After a long, challenging year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are still struggling to adapt to the “new normal” of our daily lives. Stress, anxiety, and depression are typical human responses during times of great uncertainty and loss. There’s no shame in having trouble coping with these unprecedented challenges. For that reason, being proactive in doing everything we can to take care of our mental health is, in many ways, more important than ever.
Here are some tips and resources to help center yourself, find support, and recharge as we wait for the world to get back to normal:
Mental Health Workshops
Virtual workshops can be an incredible resource for learning strategies to deal with your feelings constructively and connect with others who understand what you’re going through. The use of shared, structured lessons, group discussions, and interactive sessions provides participants with an opportunity to increase their awareness of good mental health practices and recognize their emotions within a more fully realized context.
Writing down what you’re feeling and the thoughts and experiences you have throughout the day can be a great way to slow down, reflect, and find clarity day-to-day as we shelter at home. In particular, writing down the things we’re grateful for and focusing on the positives in our lives can help shift our mood in times of stress.
Online Fitness Classes
Exercise is perhaps one of the most popular ways to relieve stress and shift focus away from daily concerns. Having a regular exercise routine can help establish a sense of normalcy and give structure to our days at home. While working out from home can be more difficult at times, there are more options now than ever for everything from online yoga classes to self-guided HIIT routines.
Picking up a mindfulness practice like meditation is one of the easiest ways to relieve stress, increase creativity, improve sleep, and reduce negative emotions at home. There are various meditation apps and free online instructional videos to help ease your way into making meditation a daily habit in your life.
Mental Health Focused Social Media
Social media has a tremendous potential to help us connect with others, find inspiration, and hear fresh perspectives that can change the way we think about our problems. Many psychologists, therapists, and others in the mental health field use social media as a way to share self-care tips, helpful messages and spread awareness about mental health.
Helplines and mobile crisis units remain one of the most valuable resources for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. From The National Suicide Prevention Helpline (1-800-273-8255) to the Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990) to text-based alternatives like the Crisis Text Line (text “Home” to 741741), helplines are here all of us during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Losing yourself in a good book is a great way to escape daily concerns and discover new things. Reading has been proven to reduce anxiety, increase knowledge, and promote empathy and understanding, as well as improving concentration skills.
Since we’re spending so much time at home these days, it’s more important than ever to make sure our living spaces are healthy and comfortable. Redecorating or reorganizing your home and clearing out clutter is a great way to refresh your physical environment, reduce stress, and rejuvenate your mental health.
Spend Time In Nature
Time spent in the natural world has many mental health benefits. Studies have shown that hobbies like hiking, birdwatching, or even just getting out into the great outdoors for an hour or more a day can decrease depression, reduce anxiety, and help fight feelings of loneliness.
Positive thinking has been shown to improve physical health, mental well-being, and the way we experience everyday life. It’s crucial that we do everything we can to stay positive during these difficult times and remember we aren’t alone in struggling with our mental health. Reaching out to friends and loved ones and opening up dialogues about mental health can be a great way to not only feel less lonely but also help yourself, and those close to you cope during the pandemic.
Thanks to telehealth services and live video sessions, it’s never been easier to get quality therapy at home. Many employers offer additional assistance options and resources during the pandemic that can connect you with a qualified mental healthcare provider at little or no extra cost to you. If symptoms are extreme or don’t go away with therapy alone, consider a mobile outreach program like LAT’s in-home case management model. Our Team brings state-of-the-art treatment, mentoring, and coaching to you, where you are, in a safe and personalized way.