Sep. 17, 2021
The Importance of Mental Health: Self-Care Strategies and Activities 101
Have you been restless lately? Do your anxieties, doubts, and negative thoughts continue to nag at you, obliterating your inner peace? Do you, above all, believe there will be no end to this pandemic? You should realize that your feelings are valid and that you are not alone in feeling this way, especially in these challenging times. As a result, it is impossible to deny that the global pandemic has had a negative impact on not only our economy and well-being, but also our mental health.
The national government's tightened limitations may make us feel alienated at times, especially if social distance and quarantine procedures are observed. This could slow the virus's progress, but the prospect of fighting the pandemic on your own could be terrifying. Similarly, we may believe that life has been awful because it has been almost a year since we last saw the outside world without fear.
However, when you are residing in your unique condominium home, you can utilize self-care practices to rejuvenate your spirits. After all, you should treat your mental health as seriously as you treat your physical health.
Psychiatric Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic
You should consider your emotional and psychological requirements in the same way that you consider your biological and physical demands. Your mental health will have a huge impact on how you think, feel, and act. As a result, it will influence how you make decisions, deal with stress, and even promote healthy relationships.
Anxiety may arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
You may develop unexpected burnout, anxiety, and depression if your stress level has risen beyond your manageable threshold. Furthermore, this may have an impact on the quality of your life, particularly if you do not address your mental health issue right once.
Unlike COVID-19, there is no vaccine that can help you cope with the external and internal pressures that affect your mental health.
Dr. Lisa Carlson, Executive Administrator of Emory University School of Medicine and Immediate Past President of the American Public Health Association, stressed the need of including mental health in public health discussions.
As a result, COVID-19 discussion is also Mental Health discussion, as is Public Health Emergency Discussion.
“Mental health is a human right, and it's past time for everyone to have access to it. Primary health care that is both high-quality and easily accessible is the foundation for universal health coverage, and it is critically needed as the globe grapples with the present health crisis. Mental health must become a reality for everyone — for everyone, everywhere.”
- Secretary of the Department of Health Francisco T. Duque III
The Current Stresses on Mental Health
To address any mental health issue, one must first be able to identify the source. It's done by recognizing the present sources of mental health stress.
Environmental stressors can occasionally be observed in mental health situations.
Routine disruption, financial pressure, work-life balance, mandatory separation, unemployment, health uncertainty, fake news, and travel restrictions are just a few of the present pressures.
Different Shapes and Sizes of Stress and Depression
These mental health pressures, on the other hand, are visible in the eyes of people who have been left vulnerable.
Consider the health-care workers who are exhausted and stressed as a result of working in overcrowded hospitals. Consider how the hazmat suit, which they will be wearing for at least 12 hours, restricts their motions. Imagine their fear of becoming a frontliner and getting the illness.
What makes matters worse is that they are unable to see their families or loved ones in order to take a break from the daily grind.
What about people who have been laid off or retrenched? Imagine the anxiety they felt the other day as they tried to figure out how to make ends meet after their main source of income was cut off. What about the poor who are unable to go outdoors to earn a living, allowing them to starve to death?
There are also women who have contracted the virus and are separated from their newborns, or vice versa.
On the other hand, there are loved ones who are going through a difficult time with their deceased family. It's because COVID patients are not allowed to have funerals, whereas the affected deceased must be cremated.
Consider how COVID-19 patients cope with being alone in the hospital because visitors are not permitted.
Finally, the expression of everyone who is unable to hug each other for consolation and encouragement.
The epidemic has, in fact, changed how we should spend our lives, resulting in the emergence of the new normal. In this regard, we must begin to learn how to care for ourselves. You should understand that taking care of yourself is not the same as being selfish.
When you can look for yourself, you'll be able to look after people around you. As a result, you'll need to find a new rhythm in your life to keep you going and thriving.
Self-Care Activities and Strategies to Improve Your Mental Health During the Pandemic
Keep in Touch
Technology bridges the gap between you and your loved ones. It has helped to reduce the distance between you and your loved ones. Having someone to chat to will help you stay sane during the crisis.
As a result, you'll be using social media and other communications platforms on a frequent basis. It may not be able to completely replace the warmth of physical contact, but it is a quick method to stay in touch with those who important.
Create a New Routine
Make a new normal routine for yourself.
Although the epidemic has reduced social gatherings, it will not prevent you from living and growing. As a result, you must establish a new habit that emphasizes yourself. Why don't you start doing the things you couldn't before?
For example, you can start working toward that fitness goal you've been putting off for a long time. You can also use free online seminars or workshops to keep yourself occupied and prevent you from overthinking or focusing on unpleasant thoughts. Or, you can play with your pet buddies during your leisure time.
When you're engaged in a physical activity, you'll notice a big reduction in anxiety, which will improve your mood. Since it's summer, try some indoor activities to make your homestay more enjoyable.
Smart Screen Time Use/News Detox
It is not improper to be continually informed about what is going on in the world. However, too much exposure to COVID-19 or other unfavorable news can make you feel overwhelmed. You should know when and how much news you should consume each day, just like you would when taking a prescription pill or medicine.
When it comes to misinformation or fake news, you need also be cautious. If anything isn't proven by a reputable source, don't believe it.
Make a list of all the happy pills you have
Even if it's difficult to be upbeat, you must force yourself to take your happy pills on a regular basis.
What exactly are those euphoric pills?
It is, after all, entirely up to you! Make a list of the persons or activities that bring you joy or excitement. Change those activities to be more suitable for indoor use so you can do them at home. Happiness, as the old saying goes, is a decision we make.
Take a Break from the Daily Routine
If you live in a beautiful environment with lush landscapes or resort-style amenities, it is preferable to take a walk outside and acquire the vitamin D your body need from the sun.
Make careful you adhere to the bare minimum of health precautions, such as wearing a face mask and shield and keeping a safe distance from others. Furthermore, you can simply relax on the sunbed and be fascinated by the serenity of your surroundings. Taking a break every now and then is beneficial to your mental health.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
When you're in a bad mood, it's important to eat healthful foods to keep your energy levels up. When you are able to eat the correct foods, your body's cortisol level will be reduced.
Consume Nutritious Food
You must also stick to a regular bedtime schedule. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate mental health problems. As a result, following a sleep pattern will provide your body with the vital regeneration. Caffeine should be avoided as much as possible before night.
Substance abuse and vices should be avoided.
COVID-19 is a viral illness that attacks the lungs directly. As a result, you should take extra precautions with your respiratory system by abstaining from substances, tobacco, and alcohol. These aren't the healthiest ways to deal with stress. Instead of helping you, it will make matters worse.
Reconnect with your moral compass
For peace and certainty, if you are a solid believer in a faith system, you must reconnect with your God.
In any case, it is an excellent time to concentrate your efforts in order to reconnect with a higher power. It will eventually make you feel better. You might also listen to worship lectures or songs that will help you remember that you are not alone in your troubles.
Make a Long-Term Financial Plan
Almost everyone may have suffered financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. This should not, however, prevent you from safeguarding your future. The pandemic has taught everyone that conserving money isn't enough to get by in the long run.
In this case, you'll need to make a long-term financial strategy. One of the most effective methods is to make a high-quality investment that allows your money to work for you. You can invest in a real-estate property that will almost certainly rise in value as infrastructure and business expansions continue. No pandemic, after all, can stop an investment from increasing.
WHO's Mental Health Activities and Exercises
Aside from the self-care measures outlined above, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised some practical activities.
Grounding, acting on your values, interacting, unhooking, making room, and being nice are some of these mental health practices.
1. Grounding Exercises Exercise for Grounding
Do you find yourself in a stressful situation? This activity will assist you in slowing down your thoughts and actions. This activity will assist you in reconnecting with your body's and the environment's rhythms.
This technique, like grounding, can assist you in regaining your attention. This time, it will assist you in recognizing how you are feeling. It will teach you how to recognize your true feelings, which have been keeping you hooked and preoccupied for a long time.
Unhooking consists of three steps. To begin, you must be curious about your own ideas and feelings. Second, you must name them in order to recognize them. For example, “I notice that my thoughts are worried about my health” or “I can feel tension in my chest” are examples of thought names.
You will be able to restore your complete focus to what you are doing once you are able to notice these inner thoughts and feelings.
3. Taking Action Based on Values
Operate in accordance with your personal values.
When you know how to operate your values despite the turmoil, you can overcome feelings of anxiety, worry, and despair. As a human, you must re-identify your values. Do you make decisions based on the worth of care? Is it second nature for you to lend a hand?
After you've re-identified your values, you can decide which ones are most essential to you.
As a result, when new obstacles arise, act in accordance with these ideals.
4. Being Generous
Kindness to yourself and others is important.
It's time to talk generously to yourself once you've figured out how to observe what you're feeling and thinking, as well as how to root yourself in value.
If you can raise yourself, you will be able to do the same for others. As a result, motivation begins within you when you are able to detach from the outside world and treat yourself with kindness.
Close your eyes and place your hand on the portion of your body that aches the most to experience the power of kindness. Imagine filling it with things like kindness, healing, acceptance, and strength. Rejuvenate yourself with a fresh spirit. After that, check if you can pass on your generosity to others.
Begin by being kind to yourself by doing so here.
5. Creating Space
It may be tough to completely eliminate unpleasant ideas and sentiments. As a result, you can make room for them instead.
Allow those feelings to come and go at their own pace. Breathe. As you exhale the negativity, allow the positive to flow right into your lungs. Allow your emotions to flow like the currents in a river.
You will have more time and energy to excel at whatever you are doing as a result of this. Maybe you'll figure out what you're doing in the end.