Mental Health Tips

Having a difficult day emotionally is totally normal and okay. Recently, I was having a difficult day because of the current state of the world (and my city). Right now, COVID-19 makes many things difficult. It is hard to have a good social life, or a social life you are used to. It is also making everyday activities difficult to do, such as exercising. I felt so lucky to have nice weather that allowed me to go outside and run. Running is something that I love. I love it because it makes me feel better both physically and mentally. Those who know me know that I need to exercise to keep a positive mindset. 

Going outside to run was something I could always look forward to with everything going on. Then… wildfire season began. The West Coast has many wildfires causing hazardous air quality. I am so lucky to be in a place where I am (so far) safe from the fires. Although I am so thankful to be safe, I am still having a difficult time because I can’t go outside because of the air quality, and I don’t feel comfortable going to a gym because of COVID-19.

Some days are harder than others, and yesterday I had an especially difficult day. I struggled to keep a positive mindset. I just moved to a new city and was excited to meet new people, but COVID-19 makes that difficult. I luckily was able to go on hikes with friends or social distance outside…. But now we can’t do anything outside either. 

I think many people can agree with me… 2020 is not the best year. 

A Yoga Sculpt Teacher from Oahu, Tiana Hannemann, shared a post (https://www.instagram.com/p/CFIQfZADrsE/) that really stuck with me. It made me realize that no matter where you are in the world, everyone has difficult days… It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny outside or smoky with hazardous air quality, you are allowed to have a hard day.

I have been sharing mental health tips for work, and I realized that many people are struggling mentally and emotionally right now, so I wanted to share some mental health tips: 

  1. The CDC has great tips for managing stress during the pandemic: https://bit.ly/32rAaeu.  COVID-19 has increased fear and anxiety. The pandemic and new work environments can be overwhelming and stressful. How you cope with these emotions and stress can affect not only your well-being, but also the well-being of the people around you. It is important to recognize what stress looks like, learn how to manage stress, and know where to go if you need help. 
  2. Taking screen breaks throughout your day will help you get more done with greater ease and enjoyment and will also lower stress on your body and mind. Try listening to relaxing music, take a few deep breaths, look out the window, or sip some tea. Try not to look at your phone if you are bored. Here are some activities you can do instead: bake, cook, exercise, try yoga, read, etc.
  3. Seek out and connect with social support, and/or spend time with family and friends (at a safe distance). 
  4. Try to establish a schedule so that your life doesn’t feel chaotic or out of control.
  5. Focus on self-care. 
  6. Limit exposure to images of the issue. This is especially important with the wildfires going on. It can be harmful to constantly look at images or videos of the fires and the destruction they have caused. 

I hope these help and remember, everyone has bad days. We will all get through these tough times. Better days will come soon. Stay positive. Do the best you can given your current situation. Most importantly, know that it is okay to feel sad or have a difficult day. 

Let me know something that has helped you through tough times in the comments below. 

I hope you all are staying safe and healthy.

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