As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month this May, during one of the biggest global crises in recent years, it is especially important to reflect upon mental health and well-being.

Taking care of your mental health, as well as the mental well-being of your loved ones, is paramount to stay optimistic and hopeful during these uncertain times.

Occasionally, feeling stressed and emotionally overwhelmed are quite reasonable responses, especially during these trying times given the ongoing pandemic. Still, we hope that sharing the self-care routine below; we can help you to stay resilient, persevere and overcome any negative emotions.

Express gratitude

Being mindful of your blessings and being grateful is one of the simplest ways to stay optimistic. Try to find something that you are thankful for each day; you can count on the everyday taken-for-granted things like having the company of your loved ones during quarantine or having access to clean drinking water. Try to reflect on this sense of gratitude twice a day, thinking about what you are grateful for every morning and at night. Keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent practice so that you can remind yourself not to take things for granted.

Staying connected

It is important to remember that social distancing does not equate to complete social isolation. Staying connected to your friends and family over the phone or via the internet and social media is a great way to boost your mood.  Thanks to apps like Google Meet, Zoom, and Houseparty, we are lucky to be able to catch up with our friends and loved ones from the safety of our homes. Speaking with a close friend and sharing your thoughts and feelings over the phone can change your mood for the better.

Keep moving

Exercise has immense benefits for both your physical and mental well-being. Research shows that exercising makes us more resilient people! Try to commit yourself to an at-home workout routine of at least three times a week. Whether it’s a simple stretch, yoga, or Pilates, any workout that pumps your heart rate up will release those much needed feel-good hormones. Once you incorporate these workouts into your weekly routine, your future self will thank you for this.

Boost your immune system

Nutrition is key to boosting your immune system when trying to stay healthy, regardless of whether there is an ongoing pandemic. You may be drawn towards binge eating or overindulging, especially under the circumstances. Still, it is crucial to focus on maintaining healthy eating habits and to avoid eating as a response to stress. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your everyday meals and stock up on healthy snacks. Try not to be too hard on yourself if you are not able to do so. If possible, get a dose of vitamin D by spending some time out in the morning sun, which has been known to have a significant impact on both mental and physical health.

Spread kindness

Nowadays, being kind to one another, being more compassionate and showing solidarity is what the world needs. Many people around the globe are experiencing hard times, losing loved ones, jobs and struggling to make ends meet. Doing a small act of kindness for someone can make you instantly happier. Go forth and spread kindness today as this will be the perfect mood booster for not just you but those around you. Be the ray of sunshine to someone else’s cloud.

Meditation

It can be hard to control the racing mind and anxious thoughts with what is going around us in the world right now.  Research has shown meditation and practicing mindfulness as an effective way to calm the racing mind and to help with anxiety. Harvard health mentioned that mindfulness-based stress reduction programs helped quell anxiety symptoms in people with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a conditioned hard to control worries, poor sleep and irritability. If you are a beginner, try guided meditation with an app like Headspace.

Quick Tip: Try 4,7,8 breathing technique or practice alternate nostril breathing

Stick to a Routine

Never underestimate the power of sticking to a routine, especially challenging times like this when you may not feel up for it. Having discipline like waking up at the same time every day, eating your meals on a specific time could do wonders for your mental as well as your physical health on a large scale. As we work from home, you might crave to sleep longer, indulge in binge-watching and other unhealthy habits. Try sticking to a routine instead, and see how your motivation and productivity unfolds. Planning out your day in advance is a terrific way to start.

Most importantly, remember that this too shall pass!  We are all in this together!

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #Weareinthistogether #Staypositive #Staystrong