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From Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, President and CEO, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. 

Stay in touch.

Utilize technology to stay in touch with friends and family if you are not able to see them in person.

Perform small acts of kindness.

Simple acts of kindness to others can make us feel better. For instance, if you are planning to go to the supermarket, ask a neighbor who may be older or in a high-risk category if they need anything from the store.

Exercise.

You don’t necessarily have to join a gym to exercise. Talking a brisk walk or climbing stairs, dancing or working out at home are also forms of exercise. The key is to do something.

Eat a healthy diet.

Research has shown that what we eat – or don’t eat – affects the way we think and feel.

Drink alcohol in moderation.

Alcohol is a depressant and drinking too much can make mood and anxiety levels worse.

Get enough sleep.

Make sure to put self-care as a priority and do your best to get enough sleep.

Consume the news in moderation.

While it is important to stay informed and up to date on the latest information, too much information adds to our stress levels. The repetitive nature of news reports is not good for our mental health. Once you are informed, turn off the news and read a book, listen to music, watch a good television show or a feel-good movie. Ask friends for recommendations on what to watch on streaming services, such as Netflix.

Use social media in moderation.

It is easy to get pulled into anxiety-provoking conversations on social media. Try to limit such interactions. It may mean de-friending or un-following certain people or organizations. However, you need to put your mental health first.

Treat yourself.

Think of one thing you can do each week to pamper yourself. Perhaps ordering in from a favorite restaurant or spending time alone with a good book or your favorite music. Maybe set aside time for mediation, yoga or deep-breathing exercises.

Set aside old grievances and differences. It’s true that just because we don’t agree, we don’t have to be disagreeable. Try to accept family members and friends as they are. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationships and try to set aside past arguments, slights or differences of opinion. If there is someone you’ve had a disagreement with, try reaching out and reconciling. If reconciliation is not possible. Try to put the past behind you and move on knowing that you have done your best.

 

About Dr. Jeffery Borenstein