Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and sensispirit.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our second topic is focused on «How To Thrive In 2021.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!
At this moment in time, things seem uncertain. Our mental health is the foundation, the garden, from which our flowers grow.. Many of us are living in lockdowns which have been shown in many studies to affect our mental health in a negative way.
Here are some tips on protecting your mental health in 2021:
- Support Network. People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends to talk over the phone, or seek out activities you can do together such as having a deep conversation and collaborating on a project.
- Taking care of yourself physically. Looking after your body can improve your mental health since both are intertwined. Be sure to: Eat nutritious meals, avoid smoking and vaping, drink plenty of water and exercise (which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods).
- Spend some time with an animal friend. Time with animals lowers the stress hormone cortisol and boosts oxytocin – which stimulates feelings of happiness. If you don’t have a pet, hang out with a friend who does or volunteer at a shelter if you can.
- Practice forgiveness. Even if it’s just forgiving that person who cut you off during your commute. People who forgive have better mental health and report being more satisfied with their lives.
- Get enough sleep. Researchers believe that lack of sleep contributes to a high rate of depression in college students and increases anxiety, food cravings and reduces your productivity.
- Humour. Laughter is one of the best medicines. Getting through these times involves finding the humour in situations rather than seeing something as a curse. Change your perspective and see the blessing. Put some funny videos on, talk to a friend and laugh, increasing your immune system strength and lowering pain levels.
- Discover Spirituality. Look into different spiritual concepts. Do you know what spirituality is? Awakening the spirit within you will help your mental health by learning you are an eternal spirit that never dies.
- Manage your news and social media intake. Try to find a source of news that you can trust during these difficult times to keep you informed. But take a break from it all and check the news every once in a while. Try to also limit your intake of news and social media, which can help you manage your feelings if you find yourself worried or if you are finding news updates upsetting.
- Are you feeling claustrophobic or trapped? Open the windows to let in fresh air or you could spend time sitting on your doorstep, or in the garden if you have one. Try looking at the sky out of the window or from your doorstep. This can help to give you a sense of space and regularly change the rooms you spend time in.
- Take in as much sun and fresh air as you can. Being outside, particularly surrounded by nature and greenery, can benefit your mental wellbeing. If you are able to leave your home under current government restrictions, try to seek out walks or areas to exercise that are nearby but also allow you to be surrounded by nature. If you are unable to be outside, try opening your window and spending time in rooms which get a lot of natural light. You could also try garden planters on your window sills or placing house plants around your home.
- Find things you love doing. Do you write? Do you love to cook? Do you enjoy painting? Do you love to learn new things? Focus on these and boost your mood.
- Work on the self. This is a time to go within and discover yourself. Who are you? What values do you live by? Who is that voice in your head? Get to know yourself and ask yourself questions, I’m sure you’ll be intrigued by what you find.
- Talking about your feelings. Talking can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your well being and doing what you can to stay healthy. Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same.
- Clean your outer environment. Having an ordered and clean surrounding will make you feel more in control, calmer and relaxed. When your outer world is ordered, you will be inspired to keep your inner world ordered.
- Establish a routine and schedule. Bringing structure to your day can give you a better sense of control and can make a difference to your mental health. Work out how you will spend your time each day, write it down and check-in with your schedule regularly.
- Nutritious foods. Choose foods that will nourish your mind and body. A plant based diet that is rich in diversity has been proven to boost good mental health and take years off your life. Cherries, avocados, grapes, nuts, legumes and greens will brighten your mind.
- Find new healing methods. Look into alternative healing to find other ways of clearing the past from your mind and body. Sometimes conventional medicine doesn’t have all the answers for your health. Have you looked into aromatherapy? Acupuncture? Reflexology?
- The future of communication will be cyberspace. With the way things are going, the world is turning to the internet for support and connection. Start a blog, find online support groups or groups with similar interests to you. You may find new friends and different forks in the road may open up for you!
We’ll catch you next time, before you go, here is some food for thought:
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein. Try something outside of your comfort zone.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” -Maya Angelou. If you have personal experience with mental illness or recovery find a way of sharing it with others. Check out what other people are saying on different cyberspace sites such as WordPress.
We hope this post helped aid you in protecting your mental health this year with some ideas to add to your tool kit. Let us know below how you choose to protect your mental health!