Adjusting to Our New Normal
As we learn to balance our lives and adjust to our new normal, it is important for us to pay attention and be aware of how this is affecting us mentally and physically. It’s easy for us to see how our bodies are changing on the outside, but are we actually paying attention to how our mental health is changing?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so here are a few tips on how to deal with the stress of COVID-19. (P.S. I am not an expert at this, however, I’ve found that these tips have helped me deal with anxiety and stress.)
Create a routine
Developing a daily routine can help us to feel more in control of everything that is going on. It is important to create good habits and get rid of the bad ones. To aid with developing a daily routine I strongly suggest getting a planner (I prefer to use Happy Planners) and using Google Calendar. You can use the planner to write down every due date, every task that needs to get done, important dates to remember, and monthly goals. You can use Google Calendar to schedule specific days and times for you to achieve your tasks and goals. It takes 21 days to form new habits, so why not start now by creating a daily routine!
Meditation is typically known to help manage stress, anxiety, and depression. It can benefit everyone because it helps you practice awareness, stillness, and calmness. Meditation is a time for self-reflection and mindfulness. If you've never tried meditating before, just know that it does take time to learn how to properly meditate. It is easy to get distracted by the noise around you or the thoughts in your head. Try to really focus on your breathing and achieving peace. If you need more of a guide on how to meditate, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that provide a beginner's guide to mediation!
Journaling is a great way to understand your thoughts and feelings more clearly. It can improve your mental health because you can say anything that is on your mind without a censor. Any thought, opinion, comment, or concern that has been weary on your mind can be released in the privacy of your journal. There are many different versions of journals that you can keep, but it is up to you to make the decision on what works best for you. If you like to write, you can keep a written journal of your thoughts and feelings. If you like visuals, you can keep an art journal filled with pictures. If you like verbal communication, you can keep a video journal with you talking out your thoughts. The key to successfully keeping a journal is deciding what makes you feel most comfortable and productive.
Look at motivational Quotes
Motivational quotes have a powerful way of helping us pause and reflect. There are times when we all need a sign to keep pushing or to help us get through the day. Quotes have the power to drastically change your mood for the better. I suggest using Pinterest to find motivational quotes for whenever you need a mood booster. I have a Motivational Pinterest Board that can be found using this link.
Exercising is a great way to relieve stress, help you sleep better, and boost your mood. Although gyms are closed, that doesn't mean that you have to stop exercising. There are plenty of things you can do from the comfort of your home to reach your daily exercise goal. You can go for a walk or run around your neighborhood (please make sure to adhere to the social distancing rules), do yoga, or create your own custom workout. If you need guidance I suggest looking on YouTube for workouts or using one of the free workout apps on your phone. My favorite apps to use are Nike Training Club, Yoga for Beginners, and SworkIt!
reach out to your family and friends
During this quarantine, it is easy for us to feel more alone now than ever. We can't be with every family member, we can't see all of our friends, and we aren't able to do all of the things that we were able to do a few months ago. But instead of focusing on the negative aspects of this quarantine, let's look at some things that we can do. We can pick up the phone and call our family and friends. We can create Zoom or Facetime parties to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Reaching out can not only brighten your mood but also brighten their mood as well. We have more free time on our hands than we have ever had, and it's important to use it to reach out and check on the ones we love the most.
If we change our view and see that being able to quarantine and stay at home is a blessing, it can also improve our mental health. Just know you are strong enough to get through this and you are not alone. Stay safe, stay at home, and let’s get adjusted to our new normal together. ✨