Each one of us is living through a time difficult and unprecedented in its own way. Approximately a year ago to today, leaders around the world declared an international lockdown and our lives altered in ways entirely unforeseen. Although this is a topic that has been widely discussed since the commencement of quarantine, I’ll be talking in this article about lesser-discussed phenomenons concerning mental health, and how to tether yourself to the environment around you during times of stress.
- Take a Deep Breath
The most widely talked about mental health disorders are anxiety and depression. However, off of each of them, branch dozens of fundamentally disparate issues that impair the brain in unimaginable ways. Whether it is something not very often brought up such as anosognosia, complex PTSD, avoidant personality disorder, or something more regularly touched upon such as the aforementioned, each one is perfectly valid. Amongst the most important things in such cases is to never compare yourself to others’ mental health, and know that all, no matter its raunch, is well-grounded. In most cases, although certainly cliché, taking one or several deep breaths is all it takes. This helps ground us into the present moment and supplies the brain with oxygen requisite to an acute perception of surroundings. There are particular types of breathing exercises, such as abdominal breathing, that aid most in our mental recovery. Read more about them in the following article.
2. Pick Up a New Hobby
Busy yourself with something that interests you and brings you joy. The more idle you are and left to meander over your thoughts to the point of utter paranoia, the more your struggle will persist. Now is the perfect time to unceasingly follow your passion; learn to play an instrument, read a new book, write a novel, create a work of art, and suchlike. This passion should be your light and your guide, and you should incessantly pursue it throughout the day.
3. Surround Yourself with a Positive Environment
Be kind to yourself and have a good support system. It does not matter if this is friends, family, coaches, pets, teachers, or whatnot. The environment you douse yourself within and the people with which you communicate impact your life, especially during quarantine, deeply. Always have someone you can talk with, someone you know will provide a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, and someone you can trust exceedingly. Know you matter and there will always be at least one person who has your back.
4. Have Perspective
This is perhaps the most prominent constituent of all said. Perspective, finding a ‘silver lining’, and bearing thankfulness is so important during such an onerous time. Think not just about yourself, but about others. This is a strange situation for all, and there will always be someone within your community or inner circle who could use even a trifling of support. This relates slightly to point #3, as you should perpetually give back rather than simply take. Be the person others can come to, can talk to, and can treat as a close friend. Give, not just take.
5. Hold Yourself Accountable
When we hear the term “hold yourself accountable”, I reckon many of us think about holding ourselves accountable in terms of exercise, work, healthy eating, and such. While all of these are very important, I’d like to talk about holding oneself accountable pertaining to rest. Recovery is the most important part of the process; it is something that lays the foundation for your next projects, restores your health, both mental and physical, and is overall wholly necessary. What I’m saying, briefly, is to take a break if you need it. Put down your computer and go for a walk, or perhaps treat yourself to some coffee along the way. Love others, but above all, love yourself.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article; remember to stay safe, sane, and healthy during this time and please reach out to me via my Instagram if you ever need someone to talk to; I’m here for you and I believe in you!