How to take care of your mental health during tough times
It indeed is a hard task to take care of your mental health during a tough time. Last week was super difficult for me and my anxiety frequently plays games with me.
Sometimes, thinking all about the uncertainty I get so anxious and worried all the time. I try hard every single time to distract myself and forget about the future happenings for some time but I failed to do so.
At times, out of nowhere, I get weird thoughts of world-ending or no future for self and I get caught in that circle of panic. Being a mental health blogger who always looks at the brighter side, this really made me feel low and I needed to remind myself that before being an author or blogger, I am a human who is allowed to worry.
However, in no way could I spend my entire life weaving the web of anxious thoughts. I needed to calm myself down and take care of my mental health. It was crucial for me to use some tools and break this cage of anxiety. I know, most of us are in the same shoes hence I decided to write a detailed post on what ways I’ve been using to protect my mental health during tough times.
I really hope that this could be a useful resource for you to calm yourself down during the difficult phases of life.
How to boost your mental health during Coronavirus outbreak:
Here are a few ways that I follow to calm myself during the crisis + nourish my mental wellness.
1. Develop a morning routine
I really struggled hard to have a proper morning routine and have failed to do so due to my previous job hours or my own laziness. However, I have tried to maintain a specific morning routine and it indeed is a blessing to my mental health.
We fail to understand the power of morning energy and how it can affect our mood + entire day. If your mornings are well planned, your day runs smoothly which undoubtedly lowers your anxiety levels. Having a healthy morning routine undoubtedly benefits our mental wellbeing.
Having a specific plan to do in the morning can boost your energy for the rest of the day. I cannot stress how necessary is ‘Me Time’ for me and mornings are the best time to devote to your own self.
It will take time to follow and get into the cycle but trust me it will be worth all your patience. You can include various activities during your morning routine to nourish your mind, body, and soul.
I include morning pages, meditation, exercise ( dance at times), making a To-do list, plan out my day, read an inspiring book ( 10 pages) and spend some alone time on the terrace or in nature.
Note that you don’t have to pressurize yourself on being a perfectionist. It is important to have gradual progress but do not force things. Bring them into your schedule with love and fun.
Our miracle morning routine determines how mentally healthy we will be throughout the day.
Here is the detailed article on What I write in my morning pages + why you should write one.
2. Gratitude journaling
This is the best practice that keeps me grounded whenever I start taking my life for granted. We all are indeed blessed with beauty all around. It is in those little things that we find happiness which we usually miss noticing.
Cultivate this habit of being thankful and write down three things you are thankful for. At times, you can also write a little thank you note to your loved ones or to yourself. There is so much to be grateful for and we surely are immensely blessed.
Pick up a pretty journal or diary for yourself and write three things you are grateful for today. In this time of uncertainty, I am grateful to be alive and healthy.
3. Avoiding procrastination
Lately, I have been following this beautiful method of doing one thing a day that I had been putting to do later for years. I made the list of things that needed to be done and I was always delaying it due to something or other. This is the best way to declutter + organize things around.
I cleared my cupboard, set my dusty books, and started on my brush lettering which I had been delaying to learn due to scarcity of time. This gave me a sense of accomplishment and sent a message to my mind that I am capable of getting things done.
Pick out something today to do that you have been putting on hold. Do that work and have some movement. You can always start with doing small and gradually 2x it.
4. Cut your time online + read a book
I am in no way urging you to shut it off because I know how important is the social connection for us all. However, we have become reckless in using social media and are spending the whole share of our time being online.
Here are my favorite books:
Not only is this harmful for your physical health but it also has adverse effects on your mind. Reduce your online time and stop checking news so frequently. I have limited my Instagram usage by involving more into other activities such as reading, gardening, baking. Studies have shown that reading books boost mental health.
There is no harm in unfollowing the accounts that give you stress and anxiety. There are good things happening around too, let’s invest our energies towards them.
5. Create something
The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our soul – Pablo Picasso
Art has its own way of calming your soul. Try creating something every day or just pick up a creative project to work on and indulge yourself in the beauty of creating.
Write, paint, craft, doodle do anything that calls your soul, and devote yourself totally to that sole thing. This will also keep your attention diverted from your anxious thoughts. Let the artist in you nourish your thirst of being mindful.
Here are some of my favorite tools:
Do not be hard on yourself to get it perfectly done. This is to calm your soul not to be in the rat race of a perfectionist.
6. Practice mindfulness
Take notice of everything around you, those little things, and your movements. The most important thing while starting to practice mindfulness is to be kind to yourself. We all have a wavering mind and it will take a decent amount of time to make it still and calm. This is so needed especially during these times when the anxiety due to tough times is reaching heights.
Do not force but have a gradual practice and start small always. If you are burned out due to some task that you have been doing for long, take a break and notice the things around. How are you feeling? What is the smell around? What colors could you notice? What are all the sounds that you are hearing?
Pay attention to all the five senses and break the chain of going into autopilot mode. Keep doing this until your mind calms down.
7. Have a night routine
As much as it is necessary for us to have the morning routine, it indeed is important to have decent night rituals. Often we find ourselves scrolling on our social media accounts before sleeping or binge-watch the web-series.
I was in the same boat and used to binge-watch my favorite shows until late at night. Because of this, I used to feel frustrated and tired in the morning which made me unproductive. Having so much of pilled up work, I became anxious and totally neglected my mental wellness.
I then decided to not waste my time and be productive. My mental health was also adversely affected due to all anxious thoughts especially during the night by staying awake unnecessarily.
I would stay alone up till late and from nowhere some weird thoughts would pop up and invade my peace. The only way to silence them was to calm down my mind.
I urgently needed to come up with some solid routine to take care of my mental health which had gone haywire due to my inadequate night’s sleep.
I planned a proper night routine and added all the necessary things to do before sleeping.
Include the positive habits like reading an inspiring book, avoiding social media + news intake, night journaling, a rough plan for the next day, show gratefulness for the beautiful day, drink lots of water, have some homemade skincare.
I really hope that you pick up some of the above-mentioned ideas or tips to nurture your mental health during a tough time. I know that it is super difficult at times but we have to take the responsibility to take care of our mental wellbeing.
I would love to know what you do to take care of your mental health during tough times.