on mental well-being
In light of the global crisis and tragedy that we are currently experiencing, this conversation is necessary now more than ever.
Here are some tips that I would recommend for self care:
Connection is an essential part of the human experience and is so important for our overall well being. Some studies show that people who are connected with others have lower levels of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety and show overall improved health.
Even in an individualistic culture like that of the U.S., it is important that we take steps to build and maintain meaningful relationships.
If you have access to technology, some ways that you can stay connected (even from a distance) include:
Facetime/Skype/Zoom (message some friends, colleagues, or family members and set up a zoom call to catch up)
House Party (I personally have not tried this yet but have heard great things from friends. it is a group video chatting app that allows you to play games)
Send letters or cards to loved ones (This is a bit old school but why not?)
This goes without saying but taking care of your body has great benefits for your mind. From reducing stress to improving your sleep quality to boosting your mood, and the list goes on. Even when you are feeling low, if you are able to summon the strength for a quick workout (whether that is a walk, HIIT session, run, etc.),then please do, it will be well worth it.
In fact, a Boston University Psychology professor says that "Failing to exercise when you feel bad is like explicitly not taking an aspirin when your head hurts. That's the time you get the payoff."
30 minutes of moderate to high intensity is enough to allow you reap the many benefits of an active lifestyle.
For some apps that you can use for home workouts, check out this blog post: http://enigivensunday.com/my-go-to-apps-for-home-workouts/
Lastly, when you can, go outside! Nothing beats a walk, hike or run in fresh air.
Now this is easily forgotten but so important. Do you give yourself any time each day to be still and present in the moment with no distractions? I know some people are skeptical about meditation or don’t understand what it means but in my understanding it is simply the practice of training your mind and body to be present, calm, and clear.
Some ways that I stay centered are:
Spending time with God daily. My quiet time includes prayer and reading my Bible/journaling. This allows me to be still, present and reflective
Calm and Headspace meditation apps (I don’t use these frequently but have heard good things from others who do) https://www.oprahmag.com/life/health/g29861798/best-meditation-apps/
Resist the urge to watch ONE more episode or read ONE more chapter as the clock ticks. Remember that sleep is vital for the healing of both your body and mind. Go to bed and get your full 5-8 hours of sleep.
This is easier said than done but hold on to hope. Know that however deep and painful your reality is, there is life on the other side.
Allow yourself to sit in your emotions and feel everything you’re feeling but remember that the sun will rise again and tomorrow is another day. And on days that you can’t remember this, reach out to someone who can remind you.
Thank you for your time! Check out the links below if you want to read up more on this topic. Additionally, if you haven’t checked out our podcast, Your Best Year Yet, you can find us on Spotify and iTunes. Also, be sure to follow us on Instagram, @createyourbestyearyet and our Facebook page, Your Best Year Yet.