One of the most alarming effects on the COVID19 is the sharp increase in the number of calls received by support groups for mental health and physical abuse. According to the latest study by Statista, 23% of Germans, 38% of Brits, and 28% of Americans are worried about their mental health during this pandemic. These are tough times for each one of us to traverse through as various factors are calling out for our attention.
Every individual today is impacted by the current drastic turn of events we are going through. While the health concerns are mounting, everyone is worried about their employment, the safety of family members, uncertain futures, and lockdowns confining all of us to our homes. There has never been a situation like this before for all of us to take lessons. All of these challenges are adding extra pressure on our mental and physical health without a doubt.
So here are some of the hacks which I use to instantly feel that surge of happy hormones to keep myself sane. These are some simple steps you can fall back on when things get overwhelming in your daily lives.
Less News; More Peace of Mind
I am not a big fan of news and the channels serving as the messengers. If you observe closely, 90% of the stories these channels share are negative or having a hint of negativity. If you are someone who consumes news constantly, it will harm you. You might not know it, but your mind will be pre-occupied with the negative turn of events, and your thoughts will be constantly around them. As itself, you might be having enough worries of your own you do not need these external sources of negativity.
So the first hack is to stay away from the news so that your peace of mind is protected. Make it a conscious choice to stay away from the news and it will have a positive impact on your mental health. If you still want to stay updated on the current events, fix a time for checking the news once or twice during the day. Trust me, you will thank me later.
More Walks; More Serenity
Most of us are working from home and are under lockdown due to this pandemic. This situation can add a lot of pressure on all of us. The boundaries between personal and professional lives are diminishing, and the occasional family outings have been put on hold. Several other factors can also play a critical role in draining our energy out.
My next hack is whenever things get overwhelming or you feel burdened, go for a walk. You can go for a walk at your neighborhood park (like I do) or a nature spot near your home. A walk in the woods or a park can do wonders for your peace of mind. Make sure to take some deep breaths and spend some time observing all the life around you – squirrels hopping around, beautiful colors in the flowers, leaves on the ground, etc.
More Music; More Energy
Sometimes we all feel drained out after managing the everyday tasks we handle. Our responsibilities at work and duties at home can all take a toll on our energy. Some of us feel dead by the end of a long working day. With the conditions outside, you cannot even go for a leisure trip just to get over the same.
The best hack and a simple one too is whenever you feel drained, put on some favorite music of yours. These can be a favorite playlist on Spotify, Amazon Music, your collection on your iPod, or your good old CD player. I love listening to Jazz music when I am winding down with a book in the late evenings. My weekends are highlighted by some high tempo music that will help me do some chores at home.
Better Routine; Lesser Chaos
All of us had a set routine when we were all going to work before COVID19. But the current work from home scenario has turned things upside down for most of us. The virtual meetings, remote teams, and household chores have created a mixture of chaos for most of us. One needs to introspect well to avoid unnecessary distractions and energy drainers.
My next hack is to build a routine based on your current schedule and demands. Invest time in developing a routine that will help you stay focused and avoid any misses. Having a routine will help you be productive while attending to all important chores. Make sure you include plenty of me-time and health-related activities in your routine.
Less Negative People; More Calmness
Ok, this is a tough one; but hear me out. It will not be exaggerating to say that most of us will be better off without the presence of some of the negative individuals in our lives. Negative people in your life can add chaos to your mind and can easily drag you down with their influence. On days when you are feeling a bit low, these people can act as a catalyst for your downward spiral.
The hack is here to evaluate the kind of individuals in your circle – these can be family members, friends, and even colleagues whom you interact with a lot. As motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “we are an average of the five people we spend time with.”. Make sure you have the best five people in your corner. Stop interacting or entertaining negative people to protect your peace of mind.
More Hobbies; Less Distraction
All work and no play always make us all dull. As we all are struggling and working super hard to meet the demands of professional and personal lives, things can get overwhelming quickly. There has to be a balance between things we have to do, and we love to do. That balance will help us all be happy and motivated.
The best way to get that accomplished is by pursuing our hobbies. Hobbies can be anything from reading to music to gardening to cooking or anything. During these difficult times, hobbies can help us stay sane and keep things exciting. The time we spent on hobbies can be our well-deserving “me-time”.
Less Screen Time; More Clarity
According to the latest studies, an average adult spends about 11 hours staring at some screen – TV, smartphone, tablet, or a computer. That’s almost like half of the time we might be awake. Various studies have established the negative impact of the digital devices have on our mental health and agility. Our mental health and happiness can easily be influenced by the type of content we are consuming via these devices.
My final hack for instant happiness is staying away from your screens for a set time every day. You can even try a digital detox every once in a while. Keep your smartphone away and go for a walk without it. Switch off your internet off during the night. Switch off your television set and spend time with your family. Trust me, this will improve your state of mind and happiness.
You have to pay extra attention to your happiness and peace of mind during these testing times. These are some hacks that can help you stay calm amid the chaos. Stay focused and make your happiness a priority. Every hack mentioned here will help you reap the right benefits and they will reflect in your productivity and general state of mind.