How to Mentally Prepare for COVID-19 during Winter ...

The days are getting darker, the nights are getting colder, and we're stuck indoors by virtue of the weather. Now add that our favorite entertainment spots are shut down, we're isolated from friends and family, and our loved ones' health is a constant worry. Sounds pretty bleak, right? Fortunately, there are ways we can both prepare ourselves mentally and prevent anxiety and depression before they take hold.

1. Eat Simple and Healthy

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Your body complements your mind, and one can't function well without the other's performance, so let's start there. Saying to "eat healthily" is easy enough, but have you ever felt down and tried to cook a full meal from scratch? It's not easy. Prepare your apartment for the blues by stocking up on healthy snacks like walnuts or almonds so that you're not scrambling to the grocery store for snacks at bedtime. Fruit, yogurt, and other simple foods can go a long way.

2. Keep a Schedule

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Have you ever slept in on your day off of work? It's easy when we have the curtains drawn, and there isn't much daylight outside. Do your best to stick to regular sleeping, eating, and exercise routines during the winter. We have to regulate ourselves much more, especially when working from home, to stay on track and avoid self-control pitfalls.

3. Refresh Your Environment

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You're going to be spending a lot of time indoors this winter, whether it's weather-related or due to COVID-19 restrictions, so make sure it's as warm and cozy as possible. If your apartment is feeling a bit drab, add pops of color in simple ways. A brightly-colored throw pillow here or a wall-tapestry there can make all of the difference to make your home feel more cozy and welcoming.

4. Get Exercise and Stick to It

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We know this is easier said than done, but we all have to start somewhere. That could be ten pushups a day, 30 minutes on a yoga mat, or a walk around your apartment in the morning. Getting started is the hardest part. Remember, exercise helps mood and focus and even helps regulate our body's chemical makeup through dopamine and serotonin.

5. Step Back from the News

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Are you the type of person who finds themselves glued to current events? While having an awareness of the world around us is an essential part of being a citizen, news overload can lead to depression. Many news stations use fear and negative feelings to sensationalize our environment, and it can cause a sense of dismay. Turn off the TV or get off the internet, read a book, build a puzzle, or tackle a few crosswords.

6. Stay Social, but Virtual

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We're sure you've had enough Zoom for a lifetime by now, but it's imperative to maintain social interactions, even if they're online. Scheduling virtual connections with friends and family lets us check in on them and ourselves. It provides something to look forward to when face to face meetings are less frequent. You may also want to schedule virtual get-togethers for the holidays, especially if there are any high-risk friends or family that you would typically visit.

This article is sponsored by Link Apartments® Mixson, a luxury apartment community in North Charleston featuring spacious homes and unique features.

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