These have been trying times for us all as we navigate uncertain situations and changes to our everyday lives. Each of us may experience different feelings of anxiety, fear and worry at different times. Coping with these feelings will help you manage your mental health during this challenging period of uncertainty.
Here at WholeLife we have gathered some tips and tricks on managing mental health at this crazy time in the world.
Pause and Reflect – take a moment to pause, breathe and reflect. With the changes happening around you, it is important to take notice, acknowledge and accept the thoughts and feelings that you are experiencing. Try to let go of negative or unpleasant feelings that you are experiencing.
Set a routine – You might find it helpful to schedule your day out to give you a sense of structure and normalisation. Your days should include a certain amount of work time, self-care time (check out our self-care guide blog here), time for chores and cooking, and time for social activities (think phone calls, Facetime, zoom and house party). Anchor yourself in what you can control and take time to focus on the present.
Mindfulness and Meditation – but do it your way. Consider downloading an app to help manage your thoughts and feelings. Some great options can be found at Headspace. Did you know that dancing is a form of meditation? If you struggle to find a meditative state in stillness and silence we highly recommend trying this, not only is it a great way to reset and relax, you are also getting your body moving. Turn off the lights, light some candles, turn up the music loud, close your eyes and dance in any way that feels instinctual to you.
Exercise – As tempting as it is to sit on your lounge all day and watch TV, it is not so good for your mental health. Get outside and go for a walk (remember to maintain your social distance) or do an online workout or yoga class, there are so many options out there at the moment including free ones. Exercise releases chemicals like serotonin and endorphins that can improve your mood. Exercise is a good addition to your routine that you can look forward to.
Manage your exposure to news media and social media coverage – Try not to have the news on all day, the human brain is more responsive to negative news, leaving you feel drained and down. When you do consume news, be mindful of the source of information and ensure you are accessing good quality and accurate information. Instead why not have a look at things like memes, tiktok videos, funny YouTube clips and pics of cute animals to keep your spirits high and the energy positive. Share them with your friends and family, who knows, you could make their day!
Stay Connected – Remember that we are all in this together, so staying connected can help both yourself and your friends and family during these confronting times. Look out for those who may feel more isolated and vulnerable. Maybe schedule regular phone calls, skype or Zoom catch ups. A connection to another human being can definitely make a difference to your day.
Seek additional support – If you feel that the stress and anxiety is getting too much, there are options available for accessing information and support services. You are never on your own.
For additional information and resources on mental health:
Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
Sane Australia: www.sane.org
Finding what works for you is key. Do you have any tips that you’ve been using? Leave them in the comments below.