Saying that 2020 was a harsh year would be a huge understatement. The pandemic caused due to the outbreak of coronavirus resulted in the entire planet going into lockdown. As a result, more and more people start struggling with their mental health, and a lot of them even suffered constant bouts of anxiety and depression.
This was completely understandable. Whether it be the fact that the virus claimed millions of lives around the world or the stress, fear, and loneliness of being stuck at home, the pandemic has weighed on the collective psyche of the population.
A Change in Perspective
One positive side effect of this was that more and more people started talking about their mental health in an attempt to raise awareness. Mental health is still considered taboo in most places. People feel ashamed to talk about their mental health issues, or if they’re suffering from things such as depression, anxiety, or stress disorders, as they fear being labeled crazy.
Although we still have a long journey ahead, we seem to be on the right path for now. However, it is crucial not to lose sight of things and carry this awareness into 2021 and beyond.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. And for you, that single step could be taking care of your mental wellbeing. When you are self-aware and learn how to deal with such issues, the overall quality of your life will increase. You’ll be happier, more productive, and will be able to make better use of your time.
As a result, you’ll also be better equipped to help other people in need as well. But if you are not dealing with your issues, not only will you not be able to help other people, but you’ll also detest anyone who tries to reach out to you to help you.
So here are a few things you can do to improve your mental wellbeing in 2021.
Having the convenience of working from home has made a lot of people let go of themselves. In fact, some people probably haven’t gotten out of their pyjamas the whole year. You may think that this is just a way to be comfortable, but this can actually deteriorate your mental health. Staying in the same clothes for days, not following a schedule and doing thing whenever you want to, sleeping late, and waking up at noon, can all lead to gloominess.
Instead, try to organize yourself. Small things like waking up at the same time every day and starting your day with a cup of coffee can make a huge difference. Consumption of coffee is also linked to lower rates of depression. But if you don’t want to or can’t take much caffeine, you can some other good-for-you drinks such as green tea.
Follow a schedule. Keep your workspace organized and away from your bed. Sleep on time daily. And make time for fun activities as well. Just doing these small things can benefit your mental wellbeing significantly.
Take Part in Physical Activities
People are also suffering a drained state of mind from last due to the lack of physical activity. Since most of us are trapped at home, some people rarely even move from the couch. Even those who aren’t generally lazy have seen very less physical activity over the last year.
Being physically active doesn’t just benefit your health and fitness, but evidence shows that it can improve your mental wellbeing too. It causes chemical changes in your brain, which can positively change your mood and raise your self-esteem.
You don’t need any fancy gym equipment for this purpose. A simple search online will give you many workouts you can perform using just your body weight. If you find these boring, you can also opt for strength and flexibility training or learn certain types of dance that get you moving, such as Zumba. If even this seems too much, start taking a walk around the block during the evening. Or take the stairs a few times a day. The important thing is that you get some physical activity in your day regularly; it doesn’t matter how you do it.
This is a potent tool that a lot of people don’t make proper use of. There are many benefits of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences on a regular benefit. However, one advantage of journaling that stands out is that it can improve your mood and give you a greater sense of happiness and overall emotional wellbeing.
A long-term journaling habit will result in you being more connected to your inner emotions, needs, and desires. It provides you with a safe space to vent and preventing you from bottling things up. As it presents an opportunity for catharsis, it allows the brain to regulate emotions. Therefore, allowing you to be more self-aware.
Connect With Like-Minded People
Human beings are social animals. There are no two ways about that. However, socializing with people who are drastically different from you or the ones that you keep getting into conflicts with can drain you of your mental energy.
Instead, look for the company of like-minded people. Those who provide a room for you to speak about your issues and concerns without being judgmental. Having that kind of support in your life will help you develop a positive approach towards life. Of course, this is a two-way street. And the only way you’ll be able to find such people is if you’re willing to provide the same safe space for them.
Even with the pandemic starting to subside and the lockdown being slowly lifted, 2021 is expected to be a challenging year for mental wellbeing. However, by taking the right steps and working on your mental health, you can at least make a small difference in the world – even if it’s just you.