The series of events such as the global pandemic, protests, furloughs, layoffs, and unreasonable terminations along with the labor shortage has created a mental disruption in our society.
Through the chaos, there is some silver lining that I’d like to share with you on how I’ve been able to alleviate some of the mental stress caused by problems around the world.
Make a List
There are apps such as Todoist that allow you to organize your daily tasks and goals that you should tackle throughout the day, these apps have been shown to help in productivity, but sometimes it’s okay to default to the old fashioned pen and paper if that’s your way of organizing tasks.
Whether you want to tackle the challenging tasks in the morning or afternoon is completely up to you. My todo-list consisted of making the bed, washing dishes, laundry, to some more difficult tasks such as learning about binary search trees or finishing a take-home coding assessment for a job that I was interviewing for.
Whether you favor the mornings or afternoon will dictate which tasks you’ll complete first throughout the day.
Psychologists and mental health experts have noted over time that physically moving your body and exercising regularly allows blood to flow and triggers neurotransmitters to fire off that correlate to having a positive outlook and motivation to accomplish goals.
This could be taking a walk in the park, or running, to smaller activities such as pushups or situps in your room on a regular schedule. Another great alternative could even be to participate in physical activities that you find interest in, such as martial arts, hiking, or biking.
Food is your fuel
Your body is like a car, temple, or sanctuary. Regardless of what you reference — what you put in your body will result in how you feel. Drinking lots of water also helps flush out toxins which could be some of the reasons why you might feel groggy.
In order to have a balanced diet, you could start by speaking with a nutritionist, but if that’s too big of a commitment, a simple google search on nutrition or a book on nutrition could potentially help kick off your healthy eating habits.
Paying it forward has to sometimes be one of the most rewarding activities if you feel stuck in life. This doesn’t mean that we should neglect ourselves and the issues we are currently dealing with but is a good outtake on showing appreciation and gratitude for humankind.
Humans are sought to be social creatures, whether we are introverts or extroverts, building these connections by helping each other could establish relationships in our lives that help us in the long run.
If possible cut back on substances
Booze, Cannabis, self-medicating drugs in general — developing a dependency on any substance for the idea of numbing some sort of emotion, or pain can develop into an unhealthy habit that could potentially do more harm than good in the long run regardless of the substance containing a chemically addictive dependency or not. The substance generally masks the issues that we are trying to avoid dealing with for a temporary amount of time.
Mindfulness and Presence
This may sound like some spiritual guru speech, but being Mindful and present really allows you to focus on the task at hand, often times when we are encountering mental health issues, our minds are either wondering into the future or reflecting on the past, while this could be healthy in moderation, it could create some grief and anxiety.
Meditation has helped me alleviate some of these issues, it was hard for me to start meditating at first, but I found that using an app such as Headspace or a quick YouTube search of mediation walkthroughs could help get the ball rolling.
Keep a journal
This is a hit or miss for some people. I use to think that having a journal would mean that you’d have to follow strict guidelines and writing formats. In reality, keeping a journal could help you organize your thoughts, and declutter your mind. Some interesting journals I’ve heard of are gratitude journals, bullet journals, and even grief journals.
The style in which you choose to organize your thoughts is completely up to you, there are set guidelines that may help you and set guidelines that may not. Finding the method that works for you is the main goal of writing in a journal.
Talk to a therapist
Therapy used to be this intimidating process back in the day, where you walk into a physical building to speak with a therapist about your problems and seek guidance from an external resource that specializes in a certain area that we are struggling with.
In the society we live in today, apps such as BetterHelp make things much easier, and less intimidating to speak with a therapist. You could create an account, and schedule weekly sessions with a licensed counselor over voice, video, or even chat. All this could be done in the comfort of your own home.
Speaking with a therapist helps organize our thoughts in relation to journaling, and seek professional guidance on issues that we encounter on a daily basis. This neutral outlook from the therapist might even help you with problems that you didn’t see at first glance.
Throughout the series of events, mental health plays a huge role in our daily lives — finding a process that works best for you is the ultimate blueprint to a healthy mindset.
It’s important to note that while some of these methods work for some people, they might not work for others. These are just a few paths I took toward improving my mental health, and I hope they’ll help you as well!