Every May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year the timing could not be better. We’ve been Safer at Home for quite a while now, and many of us are feeling rather cooped up.
During a typical day, (depending on how often we tune into the news), we can feel scared, anxious and confused – that’s a lot to manage mentally. There is no way around these feelings and stuffing them down isn’t going to help. At all. So, here are some things we can try to do the next time this COVID-19 crisis gets in our heads.
- Find our feelings. It’s not fun to think about why we are suddenly feeling anxious or stressed. But confronting it head-on the moment we begin feeling this way could possibly uncover a trigger that’s the culprit. For instance, realizing the intro music to the evening news makes our heart race is valuable info to know.
- Find our family and friends. Maybe technology prowess eludes some of us and setting up a Zoom get together is out of our comfort zone. Or we don’t want to “interrupt” anyone with a phone call or text. Let’s do it anyway! There’s an excellent chance our friend on the other end is feeling the same way and would welcome a catch-up.
- Find a goal. This is a perfect time to try something new, and good news - we’ve got the time. With the weather warming up, we also have lots of options, both inside and out. What have you wanted to get better at? The list is endless!
- Candle making
- Bird watching
- Find the bright side. It can be tough to find when it feels like the world is closing in but there’s always a bright side. Now’s the time to think about what we’re grateful for, like the beautiful spring flowers in bloom, last night’s delicious meal, time with our families, finishing that 1,000-word puzzle...grab on to some happy thoughts and know it’s going to be okay.
- Find help. If we’re sick, we go to the doctor, right? If our mental health needs some support, we must get it. It’s no different. Call your therapist. If you don’t have one check out your employer’s Employee Assistance Program, or visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s website, which has lots of tips and resources on managing your mental health – in May, and every other month of the year.