus lives depended on a routine and because Covid-19 has changed the way we live, it’s up to us to create new routines to follow. Fight the feeling of being off-routine by creating new ones. Set your alarm on a specific time every day and plan your day as you would if you were go to the office. If you’re working from home, make sure you have a set time to do so and allot time for breaks too! If you find that you have extra time at the end of the day, use it to read a book, exercise, or start a new hobby.
- Limit your news intake. Yes, it’s great to be updated on the latest Covid-19 developments and local news (we’re all looking forward to re-opened stores and coffee shops!) but make sure it’s not getting you too down. If you’re getting your news via social media, avoid the comments section at all costs, as that’s where the virtual arguments are.
- Connect with friends and loved ones. This generation is lucky to have the Internet and other connectivity tools to stay in touch with our loved ones. Check in on friends and family by calling them over Skype or Zoom, or sending them a thoughtful email if you feel like writing is for you.
- Consider exercise. If you’re not an avid gym goer, try at-home exercises. YouTube is a resource for great at-home workouts and has a range of channels dedicated to different types of exercise. You can also get in touch with the trainers at your local gym and see if they’re holding online workout sessions. Join a virtual class in the comfort of your own home!
Staying Calm While Dealing with Covid-19: Consider Starting a New Hobby
Starting a new hobby during a time of distress can help distract you from the world outside. It can even make you more productive! Here are some of our recommended activities and hobbies during the coronavirus quarantine.
1. Start a fairy garden.
A fairy garden is a miniature garden that you can create using living plants and miniature furniture. It is made to lure fairies into your homes, as fairies are believed to bring good luck. As we deal with a global pandemic, we’ll need all the help we could get! Etsy is a great place to start looking for miniatures and fairy gardens, just like this Swing’n Veggie Fairy Garden from Teelie’s Fairy Garden. From leaf tables and chairs to whimsical mushrooms, flower birdbaths, and a walkway, this little collection is a great start for a personal fairy garden. Shop at Etsy.
2. Knit a simple throw blanket.
Learning how to knit has never been easier with Bluprint’s knit kits, just like the Get Fresh Throw Blanket Knitting Kit by Yarnspirations. Especially made for beginners, this easy-to-knit kit is a great way to create a knitted product and brighten up your living space in time for summer. This kit includes a printed pattern, a downloadable PDF pattern, and 5 skeins in 2 Light Teal, 1 each Pale Grey, Pumpkin Spice and Vintage White. It also includes the Getting Gauge: The First Step Toward Stitching Success downloadable eGuide. It has a yarn weight of 6-Super Bulky and a measurement of 46″ x 59″ for the final product. Knitter Leb4456 gave this kit a 5-star review, writing, “This was my first knitting project for something bigger than a dishcloth. I’m more than halfway done and I can’t wait to finish. The pattern was clear and easy to understand for a beginner. The yarn is great. I’ve even gotten requests by people for their own!” Grab your kit at Bluprint.
3. Learn calligraphy.
This Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re encouraging practicing some good habits for improved mental health and that includes calligraphy! According to Culture Trip, “research has found that calligraphy therapy enhances cognitive function in older people with mild cognitive impairment, and it has been recommended that the art form be incorporated as part of routine programmes within residential care settings in order to provide stimulation and relaxation.” Calligraphy can be a great stress-buster for those who feel anxious about the global pandemic or simply want a break from daily stress. YouTube has a number of resources for beginner calligraphy lessons and tips. You can also get a calligraphy kit, just like FearfullyMadeCo’s Handlettering Workbook, which includes 70 pages of fun and relaxing activities, including 6 different alphabet styles, how to mix lettering, and 4 additional design elements to create a comprehensive look. It also includes a dual brush pen. Shop at Etsy.
4. Work on a quilt.
Don’t you just love a good quilt? Now’s your chance to make your own with the funky All Roads Botanicals Quilt Kit by Angela Walters featuring Boundless Blender Botanicals, which only requires basic quilting skills, such as how to sew an accurate ¼” seam allowance, how to use a rotary cutter, and how to assemble a quilt sandwich. This kit includes a printed pattern, a downloadable PDF pattern, 8 yards total for quilt top and binding, one 4 yard cut, an optional 5 yard cut for backing, one set of 10″ squares (42 pieces), and one 1 yard cut. Quilter ValleyKat gave this kit a 5-star review, writing, “Beautiful fabric and excellent quality for the cost. Great project for a beginner quilter. I recommend Bluprint to all me fellow Quilter’s.” Shop at Bluprint.
5. Crochet a functional bucket bag for your home.
For those who are getting into crochet, make sure to check out the Stash Basket Crochet Kit by Yarnspirations. This kit has all you need to create a simple yet sturdy Stash Basket, a stylish storage option with super handy handles that make it easy to carry around the house. It’s such a cute little addition to any crafty home. This ultra fun kit includes a printed pattern, downloadable PDF pattern, and 2 skeins of yarn in color of your choice, enough to make 1 basket either large or small, and the Getting Gauge: The First Step Toward Stitching Success downloadable eGuide. The small bucket measures approximately 10.5″ diameter by 12″ height, while the large bucket measures 13.5″ diameter by 14″ height. Customer Cushie gave this kit a 5-star review, writing, “I am a new crocheter. This pattern is easy, the yarn is soft and the colors are really pretty. I purchased ‘blue dreams.’ It was quick and easy.” Grab yours at Bluprint.
Covid-19 Safety: Keeping Safe While Outdoors
One of the best things to help us stay calm throughout the coronavirus pandemic is to take extra precautions especially when heading outside for grocery runs and to access other essentials. In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC encouraged the use of cloth face coverings or reusable face masks when “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” According to CDC guidelines, such cloth face coverings must snugly yet comfortably fit against the side of the face, must be secured with ear loops or ties, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and can be laundered and reused without damaging it. Here are some of our recommendations.
- Ililily Cotton Double Layer Patterned Face Cover with Washable Filter Lining Shield in Blue, featuring double layered cotton and a filter inside, Amazon.
- Teelie Turner Easter Carrots and Bunny Craze Mask, made of two layers of soft 100% brushed polyester with sublimation print on the outside layer, with over-ear elastic straps for a snug fit over mouth and nose, Redbubble. For each mask sold, Redbubble will make a donation to Heart to Heart International.
- Christox Reusable Face Nose Mouth Cover with Adjustable Earloops made from polyester fabric and with adjustable ear loops for a close fit, Amazon.
- Teelie Turner Beige Fun Fairies From Tommy Tinker’s Village Mask made with two layers of soft 100% brushed polyester and over-ear elastic straps for a comfortable fit over mouth and nose, Redbubble. For each mask sold, Redbubble will make a donation to Heart to Heart International.
- Mosdelu Reusable Washable Anti-Dust Gauze Face Cover with Filters made with soft and breathable fabric and comes with gauze, Amazon.
To learn more about how to cope with mental health amidst the Covid-19 pandemic or if you want resources on how to stay safe from the coronavirus, make sure to check out the stories from our archive in the links below.
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