Looking after your mental health during a pandemic

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This is a strange time for most people around the world. Day to day life has significantly changed and so have our day to day roles. Many parents are now multi-tasking working from home and teaching their kids. Others have restructured their business to stay open like turning a cafe to a takeaway.

This change of roles can add stress and strain to relationships. So in this article, I’m going to give some ways to look after your mental health.

Taking 4 Minutes for Calm

We all can spare 4 minutes out of our day to centre ourselves and find the calm within. It’s important to take those few minutes for yourself off social media, and out of the to-do list.

For beginners, it can be really challenging to go blank in meditation so I've created a video where you don’t need to go blank. Rather, you focus on each affirmation and repeat it until the next one appears. Breath, relax and let go of the stress-energy feel where your body is holding tension and release it. Breathe out stress and inhale calm.

Grab the free affirmation meditation video here.

A simple practice can make a huge difference to your headspace.

Be Open with your Feelings

Many of us find ourselves housebound with spouses and kids or housemates that we aren’t used to spending 24/7 with. This can obviously lead to tensions.

Biting your tongue or staying quiet to keep the peace is only a temporary solution. Bottling up emotions only causes things to build up within yourself and ultimately that’s what causes blowouts.

With lockdown in full swing, we can’t get out and get space to ourselves like we once could. Communication is more important now than ever. And being open with your feelings is critical. Approach the conversation in a calm way, stay even-toned and avoid getting into an argument.

Sometimes it can feel daunting to initiate the conversation or to speak without an argument breaking out. It might be helpful to have some professional help. With being housebound, we can’t get out to therapists so luckily there are some wonderful free counseling resources online that can help open and guide the conversation.

Practise the Pause

This has been one of the most beneficial changes I’ve made in my life. Practising the pause is simply pausing before you speak. We all have developed habits over our lifetimes and we often can answer with auto-response mode. And often that mode can be cutting or out of habit rather than what we genuinely want to say.

When you pause before replying, it gives you a chance to process what has been said and how you want to reply. We never regret replying with kindness and when we pause we can take a few seconds to remember that. And to carefully word our reply.

With us all living in close quarters and spending more time together, practising the pause is a great tool to help keep the peaceful vibes going.

Attitude of Gratitude

As difficult as things are, there is always something we can be grateful for.  If you have a home, enough food, internet to read this post and educate yourself, you are truly blessed.

It is easy to forget that in the day to day concerns. So bringing gratitude to the front of your mind is very helpful and super easy to do. Here are 3 suggestions on how you can easily practise gratitude daily:

  1. Carry a gratitude stone in your pocket, every time you touch it, think of something you are grateful for. That includes when you place the stone in your pocket in the morning and take it out at night.

  2. Wear a gratitude bracelet or ring – one that you don’t usually wear and when you see it, think of something you are grateful for.

  3. Start a gratitude journal where you write something every day that you are grateful for.

The other great aspect of being grateful is that it makes us feel happy. And in that space, we are calmer and things go smoother for us and it is easier to pause before speaking and to have more positive communications.

How is lockdown treating you? Let me know if you have any more mindful tips in the comments.

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