Let’s face it, the past year has been hard for all of us. While COVID-19 has affected a lot of individuals’ physical health, it’s the damage that’s not visible that is concerning to many. During this pandemic, the mental health of people in our society has also taken a turn for the worse. These are stressful and trying times for all of us, so I have researched some suggestions on how to help improve and check in on your mental health.
Breaking News is Breaking your Brain
No matter if there is a pandemic going on or not, it isn’t healthy to attach yourself to the news and watch it constantly. Constantly tuning in to the news can create a “doom and gloom” situation. Think about it… if you are frequently hearing alarming and negative information, then it will probably take a toll on your mental health. Details about COVID-19 are the top news stories. The more you watch, the more you can make yourself feel susceptible to the disease and helpless. I recommend limiting your exposure to the news to less than 90 minutes a day. This amount of exposure allows you to take in the information needed to make good choices regarding the pandemic, while preventing an overload of negative virus updates.
Don’t Hesitate to Meditate
Quality time with your loved ones has been a huge advantage while being stuck at home… but there is such thing as too much quality time. All jokes aside, a lot of us are feeling tense due to the virus. This stress can cause increased anxiety levels which can lead to a breakdown in your mental health. Meditation is a great way to let go or ease some of those tensions that you may be feeling. Whether it is mindful meditation, prayer, or sitting in silence — these forms of meditation are all effective at putting your mind at ease. By breathing deeply and meditating, your cortisol levels will drop, leading to a decrease in stress and improved mental health. Here is a list of meditation apps you can try for free: Calm, Headspace, and Aura.
No Need for Gloom, Hop on Zoom
I miss seeing my friends and family in person – but fortunately, technology allows us to stay connected while being apart. Being in isolation can feel lonely, making your mental health suffer. Luckily for you, I have found the perfect solution! I am sure you have heard or seen friends participating in “Zoom parties.” We weren’t meant to go through life in a quarantine, so staying connected can help us get through these tough times. Here are your weekend plans: invite each friend to whip up their favorite meal and “gather” together online for a dinner party. Participating in these types of social events is both safe and uplifting. If anything, it can remind you that there is indeed, a light at the end of the tunnel.
Work Out or Freak Out… You Choose
One of my favorite ways to decompress is to do physical exercise. It doesn’t matter whether it’s walking on the treadmill or lifting weights, any type of physical activity is good for regulating your mood. While working out, your body releases endorphins which helps you “feel good” after. Establishing a regular workout routine is a great way to help alleviate stress and improve your mental health.
During stressful times in life, it’s essential to check in on both your physical and mental health. It’s not just your physical well-being that’s important, your psychological health could be the difference when handling an important situation. A lot of us are facing the most difficult times of our lives and it’s important to remember to give yourself grace during this time. With these simple suggestions on how to improve your mental health, you could turn this unprecedented year into a success story!