For many people, mental health is on their mind as this is a time with lots of uncertainty. Many people are wondering how to look after themselves even while stress is high and what they can do to weather this storm that humanity is facing. Here are some tips to grow and maintain health and wellness today and beyond:
- Rest. Recuperate and rejuvenate your energy as you’ll need it to look after yourself and other parts of your life. Slow down the pace, go to bed at a regular time and get up at a regular time. Even though the temptation may be there to sleep in and stay up late, regularity with routine and schedule helps orient the brain and provides a helpful anchor
- Take time for self. There may be lots of demands on your plate with navigating remote work, child rearing and schooling at home, and whatever other new or familiar challenges have been thrown your way. Despite this and the temptation to take escape time rather than true self time, it is essential that you prioritize yourself. Take time to do activities you enjoy, even if you have to modify them right now. Quiet time with yourself to sing, dance, create, rest, go inward, exercise, walk, or whatever you need to do will help stabilize and improve your mental health
- Minimize use of alcohol, drugs, and other mood-altering substances and/or behaviours. The more reality and freedom you can provide your brain from external intoxication, the more connected you will be to yourself and the better prepared to deal with life and improve health. Shifting your relationship with alcohol, drugs, and other things like video games, social media, phone, gambling, food, sex, pornography, unhealthy relationships, and smoking can be challenging but very beneficial. Now may be a great time to start engaging in some change in these areas
- Connect. Social distancing requirements and quarantines are in place in many parts of the world but this does not mean that you have to be isolated. Connect with friends and loved ones through phone or video chats and make a point of smiling at your neighbour or waving at someone from afar when you are out enjoying fresh air or running necessary errands
- Be flexible. Our minds can be quite rigid and tell us there is only one way to do something, which is not the case. Want to be more physically active? Go to YouTube or take an online class. Want to be more creative? Grab a piece of paper and sketch or color. Feeling isolated? Do an online coffee date or activity with someone
- Ask for help. If you are really struggling, there are still lots of agencies and people out there who are willing to support you in your journey, all you need to do is ask
Remember, you do not need to suffer and you do not need to wait to continue developing your relationship with yourself. Often the greatest gifts come from times of stress and challenge, so here is your opportunity.
HUM is an outpatient addiction, mental health, and chronic pain clinic located in Calgary, AB. We provide group, individual, and couple’s therapy as well as an Intensive Outpatient Program for people looking for professional support to complement their journey. Give us a call at 403-536-2480 for support.