Six suggestions for dealing with stress, boosting mental health, and practising self-care:
If you need assistance, let someone know: Everyone has been stressed this year, so know that you are not alone if you are stressed, anxious, or afraid. Going into the new year with a positive attitude and knowing that there are individuals who can assist you will help alleviate some of the stress.
Focus on your emotional health: Many people have been affected by the events of the past year. Emotional wellness is intertwined with your physical well-being. Instead of taking it month by month, try taking it day by day. Take frequent breaks throughout the day to focus on your emotional wellness. Read a book, start a hobby, or simply meditate for 10 minutes. Seek expert help if you are experiencing increasing sensations of anxiety or grief and are unable to carry out regular tasks and obligations.
Look for help: There are thousands of articles and resources especially for mental health online to find and look through that can put you in a better mental place. Whether it is following actionable lists or general advice there is something out there for everyone. People are different and so are the issues we face but there are similarities too which means that even if that advice is more generic and non individualised it can work. Feel free to try it before looking elsewhere. But be honest, especially with yourself, if things are not working on your own don’t feel afraid to seek professional help.
Put your phone down and turn off the TV: You may have noticed that your phone’s screen time report has climbed dramatically in the last year. Start the year off right by laying down your phone and shutting off the television. While staying informed about the world is crucial, having information shoved in your face 24 hours a day, seven days a week, can cause you undue stress. Reduce your screen time and increase the amount of time you spend doing something you enjoy.
Keep in touch with your family, friends, and neighbours: Many social distancing standards and quarantine regulations have been implemented due to the worldwide pandemic. While you may not be able to spend time with your family and friends, that does not mean you cannot communicate with those you care about in other ways. Make a virtual call with family and friends on a monthly or biweekly basis. This year could also be a fantastic opportunity to volunteer in your community. Many people and families are in desperate need of hope, food, and affection. Look into local groups to see how you may help and give back during this terrible time.
Take time to look after your body: A significant portion of mental health might be linked to physical health. You may notice a loss in your mental health if you feel sluggish, over-relaxed, or slow. Focusing on mental health self-care helps reintroduce vitality into your life. Start by devoting an hour of your week to an online yoga class. Make a home gym, even if it’s just in your living room. A stationary cycle, treadmill, weights, or even a simple jump rope might urge you to burn off that stored energy throughout the day.