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Your Mental Health during COVID-19

This is the best day ever, right? I'm sitting on the couch, working on my laptop in leggings, kids are playing a video game after completing online schoolwork, dinner is simmering in the crock pot and we are planning a family dinner at home, together.

This is my actual day: I'm sitting on the couch, working on my laptop in leggings and feeling guilty for not doing the virtual workout video this morning, kids are on hour 4 of video games, I have no idea what schoolwork was actually completed today and I've ignored the 10 emails from teachers, dinner is overrated because I'm over the mega-baking phase and I'm exhausted by 8 pm and don't know why because I haven't left the house.

In a way I feel more connected to the world than ever before. I know there are millions of people isolated at home just like I am. But, isolation at home brings new challenges that none of us have ever experienced. (you know you're isolated when you watch a movie and cringe when people greet and hug). We are connected to one another through this challenge and should be able to lift one another, even if it is virtually.

Some introverts are relishing in the extra time they have to write the book they've been putting off for years while extroverts are calling up long lost friends. The middle grounders feel like Jekyll and Hyde as emotions yo-yo on a roller coaster. Breathe. We're all in this together.

Then there is the darker side behind closed doors we all fear either for ourselves or others. There is anxiety that you or a loved one might get the virus, there is depression that isolation can enhance, there is additional emotional, verbal and physical abuse in homes or there is fear of the unknown.

Our mental health is not okay. We need therapeutic tools to overcome this COVID-19 monster.

Here are some tools you could choose from to put in your COVID-19 Stay-at-home toolbox:

1. Breathe. Meditate.

2. Play board games that encourages you talk and interact with others

3. Exercise to stimulate your emotional and physical health

4. Go outside ever day; it doesn't need to be far. Just go outside and find grass

5. If you're going to watch a movie or show, do it with your family

6. Learn a new skill or hobby alone or with your family (music, model-building, photography, etc)

7. Ask questions. Call up your granny and interview her. Talk to your child, play what if.

Let's also take our hats off to the many health care workers and their families that are putting themselves at risk every day and facing this virus head on. I sympathize with the many that have been personally effected by this virus and the damage it causes. There is no right or wrong way to be isolated. Remember, we're all in this together.

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