5 Tips for Better Mental Health
Ever since the coronavirus took into full effect many people have suffered immensely from mental health issues, some being more serious than others. It is extremely important that we take care of ourselves during a time like this. Since we are all quarantined inside it also gives us an opportunity to become quarantined inside our own heads as well. Spending too much time in our own thoughts can be detrimental to our health, that is when done incorrectly. Mediation and focused thinking is a beneficial way to be inside ones thoughts, while overthinking, comparing, and over analyzing is a more toxic habit to take on. We must remain conscious of our thoughts in efforts to remain mentally healthy.
Mental health and mental disorders are commonly cross referenced when in fact they have two totally different meanings. Mental health is something everyone has, much like we all have physical health. While mental disorders or mental illness is something that some people further develop, which affects their mental health. There are a wide range of conditions that affect our mental health, some that affect our mood, the way we think, and even how we behave. Some examples of mental health disorders are anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and many more. All of these disorders affect ones mental health in different ways, which requires all to have a different approach to treatment.
There are many ways to help improve our mental health. Despite that, it all depends on the person that you are treating and their underlying disorders or conditions. Maybe you cope with mental health issues by reading, running, cooking, or singing; everyone is different. However according to the CDC there are few primary ways to take control of your mental health that will benefit almost everyone. By being consistent in doing these few things you will create a strong foundation for your mental health.
Pause and breathe
If you find yourself overthinking, panicking, or anxious, take a second to find yourself. Put your hand on your heart and focus on your breathe. Realize that you are alive and safe. People forget that they are in control of how they feel, even if they feel like they aren’t. What we focus on grows. Be good to yourself.
Take breaks from the news
The media can be overwhelming at times. Whether you are listening to the radio or watching the news, the coronavirus is being talked about. The constant reminder of our current situation can be too immense for some people. So turn off the tv and the radio and go enjoy the fresh air for a bit. The less we are reminded of the coronavirus the better.
Make time to sleep and exercise
Sleep and exercise is essential for everyone. With a lack of sleep comes a complete switch in mood, grogginess, and in some cases delusion. Most people require a full 8 hours of sleep while others can manage with 6 or 7. When it comes to exercise, it is just as important as sleep. While most do not think that exercising is essential, the benefits that come with it are astronomical. Not only do you loose weight and tone your muscles, but exercising directly increases your mood, helps improve learning and memory, and it even gives you a massive boost of energy. Even though the gyms and yoga studios are closed due to the coronavirus, you can easily find a workout online and follow along in the comfort of your own home. Even just 5 minutes of exercise can instantly boost your mentality.
Reach out and stay connected
Since everyone in quarantined inside, families and friends are feeling the impact of it. Children have lost physical connection with friends at school. Adults have lost their connection with coworkers. People are feeling more disconnected than ever before. Therefore take some time out of your day to reach out to loved ones. You can call, text, facetime, or even set up a family zoom call; anything to just hear the voices of those you care about. It will affect your mood more than you think.
Seek out help if overwhelmed
Many people have trouble asking for help. What we must realize is that it is normal and okay to ask for a hand when you need it. Whether you need a favor or you just need to talk to someone, ask for it. You can simply call a friend or a family member to talk too and if that’s not an option for you there are plenty of 24 hour hotlines where you can reach out for someone to listen. You are never unheard or alone.