The topic of mental health has undoubtedly come into the spotlight in the last year – especially with constant uncertainty; it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, or wound-up. Thankfully we’re making progress in understanding how to maintain the spread of COVID but managing our own emotional, and mental well-being is just as important. Let’s look at six ways to take control of your mental health to help keep yourself in check.
Don’t skip sleep.
A consistent sleep routine will improve any endeavor you take on. Whether it’s more productivity at work, preventing depression, performing better in social situations or having a robust immune system. Sleep can make a significant difference – more on that here.
Eat consistent, quality meals.
We could write an entire blog on the connection between mental health and eating right, but we’ll give you a quick overview. Countless studies link a reduced intake of vitamin D, B12, B6, and Folate, leading to a greater risk of depression. Here is a video which provides more context.
Make social connections a priority.
Whatever your comfort level and local restrictions around social distancing, you can still scratch that social itch virtually. Regularly scheduled Zoom or phone calls with friends and family could provide you with the ability to fend off any loneliness you might be feeling. Alternatively, consider speaking to your employer about organizing a team-building event such as Race Around the World. We’ve facilitated this activity for countless organizations during the pandemic – shameless plug here.
Be intentional with your media intake.
Although media gives us a better understanding of which way the world is spinning, it can also be overwhelming. Having a more disciplined approach to how you interact with and consume media will help to reduce stress and anxiety. Limit where you get your news from to reliable sources and be mindful about when and how often you consume that media.
Invest in yourself.
In recent months, we’ve become massive fans of apps like Headspace. A consistent meditation and mindfulness routine can be built in countless ways. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task to undertake. If you’re the kind of person who thinks that they don’t have 10-15 minutes a day to meditate, you’re exactly the kind of person who needs to meditate.
You don’t have to spend much time on Google to learn the connection between mental health and consistent quality exercise. If you’ve let your exercise routine slip in recent months, we understand. But with the weather improving, regular walks with your friends or family can be the perfect excuse to get moving again. There’s new research showing that exercise can lead to fewer adverse effects for those who contract COVID-19 – if you like journal entries, this link is for you.
In conclusion, improving your mental health doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. The majority of what we listed above can be done for free or through a minor tweak in your daily routine. An essential part of any routine is consistency – only bite off as much as you can chew, and remember that a bit of self-compassion goes a long way in maintaining the quality of your mental health.