Health and Wellness

Reasons to Look After Your Mental Health During Crisis

Written by: Keely Closa

Taking care of one’s mental health should always be treated with as much importance as one’s physical health, especially during a worldwide crisis. You will not push a person with a sprain in a crowded hallway if you see that they are in pain, and yet, in contrast, it can be easy to push someone with unseen mental issues over the edge with your words, actions, or inaction.                                                               

The challenge to maintain a balanced and healthy mind has also been turned up to a higher level, given the obstacles brought by the raging global pandemic. 

You might be quarantined and lonesome or stuck at home with the people you love most (and you are all starting to drive each other a bit crazier every day). Maybe you lost a loved one to the illness, have been affected by a natural disaster, and your family has been showered with a seemingly endless supply of uncertainty and instability for the coming months.

Perhaps you closed your business, or work has been unstable as of late, resulting in drained finances. If you have kids, it might be an extra struggle to keep up with their online schooling as you juggle work and housekeeping duties. Maybe it is solely on you to make sure that all new normal essentials are in place for your family to thrive this pandemic. 

Here’s why you should take care of your mental health, along with some of the steps you could take to start managing your emotions better during these challenging times.

  1. Do not bottle it up: communicate your feelings, so you feel lighter. 

Repressing emotions, especially negative ones, will destroy you from the inside before it eventually manifests as something unpleasant. This is because the burden of unexpressed feelings could become heavier over time. 

Being open about your feelings will help you achieve better mental health. Start a dialogue with your loved ones and discuss your well-being if they have the emotional bandwidth to listen. Asking for consent before venting always makes total sense, for you will never know if they are also going through their trials.

It could be hard at first, especially if you have been cooped up for a bit too long due to the lockdown or if you weren’t communicative even before the pandemic. Always remember that you do not have to break the dam open all in one go. Share only what you are comfortable sharing and observe how telling your tale helps your process your feelings better.  

  1. Get plenty of exercise and eat well, because taking care of your body will also boost your mental health.

Boost your overall well-being with proper exercise appropriate to your fitness level and fuel your body with healthy, nutrient-filled brain-boosting food. Beyond the physical and getting that summer-ready body, exercise will help you stay healthy so you can fight off illness, lethargy, and, yes, even negative mental states. 

Working out can boost your self-esteem, elevate your endorphin levels, help you concentrate, give you better sleep, and improve your overall state. Your body will thank you in the long run. If you haven’t started yet, there is no better time to get in shape than now!

  1. Overwhelmed with your to-do list? Take steps towards achieving better time management. A structured day with varied activities will help you cope with the uncertainties brought by the crisis. 

It is normal to feel overwhelmed about all the tasks and concerns on your list, but you will never achieve anything if the heavy weightlifting required to address them defeats you. 

Break up your tasks and do it one step at a time. Allow yourself to rest in between so that your brain can rest. The Pomodoro technique is an awesome method that you could try to get encouraged to work on the time you have. 

  1. Unleash your creativity. Doing something for the fun of it allows you to disconnect from stressors so that you can face another day in better shape. 

You do not necessarily have to come out of quarantine as Salvador Dali or Claude Monet, or concert hall ready to play a musical instrument. Publishing a novel is also not a requirement, and so is being an online creator with thousands of YouTube followers. What’s important is that you get to do something creative for yourself for the joy of it. 

Channel your unused mental or emotional energies towards any creative endeavor that speaks to your soul. It could be writing, building a spice rack for your kitchen, knitting, painting, writing, or as simple as completing a pretty jigsaw puzzle that has been gathering dust on your console for years. 

  1. Practice mindfulness. A clear mind will make you more efficient and emotionally stable. 

Staying in the moment can be difficult because it always seems like there will be something on the horizon that demands your undivided attention. It may be scrolling on socials, a long list of house errands that are of equal importance, work deadlines… the list goes on. Knowing you have all these on your plate could create stress. 

Practicing mindfulness can help reduce your stress levels and allow you to see your current reality as it is. As you go along with your practice, you will realize how true it is that one’s biggest enemy at any given moment is a confused and troubled mind. Once you are at peace through mindfulness, you will be able to go through your day with a better head on your shoulders. 

Taking a mental health day when you need it is also essential. Choosing to work while not being 100% on a crucial grind day may sacrifice your performance and ruin outcomes, so take a break if you need it.

If you have the time and resources and can do it in a socially-distanced, pandemic-friendly setting, going off the grid to disconnect from the digital world will also work wonders to help reset your system. Not having to deal with a steady stream of email alerts and notifications will help you become more focused on moving, thinking, and feeling better.

Keep yourself healthy, in both body and mind

It has not been easy at all for most of us, and we would rather have this over with at the soonest time possible. But while we hold our breath for a particular breakthrough, there are ways to manage all these stresses and flurry of emotions thrown our way during this collective challenge for humanity.

The ability to put your wellness first is a gift worth giving yourself, pandemic or not, so start looking after your mental health better.  



Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top