The word health is on the minds of most Americans these days, and with good reason. Without a COVID-19 vaccine, and with symptoms ranging from none to an inability to breathe, all we have to combat it are masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing. Of course, we’re referring to concerns about our physical health. But as we enter our seventh month with the virus, it is taking a collective toll on our mental health as well. Social isolation, financial insecurity, and fears for ourselves or our loved ones can cause feelings of depression, even among those who have never experienced such feelings. Medical groups such as Mayo Clinic offer good global suggestions, such as keeping to a routine and focusing on positive thoughts. And, of course, anyone experiencing suicidal ideation or the persistent loss of appetite, inability to sleep, or loss of interests should contact a medical or mental health professional immediately. But if, like many, you’re experiencing more of an emotional fatigue, CompuScripts would like to offer our favorite COVID-19 tips to de-stress that may be helpful during the pandemic.
Staying informed is good. Staying over-informed is not. Reading or viewing the same news stories repeatedly can increase feeling of stress and anxiety. To improve our mental health, Community Counseling, Education, and Research Center of NC State University recommends monitoring the amount of news we’re consuming. And how should we fill this new free time? Consider spending time outside or enjoying one of the following COVID-19 tips.
Many of our attorney and paralegal clients have turned to bird-watching to de-stress during the pandemic. In addition to the entertainment value of birds jockeying for position at a feeder, there are calming effects as well. In 2017, British researchers wrote that people who had more birds around the home reported less stress and anxiety. Once you put up your feeder, CompuScripts suggests South Carolina Birds: A Pocket Guide. This sturdy, inexpensive guide is easy to use, with illustrations of 72 perching birds common to South Carolina.
Spend a weekend celebrating Christmas in July. Or August. Psychologist Steve McKeown reported to London’s Evening Standard, “In a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate to things that make them happy, and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of childhood.” This doesn’t have to mean recreating your Christmas traditions or buying gifts. Put out a tabletop tree. Make your favorite Christmas cookies. Watch your favorite Christmas movie. And don’t forget to listen to Christmas music. You’ll be surprised how it can help you de-stress when it’s not being played 24-7.
The Seattleite reminds us that self-care and pampering are good for us mentally, physically, and emotionally. So if your favorite spa is closed due to pandemic restrictions – or if your pandemic budget will not allow for a visit – consider a DIY spa day. Skincare or nail products are available at most supermarkets or on Internet sites such as Amazon. Before you start your “treatment,” prepare a pitcher of spa water and turn on your most soothing music. Focus on the process, tuning out anxiety-producing thoughts. If you’re giving yourself a manicure, take time to clean and file your nails before applying the polish with slow, deliberate strokes. (And don’t forget to tip yourself when the treatment is over!)
One of the best things about watching a movie is discussing it with others. This can be difficult with theaters closed. Netflix has made it easier with the introduction of Netflix Party. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows or movies. All you need is a laptop or desktop computer with a Chrome browser. Simply install Netflix Party, open a Netflix video, invite your friends, and start the show. Who do you think will take the Iron Throne? Will Princess Margaret find happiness with Peter Townsend? Talk amongst yourselves.
According to the AARP, social isolation and loneliness among senior citizens puts them at a significantly increased risk for early death from all causes. Of course, social isolation and loneliness are bigger problems now that there are visitation restrictions at most nursing homes and assisted living facilities. So if you have a few minutes, grab some paper and pens and send a letter — or several — to Love for the Elderly, a nonprofit that will organize, address, and mail them to residents at their senior facility partners. Letters must be handwritten, not typed, and colorful embellishments are encouraged, so get the kids involved!
And if you want to de-stress in the law office, contact CompuScripts. We’re now offering multiple deposition options, including our no-contact deposition option for deponents who lack the appropriate device, Internet connection, or Zoom savvy to participate from home. We’re happy to explain all of our deposition options to melt away your scheduling stress.