Taking Care of our Mental HealthSep 11, 2021
It is no surprise that stressful situations take a toll on our mental health, and living through a pandemic on top of several global crises is certainly stressful.
Whilst life feels largely out of our control at the minute, there are little things we can implement to try and take care of our mental health at this time.
Prioritise practical self care
No, not luxurious bubble baths or face masks (although if you enjoy them, carry on). The most important form of self care is doing the practical things that keep you alive and functioning.
Little things to work towards on hard days that will make you feel a little more human:
- Drink a glass of water
- Nourish your body with food
- Take any medication/supplements that you need to
- Brush your teeth
- Take a shower (you could even brush your teeth while you’re in there - double whammy!)
All of these things can feel incredibly difficult if you’re struggling, so don't give yourself a hard time if you can't manage them all every day.
Tidy the room you spend most time in
We are spending more time than ever inside our homes. Whilst many folks may feel called to embark on a big renovation project, you may be surprised by just how much of a difference can be made by tidying up your space.
Whilst a clean home may not seem directly related to your mental health, it can help you feel more comfortable and calm among the chaos. You don't even need to tidy the whole house. Focus on the room you spend the most time in, whether that's your bedroom or the living room. Likewise, you don't even need to tidy the whole room if you don't feel up to it. Maybe, you could set yourself a number of little tasks to complete throughout the week.
If it all feels too overwhelming, set a timer for 5 minutes and see how much you can get done. You might be surprised.
You could even rearrange your shelves or move furniture around to give your space a new feel, if things are feeling stagnant.
Take breaks away from your phone and the news
Of course it’s important to stay informed, but you can’t be switched on 24/7.
If you’re anything like us, your screen time is probably at an all time high. It is so easy to get sucked into social media, but setting boundaries and taking time away from our phones is instrumental to protecting our mental health.
It’s understandable that you’re using technology more, so don’t feel guilty for that. During this strange time, technology allows us to keep in contact with our loved ones and feel a bit more connected to the world as a whole. We don’t need to limit that incredible connection, but we can certainly work on reducing our mindless scrolling of social media.
Instead of browsing Instagram for hours on end, why not pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read for months or go for a short walk. Stepping away from our screens can help to clear our minds and feel a bit more calm.
Try to remain in some sort of routine
Life is totally different to how it was before, but that doesn’t mean routine needs to go completely out the window…
Even sticking to simple things like exercising everyday or keeping a normal sleeping pattern will benefit your brain. Doing these simple things might not seem like much, but they help to maintain some form of normality. For me, this includes drinking a big glass of water and taking my medication every morning when I wake up. Similarly, doing my nighttime skincare routine has been really helpful for me too. It’s just 5 minutes of my evening where I focus solely on taking care of myself.
Take advantage of time outside!
Rules and restrictions will vary depending on where you live, but hopefully regardless of where you are, you are allowed to be out in nature for at least a short period of time each day.
It really does wonders. Sara has been enjoying daily visits to the beach which is only a short walk away, and Bekah has been grateful for long walks in her local parks. Doing these simple outdoor activities provide a small slice of normality which is desperately needed!
Don’t keep your feelings in!
Whether it’s venting to a loved one or booking in for a therapy session, it is more important than ever to be open and vulnerable. Being in lockdown can feel really isolating, so it’s important that we keep striving to stay connected. Whether it’s meeting someone for a socially distanced walk, arranging a FaceTime date or booking in for virtual therapy, we encourage you to reach out today and share with someone you trust.
We hope these suggestions make you feel a bit more equipped to tackle the week ahead.
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