The Coronavirus Pandemic has forced a huge change on all of us in a small period of time and the effects to your mental health cannot be understated. In a time of confusion, fake news and conspiracy theories we wanted to cut through the white noise and offer the most effective mental health strategies backed by scientific research.
Trubrain have literally been peering into peoples brains in the name of science for many years now and with a recent Kaiser Family Foundation Poll showing nearly half of Americans indicating a decrease in mental health as a result of the Coronavirus here are some of the best ways you can stay mentally and physically healthy and boost your productivity during this unusual period in all of our lives.
1.Boost Mental Health by Having a Routine
We found this great article here about the importance of a routine in your life to help maintain your mental health. Make a note of your routine and stick to it. This includes everything you do each day including getting up and getting dressed. Its easy to fall into the trap of sitting around in your pyjamas and this may add to a feeling of lack of control and purpose. We all know how good our favourite clothes make us feel, so use that power at home too. We love this current story of a woman wearing a different ballgown every day during the lockdown.
2. Boost Your Mental Health With Exercise
So The Gym is closed and the Boston Marathon is postponed. What now? There are some superb examples of people being more creative during the lockdown including this guy that showed its possible to run a marathon in his own living room. We found this superb range of Youtube Videos for Free Online Yoga Classes. This research paper shows that even brisk walking 3 days a week boosts mental health significantly. If you are going outside make sure you maintain appropriate social distancing and avoid crowds. We recommend going for a daily walk early on in the day to avoid the crowds and as part of your daily routine to kick start your day in a positive way.
3.Boosting Mental Health With Fresh Air
At the moment many States in the USA only recommend going outside for essential trips like food, medicine shopping or exercise. We appreciate that even this can be difficult for many but you can be more creative with your fresh air needs. Even if you don’t have a garden or balcony you can get the mood lifting benefits of fresh air by simply putting on a warm jacket and sitting by a fully open window for an hour. This research paper shows the mental health benefits of sunshine too which you can still get from an open window even if you just do this while sitting and having a meal during the day.
4.Boosting Mental Health with Meditation
We found this great 10 minute guided YouTube video to help with meditating. Research shows that even short 10 minute sessions of mindfulness of meditation can boost your mental health, lower your blood pressure and help create feelings of calm.
5.Boosting Mental Health by Decluttering
This article from camh delves more into the calming effects of a decluttered life. Decluttering can mean different things for different people but there is certainly research to show that a tidier living space reduces stress and helps with feelings of anxiety.
6.Boosting Mental Health With Online Social Connections
Staying connecting is vital for mental health. This article by the Economist explains how important maintaining social contact is to mental health during the lockdown. Social media allows you to maintain social communities as well as reach out and make a difference with help campaigns online. Just be wary of spending too much time and set yourself a time limit and try where possible to shield yourself from negative elements of social media.
This great TEDx talk helps you walk the fine line between the benefits and shortfalls of social media.
7.Boosting Mental Health by Help Others
This recent research paper discusses the evidence that helping others also helps your own mental health. When the researchers looked at the results of giving versus receiving support they found that MRI scans of peoples brains showed they had the most mental health benefits from helping others rather than having help from others to them.
Help comes in so many ways right now from safely contacting elderly neighbors nearby to check they are ok and offering to help to do food or essential shopping for them to activity online to nurture or help people with things like work, school or new skills.
8.Boost Your Mental Health By Being Productive
This is actually your moment to be productive, but under your own terms. This is the chance to learn a new language, take an online course to improve your career prospects when we all return to normal later in the year. Optimists will see this as a chance to seize a rare ‘mini retirement’ where you finally get to write that novel you always wanted to, learn to play the ukulele or read a book.
This interesting research paper shows just how intricately linked productivity and mental health are and how you can harness both at the same time. We also wrote a blog about ‘Deep Work’ here. We’ve also created a range of nootropics to help break the brain fog you can get from time to time.
9.Boost Your Mental Health by Self Pampering.
Take a bit more time for yourself than you normally would. Instead of rushing out the door holding a piece of toast now is the time to sit and enjoy a breakfast and a good cup of coffee. It might be taking the time to learn to cut your own hair ( we saw that clippers had nearly sold out on Amazon this week!) or it could be having the sheer joy of simply taking the time to cook from scratch because you can.
10. Boosting Mental Health With Sleep
There is a lot of research to explain just how important sleep is to your mental health. Aiming to get 8 hours of sleep should be part of the routine we talked about at the start of this blog. Try to avoid caffeine in the evenings before sleep and try to do the exercise we recommended earlier on in the day so your body isn’t too full of endorphins when you are trying to get to sleep later.
11. NAD can Elevate Mood and Help Mental Health
We wrote more about this fascinating subject in a separate blog post about NAD here. NAD has a range of benefits which include increased energy levels and concentration and it has also been cited in research as a factor in boosting mood. NAD+ has been identified as a key player in keeping your brain at its best. As we get older the levels of it decrease, and worse still our ability to make it AND recycle it reduces. Recent research shows that simply taking supplements with NAD+ isn’t enough so we have created a ‘magic thinking bullet’ called Clockwise designed to give the ‘veteran’ brain everything it needs to not only increase the amounts of NAD+ but also maintain them and recycle them efficiently. We also have a more detailed blog about NAD here.
12. Shun the Sugar – Cut the Carbs
This 2017 research paper explains why sugar in foods and drinks has an adverse effect on your mental health. By reducing the amount of raw processed sugar in your diet you will help elevate your mood and reduce the number of times you ride the ’emotional rollercoaster’ of the sugar high and then sugar mental low. To help we wrote an in depth guide on the Keto Diet here to help.
Find out more about our Keto products here.
13. Boost Your Mental Health With Music
This 2013 research paper delved into the positive effects of music on stress levels and emotional wellbeing of people. In the last year or two we’ve seen a huge rise in long ambient music mixes of well known soundtracks. If you are a Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones or Bladerunner fan there are relaxing ambient mixes just for you. Leave these on at low volume level as background music while you do other things during the day. If you want any more proof of how effective these are take a look at the comments sections on them, its literally the nicest place on the internet right now.
14. Boosting Your Mental Health By Finding Personal Space
This great article from National Geographic explains the effect personal space has on our mental health. This blog here gives you plenty of tips on how to create your own personal spaces at home right now when you might be living with lots of other family members. This cold include a small nook for reading, using drapes to cordon off part of a room or getting some fresh air and relaxing outside on a balcony or patio.
15. Boosting Mental Health with Animal Therapy While in Lockdown
This paper from 2018 explains the successful rise in people having emotional support animals to help with mental health. Some of you are lucky enough to have cats or dogs that will help keep you company. For the rest of us its not practical to keep a dolphin touch pool in our living room or set up a fishtank but there is something you can do.
This one might sound crazy but its easy enough to do. We use this superb 8 hr no sound video of a marine fishtank on Youtube to help turn a TV into a Giant Aquarium.
This research from 2019 discusses the positive mental health benefits of a fishtank. There is also the added benefit that a ‘virtual aquarium’ doesn’t need regular cleaning or maintenance. You can even switch things up and try a freshwater tropic tank.
16. Block Out The Noise
This recent research paper explains just how powerful using white noise type sounds are for your mental health. If you are living in lockdown with lots of neighbors nearby its useful to be able to cut out the background noise. Using ‘white noise’ is a useful way to do this, and we all know that babies fall asleep quickly to sounds like rain or just the white noise of a TV or radio not tuned to a station. As well as white noise we found this superb website call MyNoise with a huge choice of white noise options.
17. Using Supplements and CBD Oil to Help Stress and Anxiety
The chemical CBD is responsible for the feeling of calm and relaxation that people report when using Marijuana, so by using just CBD, you get all of the calm feeling without any of the psychoactive and negative effects of marijuana caused by a different chemical called THC.
Cannabidiol(CBD) has more many target areas in the body, which makes it hard to pinpoint the sources of its many different therapeutic properties. Studies currently suggest that CBD counters anxiety by helping with your neurotransmitters and also helping to repair neurons in your body.
18. Light a Candle
Lavender is thought to be one of the most relaxing scents so lighting a scented candle can so something like this Celtic Scented Candle is a great way to help with stress and mental health at home.
19. Avoid the News
YOU ARE FAKE NEWSDonald Trump
We think its important to stay positive and avoid too much news right now. Spending 3 hours a day on your phone reading about COVID-19 us unlikely to raise your mood. We recommend only spending a limit of 20 mins per day looking at the important parts of the new and better still we’ve found an entire website dedicated to only good news here.
We don’t expect you to adopt all of these ideas immediately, but hope that even a few of these great ideas give you more mental armor to weather this lockdown and ‘Grab More Life’ where you can.
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