Studies have shown that reading books – not news articles on a blue screen (like on your laptop or tablet), but actual books – has a tremendously calming effect on the brain. Even just six minutes of reading each day will bring down stress and anxiety levels and increase your focus and concentration.
You don’t have to spend money on ordering books. There are plenty of apps, such as Libby, that allow you to borrow eBooks for free or for much, much cheaper than buying them. And your local library probably has an eBook-lending service to help people get their book fixes during this current crisis.
Many, many mental health professionals have made themselves available to support people through online platforms as we all try to navigate the challenges of staying home and staying healthy. Quite a few counselors have made their services available for free, and there are also public services that can connect you to a high-quality mental health professional for free or at a reduced rate.
Even a one-hour session of therapy can help alleviate the stress and give you a better perspective on getting through this season in good mental shape. When you feel better, you will make better choices – such as getting better nutrition and going to bed on time – which will lead to a positive feedback loop and a much-improved state of mental health.