With of the crazy that 2020 has become, you absolutely have to find a way to take care of your mental health in all of the chaos. In order to be present for your loved ones, you have to make taking care of yourself a priority. It’s not selfish, it’s self preservation and it will help you to manage the stress around you in a healthy way
Never apologize or make excuses for needing to take care of your mental health. It’s critical to help you feel connected in the world and that you’re not alone.
Here are 10 ways you can take care of yourself that can be as quick as 10 minutes or as long as you need. You adjust them to your needs.
FIND YOUR TRIBE
This is the person or people in your life who understand your journey and uplift you. They understand your thoughts and emotions, your highs and your lows. They “get it”, they understand, they don’t judge or criticize, and when you’re frustrated and overwhelmed and in your darkest moments and the emotions are ugly….they understand. When you find your tribe, you feel loved and supported and know that you're not alone.
Sometimes we feel too vulnerable to reach out and talk to others. In that case, use a journal to write it down, do something to get the emotions vented and outside of you. Make it a beautiful journal that you love to look at, that makes you smile and brings you joy.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Movement in general is a fantastic way to de-stress and give yourself a brain change. Going for a walk or a run, just being in nature is an easy way to recharge your batteries. If you live near water, go to the lake or beach. Take off your shoes and connect with the earth. Take deep breaths and take in Mother Nature. You’d be surprised how much of an energy shift you’ll feel after. Lastly, put on your favorite songs and dance like nobody's watching. Turn up the music and get wild!
Taking a moment to get quiet within is a fantastic way to practice self care. For most people who are new to meditation, it's usually a little difficult to quiet your mind when you first start trying to meditate. It's okay. Just acknowledge the thoughts that keep popping into your mind and let them pass through. The practice of quieting your mind often allows the answers to your problem or issue to surface. Meditation can be done even if you're short on time. If you need a little help, choose a guided meditation to help your mind stay on task. I highly recommend the Calm and HeadSpace apps for guided and unguided meditations.
Natural remedies like melatonin, magnesium, valerian root & lavender and essential oils can help you relax and/or sleep. Anxiety and sleep deprivation on top of trying to face your stressors is an impossible mountain to climb. So use natural remedies to calm your mind and body.
There is no shame in your game if you need to go talk to a therapist. Having an objective outside opinion can give you perspective on any stress and issues that are impacting your life. I’m a big supporter of going to therapy and having a non-judgemental approach to handling your concerns so you can live your best life.
ONLINE AND IN-PERSON SUPPORT GROUPS
In every community, many online and local groups exist where people get together to discuss their similar experiences. This is invaluable in helping you feel connected and understood by people that are like you, walking a similar journey. There are many groups on Social media, like FB & Instagram as well as, face to face groups.
Now I get it, not everyone wants to meet face to face, so use technology and join an online support group, chat with other people, vent, compare notes, ask advice…it’s all there to support you, you just have to access it.
DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF
This is a hard one. Most of us are our harshest critics. And most times we say things to ourselves that we would never say to another person. Practice being non-judgemental with yourself and granting yourself grace when you’re stressed or make a mistake. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself as you would your BFF.
USE A MANTRA
A mantra is a positive saying or quote that you repeat to yourself throughout the day to create a positive mindset. Find one that means something to you and write it on a sticky note. Stick the sticky note where you can see it, like on your mirror, computer screen, dashboard, make it your screen saver or wherever you can see it as a reminder to be conscious of your thoughts.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Even in your darkest most stressful moments, there is something that you can be thankful for.Think about what those blessings are and try to take your mind to a positive place. Write those blessings down. Start a gratitude journal where you write down something you are grateful for each morning.
So there you go! These are some of my favorite ways to de-stress and take care of my mental health. Use whichever ones resonate with you the most and create a self-care routine for yourself that you can look forward to doing each day.
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