As part of World Mental Health Day, we share our small steps to lead a positive way of life to support and improve mental health and wellbeing.
This year has been quite overwhelming for all of us. The world is going through a pandemic in which the road ahead still remains unclear. COVID-19 has flipped the world around and has changed our lives, not only does this virus affect us physically, but also mentally. It is probably safe to say that many of us feel like everything is blowing up into chaos, and this is significantly impacting our wellbeing and mental health and don't we know it!
It’s extremely important to take care of your mental health, wellbeing, alongside your physical health in this situation. You may have experienced or are experiencing fear, anxiety or even depression in the past few months, but at the same time, you have learnt so many new things in the process, learning to adapt, change and the possibilities to grow.
Ask yourself, what you have learnt in the past few months, reflect the negative and positive impacts in your life from lockdown and how this has directly affected you, and how we can turn it into a positive?
Let’s try to find out how we can take care of ourselves by implementing small steps for a positive mindset and healthier wellbeing:
Be grateful! Wake up every day feeling grateful. In bleak times, be thankful for your health, food on the table and a roof over your head. Not everyone is fortunate to have the basic necessities in life.
Practice mindfulness and meditation. Use this time to self-reflect, breathe and be conscious of your energy. This will help you to be in the present. Step away from an electronic gadget, and spend time on yourself and focus on self-awareness. Even if you just spent a minute a day to even focus on your breathing and nothing else.
Win, win for your physical and mental health. If you are not someone who enjoys exercise, boost your steps with long walks, at that moment you can clear your head and gain a sense of mental direction. If times become stagnant or you need to ‘up’ your motionless routine, take walk intervals between work and being at home.
Talk to your friends and family. If you’re struggling to connect or there are social restrictions, don’t be afraid to venture out and join forums and online community groups. Surround yourself with people that positively charge your energy, support your wellbeing and motivate you to be the best version of yourself, which could be your parents, best friends, partner, colleague or even your neighbours.
Giving a little goes a long way! Such a small deed or a selfless act with no intentions of not wanting anything in return will actually make you feel good, and this will strengthen your personal values. This in turn would aid in happier wellbeing and mental health. Help those who need help, even if they don’t ask for it in return and try to encourage and support charity with good intentions to do so.
Positive Vibes Only. Try to avoid thinking negatively, this darkness can spread when you talk, in your actions and further approaches of what you do in life. Not easy as said than done, but always try to spread happiness where you can and may that goodness meet you in return.
You are stronger than you look! Try to find out your biggest fear and work towards it, don't let fear hold you back, it's all in your mental state of mind. Remember your strengths can overcome that fear with regular practice in time. Always take your fear as a challenge and overcome it with your strengths. You can do this!
It could be a small fear or negative thought. Take for example 'Imposter Syndrome', which essentially is the fear of being a fraud in the workplace. A minor in self-doubt, but in the long term, can affect your mental health and wellbeing.
There is always a solution to every situation in most cases, in this light, strive to turn your negatives into a positive force. Appreciate the present, value yourself and others around you and remember you are important so start smiling today!
If you need any help and are struggling to manage or reduce stress, there any many places you can seek help, especially if you are suffering from mental health illness. Mental health charities such as Anxiety UK is ideal if you want to be able to speak with volunteers who have also had personal experience with anxiety. Citizens Advice is recommended if you are looking for closed and confidential advice.