KEEPING MY MENTAL HEALTH IN CHECK

KEEPING MY MENTAL HEALTH IN CHECK

You’d think by 2020 mental health would be more understood, and yet, I still find myself speaking to people who are oblivious to the affects it has. If like me, you suffer from anxiety, you’ll know how hard it is to try and explain it’s more than a mood swing or a bad day.

It’s even more important that we take care of our mental health while we’re all in quarantine due to COVID-19. Since we’re unable to physically be with our loved ones, socialise over a coffee or do basic day to day tasks outside of the house, we need to consider what we can do to maintain our mental state. Everyone will have different ways of dealing with this, I personally need my support system, my friends and family who help me see the rational side of any situation. During these challenging times, I stay in contact with everyone over the phone and FaceTime which helps me stay sane but I am excited to see them face to face eventually.

I’m doing little things to keep myself busy and also give my mind time to relax.

HEALTH FROM THE INSIDE OUT

The term “you’re what you eat” comes to mind, what you put into your body is important to ensure you fuel it properly. When I eat good food, I feel so much better, more energetic and generally happier. Although, when I’m going through a rough patch I instantly turn to junk food, in the moment it feels incredible but soon after I feel sluggish and worse than ever. This is where moderation comes into play, yes you need to eat your 5 a day but also remember it’s ok to treat yourself. While in quarantine, don’t let boredom encourage you to binge, eat a little bit of what you fancy but don’t overindulge.

As you’re aware, exercise is also important to contributing to a healthy lifestyle, it’s been known to releases endorphins that improve your mood. Due to the pandemic the mountain closed early, which means the snowboard season is over, not long after the gyms begun to shut. Since we currently have restrictions with only going out when we need to, now is the perfect time to adapt your workouts at home, perhaps body weight exercises is the best way to go.

TALK TO SOMEONE

In the past, I thought the best thing was to sweep all my issues under the rug. I kept things bottled up, trying to avoid dealing with the situation. I soon found out this was a terrible idea and had to start expressing how I felt. A few years ago, I wanted an outsiders perspective and decided to speak to professional. I went to counselling for a while and after was much calmer and felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

If you normally speak to a therapist and are unable to do so during the quarantine, there are other options.  You can speak to someone through a 24hr hotline; you’ll have a chance to get things off your chest and maintain your routine. I’ve had moments where I wanted to talk things over, but was happy speaking to friends as they understand what I am going through as they’re in a similar situation.

I’m surprised how my mental health has stayed in tack and hasn’t really been affected much despite everything that’s going on.

WORK ON PROJECTS

Everyone will be using this time to do more yoga, catch up with friends over FaceTime or taking a well deserved break. I’ll be doing all those things but also working on projects. My top priority is working on my PR application, there are so many stages and documents you need to gather before applying. Secondly, I’ll be putting time into my blog, writing posts and organising photos. I’m very excited to start creating new content, I really want to push myself this year.

Have you been putting something off because of lack of time or energy? Well now is the perfect time to do that online course or develop a new fitness routine, the possibilities are endless.

TAKE TIME TO BREATH

Now, this seems like an obvious step in keeping your mental health in check but it’s surprising how many people forget to do take a moment to breathe. It’s easy to let the mayhem of this situation get in the way, especially while isolating indoors. This is why it’s the perfect time to take up meditation, it helps clear and relax your mind.

Consider downloading an app, there are so many these days and are either free or very affordable. Headspace is the app provided by my workplace as part of mental health benefits, it has different courses based on your mood so there is something for every situation.

GET UP

It’s easy to get into bad habits while we’re under quarantine, waking up late and staying in pyjamas all day watching Netflix, eating junk food and taking naps just because we can. Now, I love to do all those things for a few days but I didn’t want it to become a habit. Despite not having to go to work or meet up with friends, I like to keep a sense of a routine so I don’t go completely crazy!

I’ve made sure I’m waking up, having a shower and getting dressed each day, I find I’m more productive when I do this. This has kind of made me feel like we’re on a reality show like Love Island, getting all dressed up to sit in the living room!

RELAX

I feel like even when I’m “relaxing” my mind is elsewhere, lets face it, we’re all guilty of trying to juggle too many things at once. The other day I found myself making a list of everything I needed to do once I had finished “relaxing”. It’s time to put a stop to this and learn to separate your down time to work time. When you finally take a moment to yourself don’t forget to put the ever-expanding to-do list to one side, take a breath and relax.

I’m sure we will all have plenty of down time over the next few weeks, so it’s best to take the opportunity before we resume our busy lives.

REST

I don’t know about you, but when I’ve had a good nights sleep I feel refreshed and have a lot more energy. I’m able to wake up early and make the most of the day, instead of lazying around. It’s recommended to have 8 hrs sleep per night but this varies from person to person. Due to my Epilepsy and the mediation I take, I need more rest than others.

Over the last week I haven’t been keeping to my normal sleep schedule, not going to bed until 1am or 2am for no reason, simply chain watching Netflix. I’ve put a stop to this before it becomes a bad habit and am trying to maintain some kind of a routine.

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