Mental health has been an increasing topic of concern for Americans, with adults reporting worsening stats each year. This year, with the pandemic, mental health experts are questioning the repercussions of the experiences we are living through and how these will shape our future.
The holidays are usually an anxiety inducing time anyway, but this year, many of us will spend our time alone, creating a perfect scenario for a mental health crisis. Here are 5 things you can do in order to keep your mental health in check:
Find some purpose
When faced with stress and lots of free time, it’s important to try to give some structure to your day. When depressed and alone, it’s easy to spend all day lying in bed, doing nothing. Sometimes this is an inevitability and it’s okay to give your body and mind the time it needs to process and heal. But if you can feel the onset early on, you can try to curb it by planning some activities ahead of time. Aside from making sure you’re eating healthy and getting enough exercise, volunteering is a good activity to commit to, to whatever degree you feel comfortable with. Look for causes to donate money, clothes or food to, or figure out resources that can connect you to sponsoring a family.
Make time for self care
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Self-care is a word that gets thrown around a lot nowadays, referring to multiple things: It can mean having a luxurious bath or preparing some pop corn and watching a movie. Make sure that you spend this time purposefully, hopefully de-stressing a bit and finding ways to enjoy yourself when you need it most.
Plan for the coming year
Planning is effective in helping us not only feel prepared, but purposeful. While it’s difficult to plan with a pandemic that limits outings and meetups with friends, the end of the year is a significant moment. You can use the occasion to visualize plans for 2021, including things you want to improve on.
Check in with loved ones
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While you may want to hide away from your loved ones during times of stress, most people are going through the same stuff, feeling sad and isolated. Try reaching out to your friends and family, checking in on how they feel. If the festivities are important for you and your family, plan a Zoom event, preferably with some drinking and food involved since that makes the gatherings flow easier and gives your meeting a sense of purpose.
Ask for help if you need it
If you’re feeling very isolated and depressed, reach out to a friend or a professional who can guide you through this time. Thanks to the pandemic and technological developments, there are many options for remote therapy and mental wellness. Incorporate different wellness practices during this period of time, getting as much help as you can. For starters, here are 5 Tips To Make The Most Of Your Online Therapy Sessions.