Recently, people and children all over the world were encouraged to stay home. Slowly, some states, countries, and cities are starting to open back up again. However, some families are still stuck at home. The truth is that this is nothing new to some families. A lot of families are already forced to stay home. Maybe they have a child that has an auto-immune disease? Or perhaps they have an auto-immune illness themselves? Whatever the case might be, after spending A LOT more time at home recently, it got me to thinking about what staying home for large amounts of time can do to your mental state. Here are some mental health tips for when you are stuck at home.
Disclaimer– I am not a doctor or mental health professional. These are ideas that have helped me, these tips may or may not work for you. If you are having a hard time dealing with depression, you should talk to your doctor or mental health provider. If you are having thoughts about death or suicide, call 911, a hotline, or mental health provider.
Mental Health Tips For When You Are Stuck At Home
It is essential to try to keep some semblance of a routine, even when you are stuck at home. For people with children, this might be easier to do. However, if you live alone, you might find it very easy to slip into a more lethargic lifestyle, which won’t be healthy for your mental state, especially in the long run.
Try your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Get out of your PJs. I know that doesn’t sound like much fun, but personally, I feel like I accomplish so much more when I get out of my PJs. Keeping to a somewhat regular routine will help keep you active and make it easier to transition back in the “real world,” when the time comes.
Sometimes, it really is all in how you look at things. Instead of saying, ” I am stuck at home,” maybe you could say, “I am blessed to be given time to work on my home and myself.” Or perhaps you could look at it as more time to spend with your kids and spouse. If you approach this time, with a mindset of feeling stuck or trapped, it will only stress you out even more.
Limit News Coverage
If you are stuck at home because of something that is going on in the world, not because of a health or family crisis, then you need to limit news exposure. I know that it can be extremely easy to get sucked into one news conference after another, especially when it is all over every social media outlet. However, keep in mind that rumors carry quickly and only feed into the fear.
It is important to remember that you are going to have good days and bad days. However, on your bad days, you should strive to practice basic self-care. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, get dressed…it might sound simple, but these little tasks can really have a positive effect on the mind.
Make sure to drink enough water, eat regular meals, take your medication daily, and get enough sleep. These are all things that can have a negative or positive effect on your mental state. Be kind to yourself and take each day as they come. One day at a time.
Open Windows and Shades
Sunlight and some fresh air have helped me out of many of my mental funks over the years. Open your windows and/or your shades! Let the sunshine in.
Hobbies and New Skills
Hobbies give us time to focus on ourselves, unwind, and are significant when you are stuck at home. Spend this time on doing more of what you love and what makes you smile. I have been doing a lot more coloring during this time at home. It is very relaxing, and it is something I enjoy doing with my boys.
You should not put extra pressure on yourself to learn something new. However, some people thrive on a challenge. So if you find learning a new skill is a welcoming distraction, then maybe now is the time to learn a new skill or take some online drawing classes.
Exercise and Get Outside
Vitamin D is good for the mind, body, and soul. It is imperative to stay active when you are stuck at home. Exercise is crucial to your mental health. Plus, if you are someone that has trouble sleeping, it is proven that being active during the day can help you sleep at night. I encourage you to go for a walk or find a yoga video on Youtube anything to get your body moving.
Projects, To-Do List, and Goals
I know that for me, when I feel like the world is falling apart around me, I look for something that I can control. It gives me a sense of control of an uncontrollable situation. Structure helps me feel more productive. Maybe you and your spouse could sit down and make a list of what you would like to get accomplished with more time at home.
Write down your goals and keep a calendar. Celebrate when you can mark something off your list.
Give yourself time to process your feelings, daily if need be. You need to put words to your feelings and situation to help you process and move forward. This can be done in many different ways. You could journal, talk to a friend, or talk to a professional. Either way, find what works best for you.
If you are currently in a state of constant stress because of your situation, it is essential to focus on stress relief. Here are a few options for dealing with stress:
- Take a walk
Here are more ways to relieve stress.
Avoid Creating Addictions
Be mindful of creating new addictions. For example, drinking more than usual or to an unhealthy extent. Try to avoid dependencies on electronics or social media. Personally, I know that Facebook or other social media can be very hard on my mental state if I allow myself to spend too much time each day scrolling through them.
Patience and Kindness
Now is the time to practice patience and kindness with yourself and others. Everything takes time, and every change is going to take a period of adjustment. Just remember to be patient and kind to yourself.
Seek Support (Professional or Friends/Family)
Please, be aware of your mental state. Reach out for professional help if you are in a dark space, and you can’t see yourself being able to dig out of it on your own or with family and friends. Seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Please, seek advice if you do not feel like you can handle this on your own.
Specific Tips That Helped Me
- Start your day with a cup of coffee.
- Dance while I do housework.
- Color with my kids.
- Bubble baths, as often as possible.
- Read a book.
- Go for a walk.
- Get some sunshine.
- Clean, fresh clothes daily.
- Make my bed
- Dance parties with my husband and/or kids
So whether you are stuck at home by choice or situation, please keep in mind your mental health. I hope these mental health tips for when you are stuck at home can help you with your self-care journey. Love yourself. You are worthy.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31