If you do not protect your mental health right now, you may have a problem or be a hero. Even before the coronavirus struck, there was much that could be done about it.
Worrying about everything from dirty containers to climate change can affect your mental health. Just remember: You control your emotions. You may not be able to solve all the health challenges, but you can keep them out of your reach.
Protecting your mental health is not just about maintaining your stress levels, either. For you and for others, it is essential to a healthy, productive life.
Why Protect Your Mental Health?
You protect your mental health in difficult times for the same reason that you wear life preserver when you step into the water: It not only keeps you floating, but also ensures that you are able to help others who rely on you.
What should you do when the water becomes dull? Intervention. Maintaining your mental health during difficult times helps you to:
Strength is the ability to recover from a fall. If you allow small things to get in the way, you will be struggling to cope with the realities of life. Protecting your mental health ensures that you will be able to cope with whatever comes your way.
When you can’t get something out of your mind, it’s impossible to do your best work. You know what it’s like: You’re upset and stressed, but you still can’t seem to focus on the work you’ve done.
An important step in protecting your mental health is being able to let go. You can’t change everything from your desk, so stop worrying about it for now.
Create Stability for Others
Who trusts you? Your spouse? Your parents or siblings? The people you love care about you as much as you care about them.
Even if you do not support the person financially, your stability affects their stability. If your mental health is constantly damaged, it will be difficult for them to live their best lives.
After all, knowing your mental health issues and defending yourself is actually two different things. You need ways to stay strong, no matter what happens in your life.
How to Protect Your Mental Health
Protecting your mental health begins with a simple commitment: to separate your inner state from what is happening around you. Here’s how to do it:
- Speak up
The first and most important step in protecting your mental health? Speaking.
Opening up your mental and physical health challenges to friends and family is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it proves that you have enough power to show others the most imperfect aspects of your life.
Need an easy way to start a conversation? You might say:
“I want to share something with you.”
“I was thinking …”
“Can we talk about…?”
“I’ve been fighting with …”
Any of these will allow you to easily enter the conversation you need to have.
- Reduce Your Screen Time
Trying as it is right now, spending hours every day on social media is not good for your mental health. Better yet, you will distract yourself from the essentials; at worst, you will include all the bad news and anger online.
Young people are particularly prone to this, but they are not alone. My friend got her daughter a Gabb phone, which is a child safe phone  that helps limit screen time. After finding my niece, it made me think about how much I needed to reduce my screen time.
I haven’t changed my smartphone, but I have set limits on how I use it. I limit myself to two hours of surfing a day, stopping at 9 p.m. I don’t touch it again until I go to work in the morning. Consider doing the same thing to remove them from your screen.
- Avoid Drugs And Alcohol
Another lesson I learned about maintaining my mental health? Avoiding drugs and alcohol is important.
A few years ago, I got into the habit of pouring a glass of wine after a long day. It really helped me to relieve the stress of work, so I found that I deserved health risks.
What no one has told me, is that alcohol makes anxiety worse. After a few hours of drinking, I realized that I was going to have stress. Cutting back helped me get back to my normal routine.
- Ignore Your Diet
Have you ever heard medical professionals call your stomach “your second brain”? The reason is that the intestinal tract has more nerve endings than anywhere else in the body except the brain.
Every time you bite it affects those intestinal nerves. Nutritious foods – fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and lean meat your mother likes to talk about – nourish you, while unhealthy ones irritate you.
Cook meals at home whenever you can, and pay attention to snacks. Even if you are eating salmon and broccoli for dinner, a nightly snack can affect your mental health.
- Stay Active
Your physical and mental health are more connected than you can imagine. Regular exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety effectively, in some cases, such as medication .
What kind of exercise is best for mental health? Choose cardio, but know that anything is better than nothing. Whether you love to swim, run, paddle, or lift, get fresh blood in your brain.
Don’t let your current level of stamina be an obstacle. When I was looking for new ways to exercise, I looked at what many busy entrepreneurs were doing to get a job. I occasionally came across a site where Mark Cuban got a new e-bike and thought I would try one. Within a few weeks, I was traveling hundreds of miles while listening to my favorite podcasts. It has been one of my favorite times to study while always working.
- Take Time to Relax
While patience is commendable, you should be able to slow down a bit during difficult times. Taking a break is important if you want to stay longer.
Because I’m struggling to take breaks, I use the Pomodoro method: I’m stuck for 25 minutes, after which I take a five-minute break. There is no right or wrong way, but you need a plan.
How should you use your vacation? Do something refreshing, such as:
Reading a book
Calling a friend
Bathing or showering
Sleep a little
- Go Out
Speaking of travel, there is no better way to get headpace than to go outside. There is just something about the smell of fresh air and the feeling of the sun on your skin that melts the stress.
Combine this strategy with others in this list. Exercising outdoors, you can go for a run in your area. Leave your phone inside, or keep it in your bag while enjoying time outside.
Although the outside can be a great break from work, it is also a great place to work remotely. Most managers will not bother to remove suggestions from the picnic table.
- Get Lost for Recreation
Sometimes, an hour in the sun is not enough to clear your mind of your worries. If so, try entering a hobby.
Practicing a hobby helps you to get into a “flow” situation, in which you become so focused on what you are doing that you lose track of the world around you. That mental illness may be what you need to get an opinion on.
Like exercise, such recreation is not as important as your ability to stick to it. If you do not have a lot of time or money to spend, good options include:
- Ask for Help
In rare cases, you may not be able to protect your mental health on your own. If you feel overwhelmed, do not hesitate to reach out to a specialist. Although they are well understood, your family and friends cannot simply provide a level of support from a mental health professional.
Remember, there are resources out there that can help you deal with difficult times. Talk to your doctor, or access one of the following help numbers:
Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services Management National Helpline: 800-662-4357
How to Prevent National Suicide: 800-273-8255
Inational Helpline Mental Illness Helpline: 800-950-6264
Whatever your situation, remember this: Your mental health is important. Whether you are battling an epidemic or trying to plan your day, protecting your mental health is essential to staying productive and happy. Take your time and do what you have to overcome stress.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: