Mental illness is a global health issue. In the United States alone, the National Institutes for Health reports nearly 44 million adult experience mental illness each year. Most clinicians expect that number to substantially rise this year due to the stresses of Covid-19. National groups like the CDC recommend taking breaks from the news, try meditation, finding time to relax, better connect with family. The steps and practices outlined below we hope will help get you started to ease some of stresses that are “triggers” for negative mental health outcomes
Identify Your Stress Triggers
It is important to try and identify what may be triggering stressful reactions within you; that is most often the first step in managing your stress. While it probably is impossible to remove all of life’s stresses, understanding what stresses you out is helpful. What stresses you out? And how do you react to it? There are a host of physical and mental reactions to stress, and everyone reacts differently. Understanding how it manifests in your life is the first step to finding balance.
Get Some Exercise
Moving your body is important to combat stressful reactions, and prevent them from arising in the future. When you keep your body in peak condition, you feel lighter and more energized, leaving you prepared to manage life’s stresses. No matter what your fitness level may be, the key is simply to move your body every day. Identifying the type or types of exercise that you most enjoy—and those best suited for you is key to developing a regular exercise routine.
Find Stillness Every Day
Meditation is one of the best tools you have to counteract stress, and your brain’s bias to hold onto negativity. You don’t need to see a swami, of attend group sessions. There are plenty of phone apps that can guide to toward a meditation program that suits you.
No one disputes that eating properly is good for you. A proper diet can heal ensure your body has the energy to get through the day and fight stress.
Sleep to Combat Stress
Most people do not get enough sleep. Are you? Restful sleep is an essential key to staying healthy and strong. When you’re well-rested, you can approach stressful situations more calmly, yet sleep is so often neglected or underemphasized.
Hit the Road
Most of us have been locked up in our houses lo these long last many months. Vacations have mostly been non-existent. If you have the means, a road trip to nowhere in particular might be just what you need. A chance to get away from it all, if only for a few hundred miles or so.
Create Cushions in Your Calendar
We fill or work and social calendar with all sorts of work appointments and to-dos. Why not pencil in some private time for yourself? Put a couple of hours in the day for yourself when you can tune out and focus on yourself and your desires alone. It is all about managing your time and figuring out what is most important to you…and that should be you.
My father always said that “it’s all in the mind.” Your mind has an effect on your body. Research has found that even a phony smile can cheer you up and help you handle stress.