Keep a routine, connect with others

This blog post is part of a series of #WellnessWednesday tips provided by the Landon wellness team to help our community stay healthy during distance learning. This week, the team focuses on Mental Health Awareness Month and how to be mindful of your mental well-being.

During this time of sheltering at home, it is important to create new routines in order to stay healthy.  It may be even more important to stay in touch with family and friends during this time of social distancing.  Be sure to express yourself, as well as share your thoughts and feelings with others. If you are bereaving and have experienced loss, do not hesitate to reach out to either of Landon’s school counselors, Richard Curtis or Justin Roman.

The following four tips are borrowed from Mental Health America.

1.     Create a routine. When it comes to diet, sleep and exercise, having good, strong routines are linked to improved mental and physical health. People with more daily routines have lower levels of distress when facing problems with their health or negative life events. It takes an average of 66 days for a behavior to become automatic (a habit), but for some people it can take as long as 8 1/2 months. Don’t give up!

2.     Connect with others. Research shows it can take 50 hours for someone you don't know that well to turn into a true friend.  During the week, Americans watch an average of 2.5 hours of TV per day, but only spend half an hour per day socializing. The number of friendships you have early in your adult life and the closeness of those relationships can influence your wellbeing 30 years later.

3.     Own your feelings. Did you know the English language has over 3,000 words for emotions? People who are good at being specific about identifying and labeling their emotions are less likely to binge drink, be physically aggressive, or self-injure when distressed.

4.     Find positive after a loss. You are not alone! Nearly 60% of people have experienced a major loss in the last three years. Healing also takes time. Following a loss, nearly half of people said it took up to six months for their strong feelings of grief to lessen, and two-thirds of people who went through a life-changing event had physical symptoms while they were grieving.