How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health During Hard Times

Most of us don't have the luxury of taking a day off from our commitments and responsibilities every time we have a bad day or just feel mentally drained. Kids still need tending to, you have to show up to work and even with the pandemic, there's only so many days in a row that you can wear the same sweat suit. Mental health often gets overlooked, brushed off or completely ignored until we need medication. So how do you take care of your mental health during hard times? What habits can we adopt to manage stress, anxiety and overwhelm so that we can show up for ourselves and others?

Here are 7 ways you can take care of your mental health during hard times and start enjoying your life again.

Limit Your News Intake

Information is power when used properly. However too much information whether it's considered negative or positive can have an adverse effect.

When your day to day life is already challenging watching the news and seeing all of the chaos, political unrest, discrimination, poverty etc can but a damper on an already down mood. Even if you're having an amazing day, listening to 10 minutes of bad news can ruin it. If you truly want to take care of your mental health you need to start with what you allow to enter into your environment as well as how much. Staying informed about what is going on in the world is important but if you limit how much news you consume on a daily basis you'll be one step closer to protecting your mental health and peace. Check the news once or twice per week. Most of the news outlets are regurgitating the same reports over and over. Checking in a couple times per week ensures that you are up-to-date with what's going on but not bombarded by the same stories multiple times.

Make Time To Get Active

Staying active not only helps to keep your body healthy, strong and fit but it contributes a lot to your mental health and improving your mood.

Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to get up and go to the gym, ride your bike or go for a walk. But usually once you get started, you already start to feel better and happy that you did it. Taking care of your mental health during hard times means making time to stay active even if you don't feel up to it initially. The effects of just 10-15 minutes worth of activity can last for hours. Get out there champ!

Be Mindful With Social Media

Similar to news, social media can have a detrimental effect on your mental health. Scrolling endlessly though well curated and edited photos of the best parts of a person life, can have you feeling like you don't have enough, aren't doing enough or worse comparing yourself and your life to theirs. Social media is a beautiful way to keep in touch, share and save memories, learn and be inspired by others. Unfollowing people that stir up emotions of lack, envy or jealously and limiting how much time and how often you're idly scrolling on these platforms helps you take care of your mental health. Getting lost in the sea of content or just losing track of time happens to us all. So set a timer on your phone so that you're only spending 10-15 minutes at a time scrolling.

Take Care of Your Body

Your mental health and body go hand in hand. It's a package deal! Adopting habits that focus on taking care of your body is important. These include:

  • Eating healthier (not talking about dieting), everyday make sure you're adding more fresh fruits and veggies to at least one of your meals
  • Get enough sleep so that you have the physical energy and mental capacity to tackle the day
  • Take a multivitamin to ensure you're getting all the nutrients you aren't getting from your food
  • Drink more water. All of your bodily processes depend on it. It's kind of important.

These are just a few of the very basic things you can start doing to take better care of your body. You gotta start somewhere!

Prioritize Your Self-Care And Relaxation Rituals

We all know how important self care is. We hear it all the time. But often our self care is the very last thing that happens in our day, if it happens at all, after we've tended to everyone and everything else. At Aligned One Wellness, we promote prioritizing self care into your day, everyday to ensure that you can care for others from a place of abundance and overflow not burnt out or tired. Self care can range from something as simple as having 15-20 minutes of " Me Time" or more lavish like a vacation. Whatever resonates with you just make sure you are actually putting it in your calendar. Like booking a massage to help release built up tension and stress that can lead to headaches and pain in the body. "wink wink"

Self care is an essential part of taking care of your mental health during hard times, start today.

Connect With Your Friends And Family

Whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, we all need even a little bit of human interaction. Connecting with friends and family not only makes you feel good but it fosters healthy relationships so you don't feel so alone in the world. When coupled with food or an activity connecting with others can boost your mood and overall wellbeing even more. Reach out to friend, ask them to join you for a coffee at your favourite coffee shop. If you can't meet in person, even hearing their voice on the phone is just as effective.

Accept That Some Level Of Fear And Anxiety Is Normal

At the end of the day no amount of self care is going take away all of the anxiety, fear and worry that comes in the face of hard times. The tips we've shared with you will put and keep you in a better space mentally, physically and spiritually so that you can live a beautiful and full life even during these times. Overall the overarching message here is that YOU need to take care of YOU too. Set boundaries, limit the amount of time you spend doing things and engaging with people that suck the life, joy and peace out of you. Get grounded, recenter and focus on you. You are enough and you deserve it.