With all that is currently going on in our world right now, it can be overwhelming for so many people to maintain a positive and healthy mindset when faced with so much chaos and uncertainty. From COVID19, to racial tensions, to the threat of economic ruin, it can leave your mind in a constant state of turmoil and unrest.
It’s in times like these that we must fight for our mental health like never before. A global pandemic is a perfect breeding ground for suicidal thoughts, depression, and discouragement on all levels and in all people.
Here are some ways for you to fight the battle in your mind and maintain your mental health during the current threats that we are in.
Take Time to Process.
Take a moment and find a quiet place throughout your daily routine, in which you can reflect on what’s going on around and you and how you feel about it. This is important and will guard against the typical knee-jerk reactions that come when we are facing something that threatens our health, livelihood, and future, all at once.
It’s OK to not be OK. Remember that everyone will process this differently. Allow yourself some time to process all of your emotions that you feel when thinking about the current state of the country.
Processing and thinking through is the first step in building up and maintaining your mental health in difficult times.
Talk to Someone.
Talking with someone is a great way for you to vent and release the build-up of thoughts that are running wildly through your mind. This also allows you to get a different perspective from someone that you trust.
The last thing you want to do is be so isolated that you are not reaching out to others. Sit down a make a list of people that you trust and feel they would be a good person to talk to. This could include a spouse, co-worker, life-long friend, or even a pastor at your local church.
Make sure to make this a practice and not just a one-time thing. Consider continual conversations as a maintenance plan for your mental health.
Just like there is a maintenance plan for your vehicle in order to keep it running and operating at its maximum level, you can create a maintenance plan for your mental health.
Limit Your News and Social Media Intake.
In times such as these, it’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you. Often times, we look to the news and social media for our source of information.
There are pros and cons with that, especially in the middle of chaos and everyone’s opinions flying around all over social media. I’m not saying you have to limit it forever, but you should find a balance in order to maintain your mental health.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the trap of scrolling through your social media or watching the news in the name of keeping up with current events so you can stay informed. You may start out with good intentions, but then three hours later of scrolling through social media, you have been sucked into the vortex of depression and discouragement from reading all those negative, mean, and divisive comments from people that have been emboldened behind the safety of their computer or smartphone.
One of the ways that we’ve all been affected by this pandemic is social distancing, which eventually led us all to share that overwhelming feeling of being stuck inside all day.
Whether you were stuck alone or stuck with family or a roommate, it still made you feel stuck. When you find yourself fighting those mental battles or feeling discouraged, then it’s a good time to get outside and enjoy a little nature.
- Take a walk at the local park or through your neighborhood.
- Take a drive and enjoy the scenery.
- Go on a bicycle ride.
- Eat lunch or dinner outside on the front or back porch.
The list of things to do can go on and on, but the main point I’m trying to make is that it doesn’t matter what you do; just do it outside to avoid that feeling of being stuck in your house all day long.
You can still take safety measures and enjoy your time outside of your house.
Fill Up on Positivity.
With a lot of negativity going around, it’s important for you to make sure your positivity tank isn’t running on fumes.
Do whatever you have to do in order to keep the tank full. I’m sure, like most of us, you have found yourself driving down the road only to find that your low fuel light turned on. Unfortunately, our mind does not come with a low positivity light that flashes to remind us it’s time to fill up again. However, we must pay attention to our emotions and feelings, which can serve as great indicators of when our positivity is running low.
- Are you experiencing mood swings?
- Do you feel like everything is always bad and getting worse?
- Is it hard to get out of bed in the mornings?
- Do you feel like you’re always tired and low on energy?
- Do you find yourself being negative all the time?
Any of these could be an indicator that is telling you it’s time for some good ole positivity. Get around some positive people and let that rub off on you.
Watch something positive on TV or listen to your favorite music that puts you in a good mood.
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8
As you continue to navigate through all that’s going on in our world right now, you must always stay on the journey of keeping and maintaining mental health and a positive mindset.
Have hope for a better tomorrow.
Have faith that things will get better.,
Reach out and encourage someone else along the way.
Focus on the good and not the bad.
Trust that God is still in control.
And know that this too shall pass.