Over the past several months, the world has been stuck in lockdown. Many of us have been self-isolating, hunkering down at home, so we don’t contract or spread the virus.
Life isn’t the same as it was. We cannot do the things we once did, nor can we be with some of the people we love.
It’s enough to make us all feel a bit mad.
These unprecedented times are having consequences, not only for our physical health and our livelihoods, but most importantly, our state of mind.
There are a few secrets I have discovered to keep me sane and centered amidst all the change.
Being aware of stress is the first step toward mental peace.
Let’s face it; these are stressful times. What happens if our kids don’t attend school in person this fall? What will my job look like next year? Can I ever visit my mother-in-law in her assisted living facility?
Stress and anxiety are certainly the biggest threats to our mental health and wellbeing. Stress can lead to a variety of conditions including depression.
If you’re feeling low energy and lethargy or have headaches, aches and pains, you may be feeling depressed. Talking to a therapist or mental health counselor may help. Some health insurance carriers are covering phone or video therapy sessions, so patients and providers can practice social distancing.
Additionally, recognizing that you’re feeling stressed and giving yourself some tools can put you on the right mental path towards inner peace.
Sleep well and set a schedule.
When I don’t get a good night’s sleep, my body feels tired, and my mind is groggy the next morning. Sleeping well is a critical process to keep your body and mind healthy.
Did you know? Insomnia impacts millions of people across the world. When I fret or worry too much, it’s hard for me to nod off.
I find the key to good slumber is to stay active during the day and keep my schedule as close to normal as possible.
I walk and eat breakfast, work midday, exercise, lunch, nap and then cook for dinner. Whatever fits your fancy, set a regular schedule and stick to it.
Keep the mind active!
Use that big muscle between your ears. Keep yourself entertained and happy by exercising it every day. There is so much to learn and do while we are staying at home. There is more time to discover new things!
These days one of the biggest concerns for the elderly population, in particular, is always going to be mental health conditions like dementia. Just like there ain’t no cure for love, there ain’t no cure for dementia–yet. Researchers are working on it, but in the meantime, keeping your mind active is a way to keep those brain synapsis firing.
Exercising the brain may help prevent cognitive decline and steer your focus away from stressful things. Staying mentally engaged can cultivate a keener, calmer mind.
Dip into your spiritual side.
For me, spirituality is about finding a deep connection to my inner life, a place that brings me calm and strength. It’s deeply personal and can be cultivated in many ways.
When I tap into my spiritual side, I find a deeper sense of wellbeing.
Cultures across the world have ancient practices that can help cultivate your spiritual side. Things like prayer, meditation, believing in miracles, visualizations, spirit guides and guardian angels can help.
Some find that cultivating a practice like yoga can be a highly spiritual experience because it involves both body and mind.
Other people wear jewelry and accessories that are made out of ancient materials such as a Mala necklace with 108 beads. The ancient Hindi and Buddhists’ used Malas as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation, by counting mantras in sets of 108 repetitions.
No matter how you find it, tapping into your spiritual side can bring more optimism, because you have a deeper purpose in life.
Exercise and keep your body moving.
If you want to keep your state of mind calm you need to think about the wellbeing of your body and move it often.
Let’s start with feelings of self-worth and confidence. If some of your self-confidence is based on how you look, staying strong and active may help you feel good.
Developing a regime of exercise is a great way to relieve stress. I walk every day and practice Pilates and Gyrokinesis online.
Diet is crucial to mental health–I make mine organic.
Studies have shown that eating certain foods can negatively impact your mental health and happiness.
Other studies have shown the benefits of organic foods compared to processed meals and meats.
The Organic Center highlights a report that shows the standards followed by organic meat producers result in greater nutritional benefits like more good omega-3 fatty acids, less cholesterol, and more antioxidants.
There is also a lower risk of exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones and pesticides when eating organic meat. There are also fewer negative effects on the environment, and organic farming contributes less to climate change.
I believe how we manifest our mental health is paramount to getting past this pandemic. Whatever works for you—find that happy place and try to stay there.
It’s the best thing for you and for the ones you love. Stay healthy and happy.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
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