How does one stay sane in pressing situations? Life is always throwing us some or the other, and we feel as though we are always drowning. So what happens when an unexpected pandemic hits us and the entire world at the same time? Where the life you once knew does not exist anymore? Here are some ways you can deal with anxiety and maintain mental happiness when you feel thrown out of your comfort zone:
Continue a routine that feels familiar: We may not have access to the foods we want or the people we want to meet, but the one thing we have is a familiar routine. Continue to follow the routine you always have, so it gives you a sense of comfort. If you are in the familiarity of your home, you will feel more at ease. If you are not, follow the old routine you used to follow and you will get used to the new space you are in.
Focus your attention on hobbies/ passions/ something you could never do: An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. It is essential for you to focus your nervous/ anxious energy on something we enjoy. This could be a hobby, reading a book, watching a documentary, cooking, gardening, or anything that brings you peace and joy. Even if you are in a small space, find something valuable to do for one hour of your day.
Gratitude journal: This method has been tried and tested and has worked wonders with people! When we focus our energy on noticing the positives in our life, that part of our life tends to grow. Similarly, when we focus on the negative, we give ‘that’ part of our life fuel to grow too! At the start or end of your day, write 3-5 things that you are grateful for. It can be the smallest of things like good health, to important things like a roof over your head, food to eat, a bank balance, etc. This helps shift your energy in a more positive direction.
Meditate: Many struggle with this and even though this is a recommended method for Mental Wellbeing, not everyone can practice it. I would recommend to put on some soothing music from YouTube, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. By closing your eyes for those few minutes, you are shutting out the world – the outside noise, phone calls, computer/phone screen, and just being with yourself. Each time you get distracted by thoughts, bring your focus back to your breathing. Practice this for a few minutes in a day.
Physical movement: It is scientifically proven that during exercise or any physical activity, there are some feel-good hormones like serotonin that are released. So if you’re feeling down, just do a quick 30-minute workout or yoga session. This will really boost those endorphins and automatically lift your mood. Even if you practice this 3 – 4 times a week it’s good enough!
Light: If you don’t have access to a garden or a roof, ensure that there is enough natural light in your home. If that is not possible, keep the windows open and ensure that you get some amount of sunlight or outside air. Sitting in a dark room tends to get us down. Light always has uplifting energy and is a mood enhancer. Lighting a candle is also helpful.
If any of the above doesn’t work for you, I would recommend setting up an appointment with a healer or counsellor. It is essential for us to take care of our mental well-being during difficult times so that we can be there for our family and friends when THEY need us. Make YOU and your own happiness a priority today.