It has been a while since my last post, who would have thought it’d take a pandemic to give me inspiration. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be talking about you know what, at least not from a science perspective. Instead I wanted to talk about mental health.
They say the disease who shall not be named will affect half of the world physically, but everyone mentally. Whether that be through heightened anxiety, flaring up your OCD, or the stress about your financial situation. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as washing your hands and not touching your face.
With that being said, here are a few mantras that I use when I find myself spiralling late at night:
- I focus on what I can control instead of what I can’t;
- I remain grounded, centred and at peace;
- When anxious thoughts come to me, I acknowledge them, then let them float by;
- I take necessary precautions and release the need to worry.
Over saturating yourself with news isn’t helpful. If you are watching the news and not getting new information, turn it off. News cycles tend to go round and round in circles, causing negative thoughts to run through your mind. At this point, limiting your news intake can work wonders for improving your mental health. If you want to remain connected, I suggest setting up ABC News Messenger Bot. This bot automatically sends the latest headlines to your Facebook messenger app every morning, and will notify you of major updates. This will keep you informed, but not inundated with useless information.
Instead of filling your mind with news, fill it with wholesome content. This means adorable dog videos, watching reruns of your favourite show, or anything that brings joy and feelings of happiness in your mind. Whatever that looks like for you, that’s what you should be doing.
Disconnecting from social media is another way to improve your mental health. The disease who shall not be named is all over social media, so why not take an Instagram or Facebook detox for a few days? If you can’t do a few days, set aside at least 30 minutes to disengage with the world and focus on your breathing. A simple exercise that I do is rainbow breathing.
Closing your eyes, imagine you’re drawing a rainbow. On the inhale your moving up the rainbow, and on the exhale you move back down. Repeat with each colour of the rainbow and hopefully by the end you’ll feel a lot more relaxed and at peace with the world. Apps like Headspace are amazing for guided meditations. Find one you love and repeat it every day.
Think about others as you move on with your day. I know it can be tough but try and think about other conversation topics not about the disease who shall not be named. You don’t want to be adding to anyone else’s stress, so maybe take time to actively find news stories that are lighthearted, and have them up your sleeves for coffee with friends or family dinner.
Everyone is suffering right now, so please don’t forget to check in with your friends, family and neighbours. If you are feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not alone. In the wise words of George Harrison, all things must pass. This will pass, we will get through this with compassion and kindness. Remember to breathe, and all will be fine.