This post and photography are courtesy of Nic Abraham.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a doozy and has turned our lives upside down. Many of us are becoming burnt out from balancing our new way of life with family work and avoiding illness. These unprecedented times can take a toll on our mental health and truly affect our overall wellness.
If you are in need of mental relaxation, peace and clarity, here are several holistic remedies that will help.
Take a Mental Health Day
When life gets the best of you or you simply need rest, it is not wrong to say, “I need a day!”, in fact, it’s actually normal. I think people aren’t being honest if they never need a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Take a mental health day when you feel drained or unable to positively contribute to the world around you.
Plan a Getaway
During this pandemic, most people have stopped traveling; however, planning a getaway doesn’t have to be extravagant. Having something to look forward to can have positive effects on your mood and happiness. You can book a cabin or tiny home, go camping, or plan a staycation at a local hotel. Invite family or close friends and let the good times roll!
I talk about journaling often and, quite honestly, think it’s underrated and underused. Regardless of if you’re traditional, bullet or gratitude journaling, it’s a useful tool to acknowledge your feelings. If you’re upset, writing down your experiences can reduce symptoms of depression and possibly resolve the issue.
Stay Active – Mentally and Physically
Embrace an active lifestyle to improve mental health. This includes a healthy diet, 150 minutes of exercise each week, fun activities like puzzles and board games and so much more.
Find the Funny
We all have that one family member or friend who’s hilarious and tells the best stories. Invite them over for dinner or to a Zoom call to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. You can even recruit a funny child, niece or nephew, because we all know kids are hilarious. We need this because laughter reduces anxiety, and we could all use a good laugh from time to time.
Take a Relaxing Bath
Once a week, relax in a nice, warm bath. Add in Epsom salt and lavender essential oil to soothe achy muscles and relieve stress. You can even light a candle to increase the ambiance.
Take a Nature Walk
As long as the weather permits, go for nature walks. Thirty minute walks or hikes can reduce depression and boost energy. Take time and enjoy the sunshine and the beautiful leaves on the trees.
Focus on Self-Development
If you need to switch mental gears, there’s no better time to focus on you. With 15 to 30 extra minutes a day, you can set new goals or learn something new or strengthen a personal area that needs work. Experiment with what you do and don’t like, then dive in!
Start a Routine
Having routines can ease stress because the brain doesn’t have to work as hard. Set out your favorite morning mug, prep your lunch and dinner, plan tomorrow’s clothes–whatever makes your day easier and gives you a sense of control.
Feed Your Brain
Always keep brain food around. Omega-3 fatty acids are said to decrease depression. To ensure you’re getting enough Omega-3’s try incorporating flaxseeds, walnuts, fish oil supplements, or wild-caught salmon into your diet.
Be Gentle with Yourself
We are in a pandemic. Many of us have experienced various emotions and, at times, don’t know how to feel. We are fearful. We are vulnerable. We are human! If you’ve had these experiences, be gentle with yourself. We are all navigating new waters and trying to make it work. Don’t beat yourself up for the things you haven’t done, acknowledge your feelings and be thankful for how far you’ve come.
See a Professional
There’s nothing wrong with seeing a mental health professional because sometimes we need a little extra help. Seek a professional to work through issues, emotions and feelings that may be hard to navigate on your own. A good therapist can become a valuable ally.