2020 was a tough year. I think it’s safe to say that even if you didn’t worry about mental health before, the pandemic caused some form of anxiety and/or depression. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to share some encouragement and tips to care for your mental health, as we continue to move away from 2020 and back to a sense of normalcy.
Before I continue, I want to share a very important stat:
1 in 5 people live with a mental health disorder
5 in 5 people have mental health
We all have mental health! I believe we do not talk about this enough. Before my own journey, it seemed liked mental health was the same as mental health disorder because the only time I heard about it was in regards to a condition. But it’s not the same! Simply put, mental health is how we think, feel, and behave which includes our emotional well-being. So, looking at it that way, you see the importance of it, right?!
There are many things that can affect our mental health, both positively and negatively which in turn affect our well-being. This is why it’s good to be aware of your own mental health and what can impact you. This way, you can take active steps to create positive well-being.
Ironically, last May I wrote a post with Tips for Normal After Quarantine and I’m just now getting back to a normal work schedule and going into the office regularly. There definitely are some other hints of normalcy but life isn’t quite back to normal. Would you agree?
Mental Health Tips
There are some similar tips to last year’s post because they are still helpful. But I think we will execute them differently as our lifestyle changes again.
Routine: A routine helps create control and stability. I’ve found for myself that when I have a morning routine I feel less anxious about my day. See some ways to have a productive morning here. It doesn’t have to just be in the morning, though. If you have a process or part of your day that feels chaotic and is stressing you out, try creating a routine. Even just a step at a time will help.
Give Grace: It’s easy to get frustrated with others and want to lash out. If you’re like me, you don’t take it out on others, but you let it stress you out. Or, you’re hard on yourself for things you did “wrong”. Stop that! Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are doing your best. You’ll feel better when you extend grace to yourself and to those around you.
Take Breaks: It is so so important to give yourself rest! Whether it’s a break for lunch or a nap on the weekend, give yourself time to just be. We get so worried about hustling and being productive that we forget rest is productive, too. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Stay Active: When feeling stressed out, anxious, or sad moving your body with help get your blood pumping and endorphins flowing. Start with a walk around your yard and see how you feel.
Be Informed: It’s important to know what is going on especially if the unknown makes you anxious. But be careful not to overwhelm yourself. Some news updates may be helpful, but maybe avoid people’s Facebook comments. Additionally, ask questions if you’re unsure about something so that you can feel at ease.
Talk to someone: If you have a friend or family member that you can talk to, great! But there is also no shame in talking to a mental health professional. I’ve gotten really good advice from my therapist on all kinds of topics – even about applying for jobs!
Sleep: It can be so hard to get enough sleep now that we’re back in the swing of things. But, a lack of sleep has a negative effect on mental health, so make it a priority. If you are having trouble sleeping or staying asleep, talk with a medical professional and see how they can help.
Drink your water: It seems like drinking more water fixes everything, haha. Staying hydrated will help you feel better.
One thing I noticed during the pandemic, especially when people were stuck at home, was a shift in the way mental health and self-care were talked about online. I’m on Instagram a lot. I like to say it’s because I’m a blogger, but I also just really like it. A lot of people shared their real feelings and encouraged others to take care of themselves and it made me really happy.
I really hope that we continue to further the conversation around mental health and work to overcome the stigma with mental health disorders.
You are not alone. You are loved.