Coping During These Times:
2020 has certainly been an influential year, not just on a national scale, but globally as well. With all of the current events going on, sometimes life can feel incredibly overwhelming, making it easy to neglect the importance of one’s mental health. To help out with this, I’ve compiled a short list of five things you can do to take care of your mental health during these trying times.
Studies show that journaling is proven to help manage anxiety and reduce stress, making it a great outlet to tap into. It can be an amazing way to express your thoughts and emotions, especially when it seems like you can never find just the right words for the situation, and it can also help you identify your doubts/worries and puts them into perspective. There are a wide array of journals to choose from, including bullet journals, prayer journals, art journals, etc. That’s the beautiful thing about journaling; it’s different for everyone and you can find a way to make your journal unique and your own!
2. Taking a break from social media
With nothing to do, reaching up for our phone can seem like the easiest way to pass the time. However, social media can sometimes feel like an echochamber, with the same opinions being repeated over and over again. Much of the news we see today isn’t so much reporting as it is making sensational headlines. Of course, it is important to stay well-informed, but there is a difference between being informed and becoming consumed in an unhealthy manner. Make sure to set up boundaries with how much time/how frequently you access social media and media outlets. Studies show that those that take breaks every now and then from social media experience less fatigue, and are less likely to show signs of anxiety and depression.
3. Reconnecting with old friends
Similar to journaling, catching up with old friends is a great way to blow off some steam related to whatever stress you may be feeling. Personally speaking, I know that I always feel so much better after having honest, vulnerable conversations with my friends, where we can uplift and encourage one another. With so many places closed during quarantine, this can be a great time to rekindle old friendships.
4. Pursue a hobby
Although it can be difficult to see the positives of so many planned trips and ideas being cancelled, all of the extra time on our hands can really serve to help us perfect our crafts. Doing something you enjoy is a great way to take your mind off of the current stresses of day to day life and learn something new instead. Using this time to focus on things that we can control, rather than things we can’t, is really beneficial for one’s mental health.. Examples of this may include setting a workout goal, reading goal, practicing an instrument, etc.
5. Start a new project
Working on a new project can be a great way to use some of that pent-up energy and extra time we have. It gives us something to focus on rather than the negative events around us, and connecting this to our previous tip, you can create a project that allows you to hone in on your talents, such as possibly starting a blog, tutoring business, or Youtube channel. You could also create a project that helps others in need during the current situations we’re facing, such as organizing donations or a “letter-drive” to send letters to those suffering from isolation.
Although things can seem dreary at times, we’ll make it out of this eventually, and hopefully we’ll become stronger, more grateful and more united as a result of it. In the meantime, I hope these tips remind you of the importance of taking care of yourself so that you can better help others!