How to Take Care of Your Mental Health
With everything going on in the world, it’s more important than ever to focus on mental health.
With May being Mental Health Month, we think now is the perfect time to discuss ways to maintain and improve your mental health.
Sadly, the suicide rate is the highest it’s been since 1941. The Journal of the American Medical Association directly attributes this meteoric rise to the circumstances surrounding Covid-19, calling it a “Perfect Storm.”
They outline the following factors as robbers of mental health:
- Economic stress
- Social isolation
- Decreased access to community and religious support
- Barriers to physical and mental health treatment
These are trying times for everyone. We urge you to take care of yourself and your loved ones, not just physically, but mentally as well.
We’ve put together the following mental health tips to help you get through these troubling times in an era of social distancing and an uncertain economic future.
- Connect with Others
Even though you can’t meet up in person, you can still interact. Thanks to modern technology, Zoom meetings, Facetime, and Instant Messaging can help replicate the experience of being with someone face-to-face.
It’s not a perfect substitute, but we are lucky to have access to these tools!
We recommend making it part of your daily routine to connect with friends and family members virtually. Share what’s happening in your day, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Remind the people you care about that you are here for them and let them know if you need a virtual shoulder to cry on, too.
- Go Outside
Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for your mental health and your physical health, too!
Being outside can clear your mind, and a little bit of cardio can also boost your endorphin levels.
If you live alone, you might be exercising solo, but that doesn’t mean you can’t smile and wave to the people around you.
- Stay Busy
A lot of us are experiencing unprecedented idle time. Working from home, being laid off, and not having anywhere to go other than doing essential errands makes it hard to resist the siren call of Netflix.
To avoid boredom and depression, find something to keep your mind and hands busy. Learning a new skill, studying a foreign language, or taking a class are all things you’ve probably had on your to-do list, but you haven’t had time to do them.
You’ve probably already heard that the most successful people in the world spend at least 15 minutes a day meditating. This list includes everyone from Oprah to Clint Eastwood.
Even if you’re not an expert, just taking a few minutes out of each day to close your eyes and clear your mind can do wonders for your mental health. There are even free apps like Calm and Headspace that will guide you through the meditation process.
The overall experience is different for everyone, but don’t be surprised if you walk away from a meditation session seeing the world from a different perspective.
It seems like everyone’s sleep is disrupted right now.
Not having a daily routine, dealing with uncertainty, and getting caught up in the media hype can wreak havoc on your stress levels. All of this contributes to a night of fitful, restless sleep.
One of the best ways to ensure a night of quality sleep is to practice good habits during the day. This includes waking up at the same time each morning, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon, and staying off social media an hour before bed.
If sleep is still a challenge, try a meditation session beforehand. It can help clear your mind and prepare you for sleep.
Remember when we used to fly on airplanes? If you’ve ever paid attention to the safety lecture, the flight attendant always instructs you that if there’s an emergency, to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
The reason they do this is because if you are not able to breathe, you’re not going to be much use to anyone else.
The same concept applies to your mental health. Make sure that you are taking care of your mental health while also ensuring that the people you care about are doing okay.
And finally, how are you keeping your mental health on track during quarantine? Let us know in the comments!