There are many things that contribute to emotional stress. It can be uncertainty during these times, job loss, growing financial pressures, altered daily routines, or even loneliness. When the future seems so unsure and we are grappling with so much uncertainty, how can we manage our mental health? Here are a few self-care strategies to boost your mood and offer some light for the dark winter days ahead.
Isolate Physically, Not Socially
While it is good practice to distance physically, that does not mean you have to completely abandon your social circles. It is, for this reason, several online games have gained in popularity over the past few months. Download games like, Among Us, Psych!, Time Heist and many more to make your virtual hangout that much more exciting. Our mental health needs to stay connected in every way possible. This is the time to build support and strengthen relationships. Reach out to loved ones if you’re struggling. It’s helpful to remember that you’re not alone. We are all in this together.
Take Scheduled Breaks From Electronics
With the aforementioned advice being to stay connected through devices, it’s worth mentioning the importance of limiting the use of our devices. Dedicate an hour or more to do an electronic free activity. It’s not good for your well-being to spend hours and hours on your device refreshing Google for the latest COVID numbers or researching the latest conspiracy theory. While it is important to stay informed, set an alarm to take scheduled breaks and try to focus on something else for a while.
Don’t Ditch Your Workout Routine
The rumours are true. Yes, people who work out benefit from more than just a lean physique. You might not feel like exercising, but give it a try. Physical activity improves your mood and overall health and reduces stress and anxiety. Some gyms may be closed or have ridiculous wait times, but there are plenty of exercise videos for all fitness levels on YouTube. You could also go for a walk, practice yoga or try meditation. Get enough sleep and eat and drink as healthy as possible. Take care of your body and your mental health is likely to improve.
Challenge Your Thoughts
It’s tempting to succumb to our negative thoughts by allowing them to take root and trigger depression and anxiety. Mental health professionals recommend taking note of negative thoughts and challenging its validity. Ask yourself questions like: Am I confusing a thought with a fact? Am I jumping to conclusions? Is it helpful to keep thinking this way? The best way to stay positive is to keep a grateful heart. You may feel like there isn’t much positive in your life, but if you pause to think, you can probably come up with something, no matter how small it may seem.