Stressed out? Ill-tempered? Burned out?
Maybe it’s time that you need a mental-fitness routine.
For months, therapists have reported a significant increase in clients who are becoming anxious, worried or depressed due to current events—the COVID-19 pandemic, economic woes, and lockdown.
According to Dr. Roland Cortez, chief of the National Center for Mental Health in the Philippines, every day, ever since the ECQ took effect in Luzon in March, they are receiving more 200 calls in their hospital to address people’s mental health issues.
“Mood disorder, as prime characteristic of depression, is on the rise. Many people feel sad and slowly lose interest in life because of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) caused by COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Cortez said.
And this year, therapists are expecting to receive more calls from people who are suffering into mental health issues. And while they can teach coping skills to help deal with the stress, they say it’s also important for people to proactively take steps to be mentally healthy — the same effort as they would do if they want to be physically fit.
“If you wait until a major stressor hits to try and bolster your mental health, it’s like trying to inflate your life raft while you are already drowning at sea.” Wendy Troxel, Rand Corp.
In an article written by The Wall Street Journal, it reports that many people shift to talk therapy, exercise, meditation and a healthy diet to become mentally healthy.
“Shirlee Hoffman, a 75-year-old retired marketing consultant in Chicago, limits her news consumption to about five minutes a day. Erin Wiley, 50, a licensed psychotherapist in Toledo, Ohio, uses an app to track the things for which she is grateful. Rhonda Steele, 62, a special-education teacher in Sellersburg, Ind., prays and reads devotions. Dwight Oxley, 84, a retired physician in Wichita, Kan., reads and plays the piano. Rachel Glyn, 66, a retired aesthetician in Philadelphia, tries to do as many things as possible for others.” The article says.
Here are the steps that you can follow to start your mental-fitness regimen, according to the experts:
Never compromise your quality sleep
According to experts, adults are recommended to have 7-9 hours of quality sleep.
“Following a consistent sleep-wake schedule sends a powerful signal to the brain that the world is safe and secure, which can help reduce anxiety and foster resilience,” says Rand’s Dr. Troxel, author of “Sharing the Covers: Every Couple’s Guide to Better Sleep.” She also suggests setting a consistent wake-up time, counting backward to determine when to go to bed, and creating a relaxing wind-down routine, starting an hour before bedtime.
The Harvard Health Publishing says that sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation significantly affects your psychological state and mental health. And those with mental health problems are more likely to have insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Start writing your own journal
Writing a journal is simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. And if you — among others who struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety — keeping a journal is a great idea. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.
According to University of Rochester Medical Center, the benefits of writing your own journal include: managing anxiety, reducing stress, coping with depression, helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns, and opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors, among others.
Watch your language as you talk to others
People are like garbage trucks. They usually run around with garbage. And these garbage are their own disappointment, frustration, anger. And when the garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And sometimes they'll dump in to a person — a human. There are many reasons in this world to cause someone to pain or ruin one’s day — and do not let it be you. So no matter what happens, always treat everyone with kindness and understanding, and always be sensitive and selective with all the words that will come in our own mouth.
Take care of your physical health
In a study conducted by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the research shows that aerobic exercise reduces fatigue and tension, and improves alertness, concentration, sleep, mood, and self-esteem. And the study shows that exercise in nature has even more benefits, as it reduces the body’s stress response, lowers cortisol levels and blood pressure, and it gives you a sense of awe, which boosts mood. NCBI also recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, which can be broken up into small periods.
Set a social media break every week
There’s too much negative news and events circulating on the social these days. And these news have been sucking the fun and energy the hell out of us. So better decide how much time you will consume for social media browsing and stick with it. Allot plethora of time to turn off your phone. Or use your social media wisely by removing and unfriending negative people from your social media feed. Also try to look for positive streams to follow or articles to read and will enhance your skills or feed your mind.
Taking a break is also important. Forbes claims that taking a break improves mental well-being. As stress is vastly common in different workplace, and utterly affects the employees. Hence, taking some time away from your desk and go for a walk, buy your coffee, or enjoy your lunch is necessary to relieve yourself from stress and keep yourself sane.