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Is it day 11? Day 14? Being in isolation during this COVID-19 pandemic may be good to protect you from the novel coronavirus, but it can take a toll on your mental health. Being inside the house for weeks or months on end can really drive you nuts; there’s a reason why solitary confinement is one of the worst forms of punishments in prison.

We have no idea how long this lockdown will last. So in order to avoid going crazy, here are some tips to help you strengthen your mind.

1. Meditation
No, the extra 15 minutes of sleep after you turn off your alarm does not count as meditation. Meditation is about being present in the moment, calming your mind, and being at peace with the world around you. Being still is actually easier said than done. There are many youtube videos you can watch to learn how to meditate, or you can use apps such as Simple Habit and Headspace, which can guide you through your meditation. Who knows, maybe after the COVID-19 lockdown is over, you’ll be a meditation guru.

2. Journaling
Journaling is a good habit to pick-up, especially during this quarantine. Most of the time you’ll be alone with your own thoughts, so why not write them down. Journaling is not just about writing down your day or what you’re thinking about. Journaling is about discovering yourself and processing your thoughts. So get a notebook and a pen and start writing.

3. Fasting
Strengthen your mind and shed-off the pounds at the same time. Fasting is a great way to give your dopamine receptors a break, cut down on cravings, and strengthen your mind in the process. You can try intermittent fasting, which involves fasting for several hours in a day and then setting some time to eat. Do note that you should do research and consult a medical professional if possible, to see if you are medically fit to fast.

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4. Set a mindfulness hour
Doing nothing and being mindful are two different things. Set some time to just be mindful and alone with your thoughts. We are often bogged down by information from the internet or the TV all day long. Its good to be alone to process your own thoughts and feelings. You can do this right before journaling, to process your thoughts before you write them down.

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5. Limit your social media
This might be the hardest tip here, especially for millenials, but taking a break from facebook and instagram can do wonders for your health. We are often overloaded with information, and there are studies that prove that social media can inhibit depression. Take some time away from your news feed and limit your social media and internet usage. Your mind will thank you for it.

There you go, 5 tips to help you keep your sanity during this pandemic. Always remember that taking care of your health involves taking care of your mind as well. Wash your hands, disinfect your house, and declutter your mind.

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