2020 is a time like no other in anyone’s memory. There are so many things that might worry you and your other family members, you might feel like you’re struggling sometimes.
Maybe it’s the pandemic that’s bothering you. Perhaps you can’t see your friends or relatives as much, or at all. You might have had to cancel vacations and put off birthday parties or other celebrations.
There’s the political situation that’s causing people stress. Whatever side of the aisle you’re on politically, this election cycle is more cut-throat than ever before. There are job concerns, and there have been civil protests.
It all seems like a lot sometimes. However, it’s vital that you keep on an even keel and not experience depression than can derail your life. There are probably people relying on you, like your spouse, kids, or other family members.
There are definitely ways you can stay mentally healthy. We’ll talk about some of the better ones right now.
You can do yoga
Yoga is something that might help you if you’re experiencing depression or having other symptoms. Perhaps chronic headaches impact your daily life, or you don’t even want to get out of bed in the mornings. Yoga is something that:
- Keeps you limber
- Helps you relax and releases tension
Yoga helps both physically and mentally. If you learn some of the basic moves and do them every day, it can loosen up your tight muscles. It will also likely reduce headaches and other physical ailments.
You don’t necessarily need to take classes to learn the basics. There are plenty of YouTube videos that will show you how to begin.
You can fit in your routine at the end of your day or in the morning when you wake up. Many people like rising with the sun and doing some yoga because it relaxes them before heading in to work. You’ll feel more ready to deal with whatever the day brings.
You can seek therapy
Another thing you might decide to do is go into therapy. More individuals than ever are doing it these days. Therapy is a way to:
- Talk about your deep-seated issues
- Talk about your current problems
Maybe you feel like, before this year, you were very happy. Some people are going through a rough patch in 2020 where before, they were serene and happy-go-lucky.
It might also be that you’ve had things about which you’ve wanted to talk for a very long time. Perhaps they go all the way back to your childhood.
Either way, you can find a therapist you trust, and together, you can work on your issues. It’s great having someone to speak to who doesn’t know you personally. They won’t judge you, and they’ll give you the honest advice you can use to make your life better.
You can go for walks
Walking is another way to combat depression or other bad feelings. It’s exercise, which is nice because you can burn off some calories and get in your daily recommended steps. At the same time, walks clear your head.
A simple stroll around your neighbourhood can put things in perspective. You’re away from the kids, your spouse or partner, and your other family members. Now is the time you can think about your priorities.
You can think about elements in your life for which you feel thankful. You might also go on a walk with your spouse or partner. This is a time when you can talk about what’s happening with you, and you can catch up on what they’re thinking and feeling as well.
Even as the weather gets chilly, that doesn’t necessarily have to stop you. You might enjoy the cold air and the way it makes you feel alive.
You can go on medication
Some people also decide that they want to go on medication. That might be an option for you, but it’s something you’ll have to decide along with a doctor or therapist.
There are many anti-anxiety and depression medications on the market today, such as:
You can go on these if you’re feeling down a lot and you’re having trouble getting through your days. There are some you take whenever you feel you need them, while others you ingest every day.
Some individuals resist medication. It’s true that some have side effects, and you need to think about that. Still, they can make a real, positive life impact. There’s no reason to keep feeling bad if there’s a chemical solution that can assist you.
You can meditate
One more thing you might do is start meditating. You can use one of the many apps that are out there if you have a smartphone. You can also watch YouTube videos that will show you how to begin.
You might do a guided app meditation, or you can go in a quiet room, sit down or lie down, shut your eyes, and concentrate on taking slow, deep breaths for ten or fifteen minutes. It’s a way to quiet your mind and work through your emotions.
You might even want to meditate with your spouse or partner if you have one. You can reconnect and learn how to relax together. You’ll find that when you meditate with someone, you communicate with them without having to say a word.
You might decide that you want to do multiple things on this list. There’s nothing to say that you can’t do every list item if that’s what it takes to make you feel better.
The point is that you don’t need to keep everything bottled up. Being stoic is great, but it’s better if you can admit when you’re struggling. Many people are right now, and you shouldn’t feel shame about treating yourself in various ways.
If you don’t find a way to stay at the right emotional frequency, you might have a mental or physical breakdown. That’s never what you want for yourself or the people who love you.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.