We are navigating new and nerve-wracking territory these days. From constant concerns surrounding Covid19 and the third wave, to dealing with economic challenges and the ever-rising cost of living.
Misinformation, conflicting ideas and new challenges arise daily and can lead us to neglect our mental health in moments of panic. Learning to understand what we can and cannot control is vital to staying sane during these unsettling times.
Everyone handles stress and pressure differently, but here are 4 key practises that you can try to help you remain calm, focused and productive.
ACCEPT AND UNDERSTAND
If you compare current circumstances to those of our past history, we live in relatively safer times. However, as we are so conditioned to this safety, life as we’ve known it since March 2020 has caused major uncertainty and panic.
To alleviate these feelings, it is important to accept and understand that there is absolutely nothing we can do to control the greater outcomes. Accept that this challenge is here, understand the world in its entirety and find solutions to help you cope better.
Beating yourself up on a daily basis, or complaining and panicking is going to solve nothing. It will only make you less productive and more susceptible to negative feelings.
Focus on things you HAVE got control over.
STICK TO A ROUTINE
For many, the grind of waking up early to get dressed, sit in traffic and go to work is now no longer a thing. Instead of dressing in our work clothes, we stay in our jammies until midday. Instead of back to back meetings, we now stare at a screen all day. Instead of daily interactions with colleagues, we are forced to communicate via phone calls and online conferences. It can be very unsettling.
Adapt your routine to fit your new lifestyle. Make sure you start your day with some exercise and a good breakfast. Make a list of what needs to be done that day and then set yourself an achievable goal.
Just because things are different, doesn’t mean they’re bad! Try to achieve at least one goal or complete one task every day and you will end each day with a sense of purpose.
With Covid19 still running rampant, many people have been separated from their loved ones. Making sure we remain responsible when interacting with other people is absolutely imperative, but just because we cannot meet face to face doesn’t mean you cannot reach out.
When the days feel dark, reach out! There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Sometimes just seeing a smiling face on the other side of a video call, or taking time to chat to a special person on the phone can change your entire mood.
Often, with depression or in moments of despair we tend to isolate ourselves so as not to be a burden. Sometimes we don’t feel like talking to anyone and that is also ok, just make sure to connect again when you feel up to it. Avoid isolating yourself completely, we are meant to build each other up!
FOCUS ON YOU
Most importantly, listen to your body and your brain. It is ok to rest. It’s ok to take a mental health day.
Step away from the computer, turn off the TV and put down your phone. Take a walk, read a book or do something that makes YOU happy. It is ok to stop and take a breath. In fact, it's absolutely imperative that you do.
In today’s society we are all expected to be ON all the time. This is not good for your health, both mental and physical.
Exercise has been proven to alleviate stress and anxiety. Remember to nourish your body correctly, drink enough water and sleep the recommended 8 hours a night. We realise these things are not always possible, but you are allowed to switch off and give yourself time to heal and process.
Meditation, yoga, stretching and the outdoors are all fantastic ways to achieve a feeling of calm and help you release the stresses of your day. Try to factor this “you time” into your daily routine.
When you become a member of the Body20 family, you get access to our Wellness Coaching programme, which offers advice on work-life balance as well as tips on how to live your best life. Find out more here: https://body20.co.za/holistic-offerings.php