10 Mental Health Tips to Keep You Sane During the Coronavirus Pandemic
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How’s your mental health?
Most of us get asked how we’re doing constantly. Whether it’s coming from our friends, significant other, or the cashier at the grocery store. We’re pretty conditioned to reply with a simple “Doing good, how are you?” or just “fine”. But how are we REALLY doing?
Now, more than ever, our mental health is being put to the test as we’re stuck inside, socially distancing, and trying to cope with what nearly the whole world is experiencing. If no one else is checking in on your mental or emotional well-being, I am now! I want to equip you with a few helpful tools to navigate through these tough times and hopefully feel more “fine” at the end of your day.
Looking for ways to lift your spirits or boost your mood? Check out these 10 tips!
1. Notice the good that’s around you!
Wherever you are — whether you’re working from home or not working at all, there are still lots of good things to celebrate. If you believe in a higher power or religion, now is the perfect time to focus on your faith.
The world is full of people eager to care for others, share what they can, and help in some way. If you can think of 5 good things, write them down somewhere, and cherish them!
For me, these are the first 5 things I can think of to be grateful for:
- I’m healthy and my kids are healthy.
- I have more than enough food.
- I can still laugh while watching The Office at the end of the day.
- I have access to things that will lift my mood like music, books, and games.
- I have a roof over my head.
… and trust me, I’m lucky to know there are more things I can list!
2. Know there is no short supply of kindness.
Radio stations are donating money to pay bills for jobless individuals. The Bill Gates foundation has donated $100 million towards COVID-19 treatment and development of a vaccine, among numerous other business executives and celebrities.
People are donating free meals to healthcare workers. One woman even turned her restaurant into a community kitchen to serve those affected by the virus.
I’m so humbled and amazed by the generosity that it brings me to joyful tears (holding back another wave of emotions as I write this 😭).
3. Practice breathwork (Pranayama)
On some level, we’re all stressed, scared, anxious, and emotional. When will all of this be over? When will life feel normal again? No one can say for sure, so don’t give worry or fear anymore of your brainpower.
Close your eyes and take a deep, cleansing breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathwork (also referred to as Pranayama) is an ancient practice that has been known to cleanse the mind and restore balance to the body and spirit. YES, PLEASE!
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you know what I’m talking about.
Get started with one of Deepak Chopra’s breathing exercises for a little dose of inner peace. 🙏
4. Increase endorphins!
Endorph-what?? You know when you feel really happy and carefree? It’s usually because your endorphins are high! They’re the natural chemicals our bodies produce to relieve stress and fight pain.
When you’re more active, you automatically stimulate endorphin production. So find a way to get your body moving like:
5. Embrace uplifting self-talk
I’m not always my best cheerleader. A lot of the conversations I have with myself (whether out loud or in my head) are quite critical. If you can relate, here’s how you can turn that criticism into a more positive dialogue:
“I’m a bad mom because I didn’t help my kids with their homework last week.”
Instead try: “Life is crazy and it’s ok to be imperfect. I know I can do better next week and I WILL!”
“I probably won’t share my thoughts in the work meeting, people will think they’re dumb.”
Instead try: “I have great ideas and sharing them with others won’t do any harm. In fact, they’ll likely make an awesome contribution!”
“I won’t feel good about myself until I lose 10 lbs.”
Instead try: “My body has changed, but my beauty is not defined by a scale. I will be really proud of myself if I work hard to lose 10 lbs.“
Go ahead and make fun, but uplifting self-talk can totally change the way you perceive yourself. When you adopt this conscious practice, it will likely transfer to how you communicate with others.
Science also proves that saying is believing, so start encouraging the one and only you more often!
6. Find a positivity partner
Now that you’re having happy conversations with yourself, take it to the next level and find yourself a cheerleader. It can be your husband, your neighbor, your mom, a friend from work, etc.
Make sure the person you choose isn’t a negative Nancy that will bring you down. GOOD VIBES ONLY. Here are a few things that I look for in a positivity partner… Someone who will:
- Encourage my personal development
- Offer a different perspective than my own
- Provide emotional support during tough times
- Remind me of my goals
Try to check in with your buddy at least twice a week, even it’s just a short text conversation or phone call. Studies show that uplifting relationships reduce stress and promote better mental health and who doesn’t want that?!
Looking for an online resource to help? Try Prepare U Mental Health Program that the whole family can participate in. Originally created for as a school counselor resource, they now have an in-home edition.
7. Make time for exercise
We know that physical activity increases endorphins, but it also:
- Relieves depression and boosts your mood
- Increases bone and muscle strength
- Increases energy levels
- Produces natural antioxidants in the body
Everyone’s exercise journey looks different. Choose something that you’ll enjoy whether it’s a ride on your stationary bike or lunges and situps in your living room.
By the way, don’t miss this post I put together sharing a full body workout you can do in your living room.
Better yet, join us in our 30-Day Glute Bridge Challenge to get your workout on with the whole Hip2Save community!
8. Listen to a podcast
Most podcasts are free and offer a wealth of insight on a variety of topics, including mental health. From wellness tips and trends to life hacks and personal growth support, you can absorb a ton of content that will benefit you in so many ways.
Here are a few of my favorite podcasts that are enlightening and helpful:
9. Try a natural nootropic
If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or insomnia, I feel your pain. These mood destroyers are enough to take over your whole day.
Natural nootropic supplements improve brain cognition and help combat those negative feelings of stress, sadness, worry, and exhaustion. Since they’re all-natural, they don’t come with a slew of nasty side effects like many prescriptions do.
I first tried nootropics when I was going through an extremely stressful time. My anxiety was through the roof and nights of good sleep were few and far between. After about 2-3 weeks of use, I felt like a different person in the best way possible.
My energy levels increased substantially, my anxiety went down, and I felt more normal and happy than I had in a long time. 🙌
Here’s a list of highly-rated and recommended natural nootropics:
- Kava Kava Extract: Provides mental calmness, reduces anxiety, and improves sleep.
- Rhodiola Rosea: Promotes mental clarity and feelings of motivation, increases energy levels.
- Ashwagandha: Balances cortisol levels and improves mood, reduces blood pressures.
- Phosphatidylserine: Improves memory and focus, increases mental processing speed and reduces brain fog.
*Please note, I am not a medical expert, so consult with your doctor if you have questions about natural nootropics.
10. Do something that you love!
Research actually shows that people who engage in hobbies are less stressed and in a better mood. It makes sense if you think about how great you feel when you’re doing something that lights you up!
That could look like an hour of art therapy or photography in your backyard. It could mean picking an instrument back up or playing a game with your family. Pick one or two things that make you come alive and go do them!
Hip Tip: Want to learn something new? Check out all the FREE online classes you can take right now, from sewing to coding to photography!
Every day is filled with new emotions, challenges, and questions. But with every day, you have a new opportunity to make today better than yesterday.
Start your day on a good note with this printable affirmation letter just in case you need a reminder of how great you are! For those days that you’re really struggling, hang in there! These mental health tips are here for you when you need them.
Now go have a great day, YOU GOT THIS! 👊
Check out these 21 Fun Things To Do at Home While Social Distancing!