Hey friends. I know this time in our world is difficult. It feels like we are in the middle of two major pandemics. The hurt, the chaos, the uncertainty, the pain, the anxiety, the news. It's overwhelming and tiring to say the least, but now more than ever it is important to keep your mental health and state of mind strong. I have compiled a few ways for you to stay strong and care for your mental health during this time.
1. Limit your time on social media : we all want to stay informed and up-to-date on what is going on in our communities and around the world, but it is also important to tune out. Seeing constant painful images and news can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. That doesn't mean avoid social media all together, but take a day or two off the platform, or only check your social channels once a day for 10 - 15 minutes.
2. Talk to a Friend or Family Member: right now we are still in the middle of quarantine, in addition to curfews, riots, protests, etc. Talk to someone you are close with so that you can vent, express your feelings, and LET IT OUT in a safe space. Talking to someone and feeling heard and cared for is a healing feeling. Often times those close to us, understand us best. If you just want a listening ear - tell them "I just need to vent" or "do you have the mental capacity to allow me to vent with you right now". Often times, you'll vent together, and it will be a healing experience for you both.
3. Write: we all let out our pain and intense feelings in different ways. If writing is your strong suit - I encourage you to write. Write about everything you are feeling - expressing in that medium is very helpful. You can also go back to your journal to re-read what you wrote later on, and compare how you are feeling now, compared to that moment.
4. Create Art: we are all artists in our own right. Whether you make music, dance, draw, sculpt, graphic design, etc. now is the time to put that passion to work. It will help you to utilize your anger or pain, and transform it into something beautiful through your art.
5. Meditate: The practice of meditation is a strong and powerful tool. It helps you center your mind and eradicate feelings of anxiety and uneasiness. Take a moment today, about 10 minutes, to put on calming, instrumental music or nature sounds, find a quiet area in your home, find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take deep and long breaths. Focus on just your breath, and take this moment to quiet your mind and RELAX.
6. Exercise: Daily exercise has been proven to release endorphins in the body, decrease stress levels, regulate digestion, relieve anxiety, clear your mind and so much more! You already know I'm an advocate for daily exercise on this blog, but exercise is never just about losing weight or having a specific goal in mind. The most important thing about it, is how it improves your mental state. We need that right now. Be sure to get outside and take a walk for 30 minutes, or do your favorite workout video indoors.
7. Play: Now I use this term as an all-encompassing term. Play is what you make it. It is all about enjoyment, laughter, and feeling free. That means do what brings you personal joy, what makes you laugh, what gives you positive pleasure. That can be from playing a board game with your kids, having a movie night with your best friend, joking around with your sibling, dancing in your bedroom, intimate time with your partner, etc. Do what makes you laugh, what brings you to a place of happiness. We need that right now. And don't feel guilty for feeling joy, because believe it or not, laughter boosts your immune system, and reduces stress. So laugh, laugh and laugh some more my friends.
Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Stay Informed.