Keep Your Mind on Your Mind

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Mental health is just as important as physical health.

While I’ve been stuck inside, I’ve been trying my best to keep in regular contact with my friends and family through online chatting and phone calls. I’m doing fine, being a natural homebody, but for some people I care about, self-distancing has been starting to grate on them. It’s a scary time for sure, but you can’t let it get you down. If you’re feeling a heavy bout of depression, loneliness, or any other worrying feelings, don’t just sit there and stew in yourself. Your mental health is important, doubly so in trying times.

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The one thing you want to try not to do is get lost in your own thoughts. A little introspection is good, but too much, and you’ll start beating yourself up for your childhood noodle incident. Find someone to talk to, even if you can’t do it face-to-face. A family member, a spouse, a close friend; they’ve probably got their own concerns and would be all to happy to swap with you. Also, try not to look at the news more than a couple of times a day. As important as it is to stay informed during this situation, overexposing yourself to it will just make you scared and miserable. Get the facts you need, then go elsewhere. Occupy your mind with something fun and constructive. Knit something, draw something, write something; it doesn’t have to be good. Do it for you, not for anyone’s approval.

If you believe yourself to be in a truly dangerous state of mind, many states, cities, and counties maintain crisis hotlines you can call to speak to a professional counselor. Since these services don’t require person-to-person interaction, many of them are still open for business despite everything. You can also reach the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.