The world has changed in many ways. And as we approach the start of the new year, for many it only brings unanswered questions. As we look to the mysterious horizon of 2021, prioritizing and maintaining your mental health is of paramount importance. Here are eight tips that mental health professionals recommend to follow in 2021:
- THERE is a feeling of anxiety in times of uncertainty.
“People have a tendency to be insecure. It contradicts our survival strategies in evolution and raises our inner level of awareness, ”explains Dr. Jennifer Love, MD, accredited by boards in psychiatry, psychiatry and drug addiction. “We tend to respond in the same way to stress each time, so the best prediction for future behavior is past behavior.”
In other words, if you have reacted strongly to a sudden change in life in the past, you may feel similarly unstable when a similar situation arises in the future. Drs. Love advises you to pay close attention to how you feel when new pressures arise, as it can be an indication of helping to reduce your anxiety.
“If your reaction is ‘crazy,’ it’s probably historical,” said Dr. Love. “If my response to pressure is not exactly the same as the pressure itself, then I may be responding to something in the past. Understanding this can be a great help in reducing stress. ”
However, it is important to note that not everyone feels anxious about anonymity. In fact, for some it may be a good thing, and there is science behind it, too.
“On the flip side,” says Stephanie Newman, “those who risk and succeed in amazing things or love high octane speeds, can feel refreshed and excited about something new or new, and can enjoy the unexpected and the unknown,” says Stephanie Newman, Ph.D., psychoanalyst, an independent psychologist, and author. “By acknowledging the lack of control and self-control in trying to fix or change what you can, some find relief.”
- DO NOT consider taking care of yourself one size fits all.
Laura Rhodes-Levin, LMFT., Founder of The Missing Peace Center for Anxiety, says that the biggest misunderstanding people have about self-care is that it happens just because we use the word from time to time. “Self-care is one of the most widely used words in the world. Everything from our physical health to our mental health to all our good spirits depends on self-care. Unfortunately, in my experience, most of us do not know what self-care really is. ”
What a simple look at the interwebs will confirm. Almost every link on the Google homepage when searching for “self-care” is in the form of the same question, “What is self-care?”
“People tend to take care of themselves limited to physical hygiene such as combing your hair every morning or bathing regularly,” explains Drs. Newman. “But that’s just a piece of the puzzle. The term can refer to the emotional and physical well-being of the body. ”
The reason why self-care is difficult to understand is the lie that, in order to be successful, self-care will vary from person to person. Rhodes-Levin prefers to describe self-care as taking time out of your day (daily appropriately) to do something that “fills you up and makes you feel good.” For others, it may be writing, making a thank-you note, or a hobby. It could be sleeping on the grass and watching the sunset. The key is to find the right one and find out what brings you the greatest happiness.
- DISTRIBUTE ten minutes a day.
While it is difficult to see what the post-COVID community will look like, it seems that some of the changes brought about by the epidemic can improve your mental health. Think back to 2019, if you can remember that distance; Your free time may have been spent on busy schedules full of commitment and appointments that have left you running from one place to another without a moment to help you. 2020 has forced peace that is already good for you; in doses, i.e.. And according to Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, a psychologist and mental-health professional, that dose can be as short as ten minutes.
“People often think you need a lot of time to help your body release stress, but just 10 minutes a day of work that helps our nervous system to function can have a huge impact on how we feel physically and mentally.”
He recommends activities such as deep breathing and continuous meditation, which help the nervous system to reduce its stress by teaching it to adapt to a peaceful, empathetic state.
- DO NOT lower your work ethic just because you work from home.
Similar to the old saying “who you are around,” as we continue to work from home in 2021, understand that you are what you are around. Studies show that overcrowding can be detrimental to your mental health and is associated with poor health, so if you work at a damaged dining table, you may need to make some changes.
“Climbing increases the stress hormone cortisol,” explains Dr. Love.
Good news? Dr. Regine Muradian, PsyD, a psychologist at a licensed clinical trial that specializes in stress and anxiety, says that there are quick and easy ways to reduce stress around your workplace. He recommends that people go around the workplace if they feel bored or have trouble concentrating. If you are unable to change locations due to a lack of room or other occupants in your home, try adding new items to your current workplace. For example, add a candle or a new pencil holder and refresh the area often so it sounds different.
Drs. Love admits: “I change my home office, which is actually my dining room, which is always decorated. New floral arrangements, adding or removing tablecloth – actually just moving the accessories around – keep it fresh and fresh every week! ”
- I FORCED to take scheduled leave during the working day.
Rome is not built in a day, and it certainly does not appear on your kitchen table. Production by 2021 should be viewed differently, and collectively we need to remove the pressure of high performance during the global epidemic.
“Very few of us have cancer treatment,” jokes Rhodes-Levin. “Studies have shown that employees who take 10 minutes an hour are more productive than those who do not. This can be done by simply moving away from the workplace. Listen to some music for 10 minutes, make jumping jackets or dance around so that your endorphins flow. Just make your vacation work completely free. ”
However, if a 10-minute approach does not seem to work for you, Dr. Capanna-Hodge suggests establishing a process that you can follow to bring relief in times of uncertainty.
“If you sit in one place to work, train, eat and relax, your brain will not be able to change gears and instead you will feel the cognitive and physical effects of stress,” said Caperna-Hodge. “It’s a good idea to walk around, following a plan and process that includes breaks, lunch, exercise, and various and selected areas of your home to help your mind stay focused on the work you’re doing and better change gears for the future.”
However wherever you decide to try in 2021, keep in mind that there will be some days when you will be more productive than others and that is natural. Therefore, cut yourself a little; everything anyone can ask of you is the best, and that is all you can ask of yourself.
- DON’T look at your feelings of grief because someone else’s problems seem “big”.
There is no doubt that 2020 has created trauma — which is described clinically as the loss of feeling secure in the world — in many cohesive groups: those with pre-existing conditions that divide them for about a year, people of color, those who lost loved ones because of COVID and important workers, to name just a few. But it is important to understand that we are not in the Trauma Olympics – there is no gold medal for who endured the most. If you want to cancel your marriage, you must not do that because you do not want your sibling to lose you. Your pain is important, so give yourself permission to feel and worry without judgment.
Drs. Muradian states: “Grief is not just a matter of losing weight. “Understanding the stages of grief is important as we begin to recover, no matter what kind of loss we have experienced.”
The five stages of grief follow the abbreviation DABDA: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. You can go through these stages at the same time randomly. And if in 2021 you find your thoughts suddenly going back to past failures or exes for example, you have not lost your mind.
“Trauma has a growing effect when old loss (think divorce or death of close family members) is triggered,” explains Drs. Newman. “As negative emotions increase over time, they can cause you to feel overwhelmed all day long.”
When traveling with complex emotions, all professionals emphasize the importance of finding someone to talk to and share your feelings out loud – whether you are an expert or someone close to you who can be trusted. The support system is also an important part of self-care.
“As this year draws to a close, think about what you would like 2021 to be like for you. Hope is important to hold on to, ”said Dr. Muradian. “Remind yourself that 2021 will be different and that good things are coming.”
- FOCUS on what you can control when things go wrong.
As millions of people struggle to find work, as we approach 2021 many people feel tired or helpless, making New Year’s resolutions seem pointless. But Dr Love advises that there are still benefits to setting small goals, despite the weather.
“Problems often get us out of the driver’s seat, whether we have lost our job or are being treated. If that happens, focus on what you can control. Make a list of things you can’t control, all under your control, and write down some things you can do about things you can’t control. “
Some practical steps to get you back in the driver’s seat might be:
Make it a goal to submit two job applications per day.
Every time you get home, make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do, such as cooking, learning a musical instrument, knitting – it’s even better! Try to catch one of these activities per week / month.
Set a goal to meet a certain number of steps each day.
As you meet these goals, your self-esteem will begin to plummet because focusing on what you can control gives you a plan attachment to help you overcome feelings of inadequacy. Even though you understand that your discomfort will not go away overnight.
“Those who feel helpless should enjoy the place of grief, while seeing the feelings of loss not only disappear,” said Drs. Newman. “Being told we have been released can make us feel like we have failed or we may have lost an important part of our personality. Processing cuts can take weeks, maybe months. ”
- Maintain mental health, even during happy times.
Well, by 2021 it has become a habit to sleep for seven to eight hours, eat well, exercise regularly. However, throughout the year you should also build your own self-assessment of your daily activities. Mental health works best when it attacks; do not underestimate its value when the world begins to look a little “normal”.
So what does a normal look look like? It could be simple gifts you give them costing $ 0.00, or maybe for you something different.
“If you’re tired of zooming in, frustrated with requests for happy hours, but worried about refusing (because what else should you do?), It’s okay to say no,” emphasizes Drs. Newman. “Slowing down is a way to be kind to yourself, too.”
Incorporating patterned respiratory systems is a quick way to increase. For example, a 4-7-8 breathing process that you have been breathing through for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and finally exhaling it from your mouth for eight seconds; repeat the cycle at least three times in a row. Dr. Capanna-Hodge recommends that people complete this two or four times a day.
“Seven days a week, we need to take a few minutes a day to calm down our nervous system and connect with breathing and our body,” explains Dr. Capanna-Hodge. “Simple, 4-7-8 breathing breathing is a good foundation for controlling the central nervous system so that your body doesn’t react too much to stress.”
Yet perhaps in poetry, Drs. “If you have a temper tantrum, use that power for change; don’t let it get into your bones. ”
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