For many of us, the past 18 months have been a whirlwind of emotions. Sadness, frustration, fear, and a host of other negative feelings have been particularly prevalent, even in individuals who rarely experience problems with mental health. So, if you’ve found yourself overtaken by depression or despair throughout this troubled time, know that you’re not alone – and that relief is much closer than you may think. Even in periods as dark as these, there are plenty of ways to make yourself feel better, foster a positive outlook and maintain a healthy mindset.
Contribute to the Greater Good
There are numerous easy steps you can take to contribute to the greater good during this time. For starters, you can get vaccinated against COVID-19 (unless you have a medical condition that prohibits you from doing so) and encourage the people in your life to do the same. Secondly, regardless of whether your state currently has any mask mandates in effect, you should continue to don a mask when you go out in public. You can also contribute to charitable causes, donate blood and provide assistance to immunocompromised friends and family members.
Engage in Regular Exercise
Engaging in regular exercise can prove beneficial to both your physical health and your psychological wellbeing. In addition to boosting strength and stamina, consistent exercise has the power to improve your mindset and brighten your general outlook. As an added bonus, exercise can also do wonders for your concentration.
When many of us hear the word “exercise,” we can’t help but picture ourselves sweating it out at the gym. While it’s true that this is a form of exercise, physical fitness doesn’t have to entail working out to the point of exhaustion. Furthermore, exercise needn’t be a physically strenuous endeavor. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day can be a boon to your overall wellbeing and help you feel great. Something as simple and enjoyable as a leisurely walk can count as your daily exercise, so even if you have little to no fitness experience, getting started shouldn’t prove particularly difficult.
Devote Time to Your Favorite Hobbies
Hobbies can be a consistent source of pleasure. Not only can they provide you with hours of enjoyment and keep your mind active, they can also help expand your social circle and facilitate lasting friendships. Unfortunately, in times of great stress, we tend to lose interest in our hobbies – which is hardly ideal, since this is when we need them most. With this in mind, make a point of devoting time to your favorite hobbies on a regular basis. Regardless of how busy you are, try to carve out at least 30 minutes to one hour of dedicated hobby time each day. Whether your preferred hobby involves perfecting a creative outlet or simply kicking back and playing video games, you should always find time to do the things you enjoy.
Connect with Your Support Network
Even in the best of times, everyone needs a solid support network they can lean on. A network of dedicated friends, family members, and acquaintances can leave you feeling genuinely cared for, regardless of how stressed or depressed you happen to be. Throughout the course of the pandemic, not being able to see special people in person has been a considerable source of stress for many of us. However, it’s important to remember that being unable to physically meet with the members of your support network does not prohibit you from connecting with them. In the digital age, there’s no shortage of convenient communication options, so the next time you need a boost from your nearest and dearest, don’t hesitate to pick up that phone.
This pandemic has been a trying time, to say the least. In addition to dealing with the mortal threat presented by COVID-19, many of us have found ourselves at odds with friends and family members who refuse to regard public health as a priority. Unsurprisingly, a fair number of people are dealing with unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety, and depression as a result. In times like these, self-care is particularly important. So, if you’ve regarded your psychological wellbeing as an afterthought throughout this ordeal, there’s no time like the present to correct this.