“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” ~Glenn Close
Hello and happy May everyone!
For those who do not know, mental health awareness month is this month and with everything going on in this world, I wanted to share my insight on the importance of maintaining a positive mindset during our darkest moments. This pandemic has pushed communities and individuals all around the world to look at life through a different lense. Many have had to face tough decisions that have resulted in feeling more uncertain and anxious with what the following days have to offer. Businesses are forced to shut down, millions have been laid off, and families have been separated. It is with no doubt this pandemic has left an everlasting mark on our lives. A mark that has not only impacted relationships and businesses, but most importantly, our mental health.
When it comes to challenging situations, our mental health is put to the test. Our emotions are heightened to levels we may have never experienced thus making us feel more unclear of what to do. What makes this even worse, is many of us are experiencing this in isolation and nobody should ever feel alone when trying to balance their mental health.
It is critical to keep a balanced mindset in challenging situations. Our mental health can create a ripple effect of our overall well being. The decisions we make, the outlook we have on life, the behaviors we choose, the judgements we create, etc are all part of this ripple effect. I think it's important to recognize how our overall surrounding environment is contributing to how we feel and respond. The social groups we connect with, our neighbors, family & friends, our homes, social media, etc. Observe your lifestyle and ask yourself “Are these things/people/routines helping or hindering my mental health?” If there is anything we can take away from this pandemic it is the opportunity to become more self aware of who we are and truly listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.
If there is anything this pandemic has taught me, it is that there are so many things to consider when analyzing anything and everything but there is only so little we have control over. What we can try to control is how we internally and externally respond to these issues. Listen to your body. Is it relaxed or stressed? What got you into this state of mind? What can get you out of it? At the end of the day, it's only us who can take care of how we feel and how we respond.
Here are a few things that have helped with my mental health during these wild times!
Setting a time limit on social media.
Setting a time limit on phone usage.
Limiting the amount of time I spend reading the news.
Making sure information I receive is coming from credible sources.
Keeping the creativity flowing!
Staying connected with family members constantly.
Following pages and community groups that focus on positivity.