Focusing on your mental health should always be a priority. Now more than ever, it is imperative that you take steps every day to check in with yourself and ensure you are taking care of your physical, mental and emotional health. Life during a pandemic brings forth all sorts of new emotions and concerns. Anxiety and stresses are rising in everyone while we patiently wait for our world to repair itself. We grieve the things we have lost such as time spent with friends and family, social outings, and the feeling of safety in our communities.
It is time to take some control back and focus on maintaining a calm state of mind and a feeling of peace. Try the steps below to help reduce anxiety and ease your mind during a very difficult time.
1. Focus on what you can still do. It is very easy to get sucked into the negative thought process of dwelling on all that you can no longer do due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, try making a list of all of the things you are able to do that bring you joy. Examples could be: things like cooking, playing a game , chatting with your friends over facetime. If you take a few minutes whenever you are feeling down to recall the good times you will start to notice a shift in your mindset.
2. Connection. Staying connected from a distance is imperative for your wellbeing. FaceTime your family, plan a cocktail hour with friends over Zoom. Join an online community. Pick up the phone and call someone you love. All of these connections will help ease the loss of face to face connections. We are all going through the same thing right now. Sharing your feelings can be very therapeutic.
3. Practice Gratitude. No matter how horrible things may seem, there is always something to be grateful for. Wake up each day and think of one thing you are grateful for today. This will start you off the right way. If you find yourself feeling negative or down pick up your journal and jot down 3 things that bring you joy that you are grateful for. Some days, being grateful comes easy. Other days maybe you are simply grateful for your morning coffee.
4. Try Something New. Being home more can be an excellent opportunity to do something you haven’t done before. Being home more has caused the world to slow the pace of life. Take this as an opportunity to try something new like painting, coloring, writing, or playing an instrument.
5. Exercise. One of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health is to move your body every day. Movement releases endorphins that trigger a positive feeling. This is natures antidepressant. Take advantage of this and reward yourself. You deserve to feel good about the way you look and feel! Check out my YouTube channel for tons of free workouts!
6. Sit in Silence. Sitting quietly and focusing on your breath is a great way to calm your mind and focus on the present moment. Try a guided meditation.
7. Do things you enjoy. Every single day find things you enjoy and make time to do them! Play with your children, bake, read, or take a hot bubble bath with a glass of wine. Making yourself a priority and focusing on joy brings you more peace and positive vibes.
8. Laugh and Smile. Take the opportunity to smile as much as you can. Find joy in each day. Don’t take yourself to seriously. Be silly and have fun.
This is no doubt a very strange chapter in our lives. We have the power to control how we handle this pandemic and how we care for our mental health. Invest in yourself because you are worth it!