Just a summer ago, nobody would have imagined in a year we’d be wearing face masks and adhering to social distancing rules. COVID-19 has not only disrupted our daily lives, but it has also derailed summer plans too. Annual vacations, summer concerts, and other social gatherings have been canceled––leaving many clueless about what to do. The disappointment, lack of social contact, and isolation can have a negative effect on your mental health if care isn’t taken.
That said, you need as much mental tenacity as possible to get through these troubling times. For this reason, this article will share ways you can navigate low moods this summer. If you’re in recovery, this list may be especially helpful.
Connect with Nature
Research has shown that nature can help lift low moods. More specifically, a scientific field called ecotherapy shows a strong nexus between the time an individual spends in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. There will be days where you struggle to get out of bed or do anything productive. On such days, you could help yourself by committing to go outside and get fresh air. If you’re tired of taking walks around the block, see if there’s a nature reserve nearby. It could help break a loop of negative thoughts and feelings.
Buy a Plant
If you’re unable to muster up the strength to get outside, bring nature to you. Consider buying plants that you can place inside or outside your home. There are so many benefits of plants ranging from purifying your space to lifting your moods. Scientifically research tells us plants can improve concentration and memory. Plants also have the ability to improve happiness, mitigate stress, and accelerate physical healing.
For those who are novices to planting below are a few that are easy to maintain and can improve your psychological state.
Spider Plant: The spider plant is a pet friendly plant that is known to provide a strong protective energy. If you have pets, it’s also an ideal plant as it’s pet friendly. In case you’re worried about not being able to manage it, you only need to water when the top inch of the soil dries.
Aloe Vera: As a new plant parent, it’s advisable you stick with something easy to manage so it doesn’t die if you forget to water it. Aloe vera fits this description as it’s ok for it to dry out in-between watering. A bonus of buying this plant is you’ll have access to aloe gel, which is known to be great for your skin and hair.
Peace Lily: This is a great plant if your rooms have low light. However, it’s important to keep the plant evenly moisturized and not drown it in water. They’re natural purifiers and symbolize peace, solitude, and tranquility––all recipes for a pleasant mood.
Eucalyptus: Beyond helping with mental health, the eucalyptus can help with physical conditions like asthma, colds and congestion. It has a pleasant aroma and can remind you to stay present and live in the moment.
It’s critical not to underestimate the importance of support systems and how they can help you during tough times. One of the hardest things about the social distancing measures right now is that people can’t physically connect like they once did. However, thanks to innovation and technological advancements, you don’t have to be in complete isolation. Consider staying connected by having virtual meetups. You could, for example, have a Zoom meeting with a few of your closest friends or attend online fitness classes.
Seeing as you can still connect with people physically if you choose to, try having dates with people in open spaces. A park visit with a friend or two could do a lot for your mental health. Just don’t forget your masks, hand sanitizer, and to stay at least 6ft apart.
Boost Your Energy Levels
You’ve probably heard this repeatedly, but exercise is an effective way to boost your mood. When you’re having an off day, a 20-30 minute workout can do wonders for your mental health. If you’re stuck indoors, you may be tired of napping, watching TV, and eating. It can cause you to become bored and restless, which can trigger negative emotions and thoughts.
Some benefits of exercise are:
- releasing good endorphins
- distracting your mind from worries
- utilizing a healthy coping mechanism
- improving cognitive function
- reducing anxiety and depression
Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself to work out, however, as it can be counterproductive. Instead, make exercise something to look forward to by incorporating things you love into your fitness routine, be it dance or sports.
While you may not be able to go on a spontaneous trip to Europe or dine in at certain restaurants, you can still add something different to your daily routine. For instance, be open to doing things like painting, going for a run, or learning something new. You could wake up and bake a cake or take up a DIY project. Just go with the flow as too much predictability can make you feel bored and frustrated.
Also, remember all activities aren’t off limits this summer and there are still fun things you can do during the pandemic. Drive-in movie theaters and outdoor recreation, for example, are ways to break monotony and lift your mood.
Low moods are inevitable, especially considering the bleak things going on in the world today. However, you have control over your moods and how you deal with negative feelings, so considering using the above tips to ensure you have more good days than bad.