It’s safe to say that this year has been unpredictable. From turbulent politics and long-overdue civil rights movements to a complete overhaul of the working world and, of course, the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, we seem to have experienced a decade’s worth of events in just one year. It’s little wonder that people are feeling justifiably overwhelmed, and are struggling to take care of themselves and their mental health. Here at Zaftyg, we know we’ve been feeling it, too: which is why we’ve compiled this list of little things that you can do to look after your mental health at home.
Remember, if you start to feel truly overwhelmed, to reach out and seek help from a healthcare professional.
More on mental health & wellbeing: Learning to Cope with Anxiety
Limit your screen time
It’s tempting, when spending so much time at home, to reach for your phone in moments of boredom. But if you’re working from home, this probably means that you spend all day staring at your computer screen, too. Instead, once you sign off for the day, try to limit the amount of time you spend on social media or watching the news; the amount of information can, at times, feel endless and overwhelming, and this will only make you feel more detached from yourself.
The classic idea of meditation is not always easy for everyone, but try to find whatever means of meditation work best for you. For some people, cleaning the house or crocheting can be a form of meditation; for others, this can be as simple as breathing exercises. However you clear your mind, make some time each day to meditate in your way.
For anyone who wants to learn some classic meditation techniques, there are a number of apps and YouTube videos which offer guided meditation for beginners. Try The Mindfulness App, Headspace, or Calm.
Keep a gratitude journal
When things seem bleak, it can be easy to forget that there is actually a lot to be grateful for. Dedicate some time every day – whether that’s while you’re eating your breakfast, or just before you go to bed – to write down the things that have made you happy that day. If you’re unsure how to get started, try using these three columns: three things you’re grateful for, something you’ve achieved that day, and the best part of your day. No matter how small, make sure to find something each day that made you smile.
You can also purchase gratitude journals with printed prompts. Check out 7 of the best journals here.
Move your body at least once a day
Whether you’re super sporty or, like me, would rather burrow into the sofa with a good book, moving your body is incredibly important for your mental wellbeing. Once you’ve finished work for the day, make sure to do some sort of exercise – even if this means a quick yoga session, or going for a short walk in your local park. Exercise allows you to detach your mind, even temporarily, and will also help you sleep better.
Reach out to your loved ones
If you’re stuck at home, it can sometimes feel like you’re a million miles from the rest of the world. For all the problems social media can cause, it is indubitably the best way to keep in contact with friends and family, and to bring everyone closer together, albeit digitally. Make sure to check in with at least one person you love each day; you never know how much they may need it, too.