2020 saw a lot of changes in everyone’s lives. When the Covid19 outbreak occurred, we were all in a state of shock and uncertainty. While the pandemic itself has eased we are still faced with the lasting effects and the uncertainty of when or if restrictions will be implemented again. Now more than ever we need to implement self-care strategies to ensure our mental wellbeing.
I am so excited to have Briony from mumma young & Co on the blog today for a Guest post. Please go and check out her website and have a browse through all of her wonderful posts. She posts about motherhood and mental health and I have really enjoyed getting to know her over the last few weeks and months.
Covid19 led to people being placed in lockdown, having to work from home, not being able to visit family and friends. Everything we had become accustomed to was taken away from us. This led to an increase in mental health issues including depression, anxiety and even suicides. Change can be extremely hard and can significantly affect your mental wellbeing.
There are still some countries where restrictions are in place. Currently in Australia we have been restriction free for about a month, but 2 days ago restrictions were back in force, meaning mandatory mask wearing and social distancing. It looks like this will be the “normal” for a while. So, do we have the mental capacity to adapt to this new normal?
Today I want to discuss some self-care strategies for mental wellbeing when faced with the uncertainty that comes with a pandemic to help us adapt and better handle change.
TAKE SOCIAL MEDIA AND NEWS BREAKS
The first way you can practice self-care is by giving yourself breaks from both the news and social media. It is a lot of information, debates, and numbers to absorb constantly. You should not be checking Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the news online and on your TV all day long. This is going to lead to stress, panic, and anxiety.
If you feel overwhelmed by everything going on, give yourself breaks away from your phone and computer, or at least log out of social media and watch anything but the news.
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DO CREATIVE ACTITIVIES
Self-care also means doing something just for you that makes you happy. If you are a creative person, this might mean arts or crafts. Maybe you have not used for your crafts in a while, or you have been wanting to use those watercolors in your room but have not had the free time. Now is the time to take advantage of being home and really let your creative sparks fly.
FIND THE POSITIVE IN EACH DAY
Being positive has a wonderful impact on your mental wellbeing, as well as helping you to handle change. Being positive does not mean constant sunshine and rainbows. You can understand that life is not always perfect, accept change, and move past it. You can even understand that stress is a normal part of life since unexpected things like the pandemic can happen.
However, instead of letting the stress affect you mentally and physically to an extreme level, you can remain calm by remaining positive. Just try to think of some type of positive element, whether you go through a list of pros and cons, or you simply try to find the one thing that could be good about the situation.
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PRACTICE GRATITUDE DAILY
Even during the hardest times, there are always things which you can be grateful for. Every day, write down at least three things that you are grateful for. Even if all you can come up with is that you are still breathing.
I highly recommend listening to this Gratitude Meditation everyday before you complete your three things you are grateful for. It allows you to free up your mind to solely focus on what you are grateful for.
STAY CONNECTED WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Even when you need to keep your physical distance from others, you can still socialize! Connect with friends or loved ones on Zoom or FaceTime, text or call them, or just talk online when you get the chance.
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PRACTICE MEDITATION OR MINDFULNESS
Lastly, relax your mind and body with meditation or mindfulness. With meditation, you can practice breathing exercises that let you clear your mind and focus on positive energy. If you prefer mindfulness, you will appreciate what is in this moment, without worrying about the past or stressing about the future.
If you have never practice meditation before it is best to start with a basic body scan meditation.
How have you cared for your mental wellbeing during the pandemic? Share some of your own self-care strategies.
Implementing even just one of these self-care strategies daily will significantly improve your mental wellbeing and help you to better handle the changes that come with living through a pandemic.