By: JENNA DIEPSTRATEN
It’s difficult to find the time to sit down and take care of yourself, especially in these times. You’d think it would be, considering we’re at home the majority of the time, but online school seems to take so much energy that at the end of the day all you want to do is scroll through social media, play video games, or watch TV. All of that turns into a cycle, and it feels like the days just mush together. It’s hard to stay motivated during these times. Here’s a couple of ways you can try to take care of yourself and maintain a better mental state.
Talk about your feelings. This one’s pretty self explanatory, but if you struggle with talking about your feelings, this is something you should probably work on. When you bottle up your feelings, you’re just putting more stress on yourself, rather than opening up to someone who might just be feeling the same thing you’re going through. It’s hard opening up because of the overwhelming fear of admitting our concerns to ourselves and others. Somehow our brain makes it seem like our problems are more real when we say it out loud. Most of the time though, it can really help you feel a little better, a weight lifted off your chest. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, rant to someone, and if you have a fear of burdening people, rant to your mirror. It should make a difference.
Being positive. Smile more. Fake it until you make it. Make a list of things you’re grateful for. It’s so hard to focus on the positives, but when you hyperfocus on the negatives, it feels like those negatives are much more significant than the positives. If you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, you might see some pretty flowers, or the perfect cloud. Start thanking some people around you. Give compliments and watch how that affects the other person. Smiling is contagious!
Get creative. If you are more artistically inclined, drawing, painting and coloring could be a great way to escape for a couple hours. Or if you like writing, take time to write a poem, or a short story. Writing down your feelings in a journal is also really useful, and could be more comforting if you have that overwhelming fear of opening up to people. Set up your room how you like it, in a way that makes everything feel comfortable. Brew some tea or some coffee and just let your mind kind of take control. Turn on some of your favorite music and just relax.
Be active. It’s really hard to stay active, but it’s pretty crucial to our mental state. According to the Mental Health Foundation, “Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy, and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health.”
It’s difficult to try and take care of ourselves when it feels like the days just mesh into one, but it’s useful to know and it’s pretty easy to implement these things in your life.