8 Ways To Cope With Your Mental Health Pandemic
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

8 Ways To Cope With Your Mental Health Pandemic

Looking for a change in pace or mindset? These tips to improve your mental wellbeing are for you.

38894
8 Ways To Cope With Your Mental Health Pandemic
Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

This year has truly impacted everyone's mental health in every aspect. People of color may have found themselves stressed or discouraged in light of social and racial issues in the United States. Americans have found themselves anxious about the pandemic, the election, and financial uncertainties. So, here are eight ways to improve your mental health and furthermore, your lifestyle amidst this year's struggles.

1. Stay active.

Tracking Mona / Instagram

Exercise has many benefits attributed to mental health including reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood while also improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Increased energy and stamina, reduced tiredness, and an increase in mental alertness are also some mental health benefits.

For example, schizophrenia patients who participated in a three-month physical conditioning program showed improvements in weight control, reduced blood pressure, and increased perceived energy levels.

You don't need to run a marathon to feel the benefits of exercise. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is sufficient for these health benefits. These 30 minutes don't need to be continuous, either, meaning three 10-minute walks are equally useful as one 30-minute walk!

2. Talk about your feelings.

Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

Many people view talking about your feelings as a sign of weakness, but talking about your feelings and having someone actively listen to them can improve your mental health. Having an empathic listener can make you feel supported and less alone, and perhaps by opening up the person you are talking to will do the same.

Whether you're talking to a therapist, a close friend, a family member, or just journaling, talking to someone you trust can be a step toward having a healthier mind.

3. Eat well.

Alysia Pope / Instagram

Maybe you don't want to exercise as much; I get that. According to Dr. Cora, a board-certified psychiatrist, sticking to a diet of healthy food can help set yourself up for fewer mood fluctuations, an overall happier outlook, and an improved ability to focus. Furthermore, unhealthy diets have been linked to an increased risk of dementia or stroke.

A diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oily fish, dairy products, whole grain bread, and plenty of water can benefit your mental health by making you feel better and healthier. You are what you eat, and if you try eating healthy foods, perhaps you'll have a healthier mind!

4. Take a break.

Jet and Food / Instagram

As we continue through the holidays and finals season, taking a break by a change of scene or a change of pace can be great for your mental health. From a 15-minute break from being with your family to a 30-minute break from studying for exams, taking a break can give you time to de-stress and refocus.

A key to this tip is listening to your body. If you're feeling hungry, maybe taking a snack break would be best. If you're stressed, go for some yoga or mediation. My personal favorite yoga instructor is Yoga With Adriene, who focuses on mediation and mindfulness as well. If you're feeling tired, try taking a nap. Without a good amount of sleep, our mental health can suffer and our concentration especially can go downhill fast.

5. Ask for help.

Marília Castelli / Unsplash

Outside of talking to those you trust, there are many local services that are also able to give you the help you might need. Examples of these services include joining a support group to help make beneficial changes to your life, finding a counselor to help you make a new start, or visiting a Citizens Advice Bureau if you need advice on debt.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline handles many crises, not just serious ones. The Trevor Project's LGBTQ-focused helpline is also beneficial, as well as the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses' hotline, and the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Mental health continues to have a strong stigma attached to it worldwide, so it's understandable if you're feeling nervous or scared to reach out. By asking for help, you're already taking a big step of significant courage and bravery.

6. Do something you're good at.

Katherine Boxall / Instagram

Enjoying yourself can be a key part of beating stress and boosting your self-esteem. Concentrating on one of your favorite activities such as jogging or playing board games can help you forget your worries and change your mood for the better.

Participating in something creative like drawing or painting can help you express yourself creatively. Doing something active and social such as rock climbing or playing football with friends gets you both active (Tip #1!) and gives you the opportunity to meet new people.

7. Care for others.

Anna Earl / Unsplash

With the skills mentioned above, perhaps volunteering for a local charity or organization might be for you! Helping others can make us feel needed and valued. Helping your loved ones or caring for a pet can improve your mental health too. Volunteering can help us see the world differently and therefore put our own problems in perspective.

Taking care of a pet more specifically can bring structure to your day and benefit your social life as many fellow dog walkers tend to chat. My personal favorite volunteering activity is working with puppies who are training to be service dogs at my college.

8. Keep in touch.

Meghan Schiereck / Unsplash

Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you through many aspects of life and help you develop a healthy mindset. They can help you feel included and cared for, as well as keeping you grounded and provide help in solving practical problems.

Giving someone a call or shooting a quick text will keep lines of communication open and build these relationships further. If you have been feeling distanced from your loved ones during COVID-19, maybe reaching out with a phone call could build your relationship up again.

Conversely, if you think someone is damaging your mental health, it would be beneficial to take a break from them or even end the relationship if it feels that bad.

Whether you're feeling stressed from feeling cramped in your home during quarantine or feeling tired from studying for exams, there's something for everyone in relation to having better mental health.

Report this Content
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

97299
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

43255
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

71729
The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments