Without question, the coronavirus pandemic took us all by surprise. Within a few weeks, we went from normal life activities to widespread lockdowns all over the country. Stores struggled to stock their shelves with basic essentials. And millions feared just how bad the COVID-19 infection might be as hospitals reached capacity. Now that many communities are reopening, we naturally hope the worst is over. But according to many health experts, this may not be the case. In fact, several suspect a second wave may be just around the corner this fall.
While several companies are diligently working on a vaccine, one won’t likely be available in the next few months. Therefore, some healthy practices we should pursue certainly involves social distancing and wearing face masks. But at the same time, it might be worth preparing for a second lockdown if that should occur. After all, many of us learned a few lessons about which strategies worked best the first time around. So, it only makes sense we apply what we learned in the event a second lockdown is needed.
The First Lockdown Experience – A Mixed Report Card
As you might expect, anxiety levels were on the rise as the coronavirus pandemic spread. Prior to the pandemic, less than 10 percent of the population suffered from anxiety. But after social restrictions were put into place, this figure tripled within a couple of months. Rates of depression also increased approximately four-fold. With fears of infection and economic pressures, these statistics aren’t too surprising. But what is rather interesting is the number of people who actually became more resilient during these times.
According to some mental health professionals, a significant number of people who had anxiety and depression improved through the crisis. Several reasons have been offered to explain this unusual phenomenon. First, being at home in isolation, many avoided their typical triggers that typically caused their mood to worsen. Also, many adopted new habits and healthy practices that made their anxiety and/or depression better. And finally, some described having a tangible threat upon which to focus their efforts and attention. All of these factors helped explain why many actually had less anxiety and depression through the crisis.
Identifying Healthy Practices That Work
If a second lockdown is required, there are a number of healthy practices that we should be ready to adopt. The best way to consider these strategies is by embracing a holistic approach to your wellbeing. This not only means taking care of your physical and mental health but also your social and spiritual wellbeing also. With this in mind, the following offer some best practices that many will be considering if a second lockdown occurs.
If a second lockdown occurs, then it is likely that gyms and fitness centers will once again close. Therefore, now is the time to consider obtaining any home gym equipment you might need. At the same time, getting into a home routine to boost your fitness isn’t a bad idea either. Healthy practices in terms of eating and home activities can make your transition to a second lockdown easier. And many recognized the difference that adequate sleep can make on our wellness during the initial lockdown.
During the initial lockdown, many of us found ourselves unable to attend school. Others lost their jobs and had to plan for an uncertain future. Understanding this, it’s also important to plan for your cognitive wellness should a second lockdown happen. It may be a great time to reassess your long-term career goals and education. You may pursue a new line of work, obtain another degree, or enroll in online education. These are healthy practices that will keep your mind active and encourage continued learning and growth
As noted with anxiety and depression, the pandemic has helped some but not everyone. Therefore, healthy practices that reduce worry and anxiety while promoting a positive mood is important. In some cases, stress-reducing activities such as meditation may offer tremendous benefits. Other strategies that might be considered include reality checks, journaling, and self-reflection. And positivity training is something that you might also consider now in preparation for a second lockdown. These will help you be much more resilient and capable of better managing the situation.
While a second lockdown may not undermine your spiritual wellness, it does offer a great time to explore your spirituality. The time home in isolation encouraged many to explore their spiritual needs. Spiritual wellness promotes better holistic health and also enhances our inner strength and resilience. Therefore, adopting healthy spiritual practices now in your daily routine can better prepare you for the challenges ahead. This not only relates to the personal difficulties you will face but also challenges in your community.
Naturally, social isolation during the pandemic was a challenge for most of us. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t learn to adapt. Many of us have become quite adept at videoconferencing as a result. Some of us even embraced virtual dating and found that it too can have some advantages. In preparing for a second lockdown, you might want to participate in a number of social activities, virtual and otherwise. These healthy practices will allow you to have more options if you find yourself shut in your home once again.
As a final consideration, healthy practices should also include financial ones in preparing for a second lockdown. The economic hit many of us experienced was significant. Certainly, this provokes high degrees of stress. But it also undermines wellness in many ways. Being financially responsible, saving for setbacks, and having a long-term plan in place are important pursuits. If able to do so, now would be a good time for these pursuits before a second lockdown appears.
Turning a Challenge into an Opportunity
During times of stress and challenge, one of the boldest steps we can take is to see the situation as an opportunity. The circumstances may offer a chance for us to learn and grow. Or they may push us to see new perspectives that we previously couldn’t see. By taking this approach, we invite all that life has to offer. Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic brought many heartbreaks and difficulties. But by pursuing healthy practices during this time, we better position ourselves to manage the crisis in the best possible way. For these reasons, planning now for a possible second lockdown is something you may truly want to consider.