Did you know that May is National Mental Health Awareness month? This year, the emphasis of mental health is more important than ever before. We are in a pandemic. We are in waters that no one knows how to swim in. We are adjusting to a new normal. Many of us are on furlough or unsure what the economic impacts will be because of the virus.
This is why we need to focus on our mental health. It is more important than ever before.
There are so many different ways someone’s mental health can be impacted negatively with this pandemic. There are so many things that are just getting cancelled — graduations, concerts, vacations, and so much more. Many people have lost — or have gotten furloughed from their jobs. We are in times of isolation, which as many of you know definitely does not help one’s mental health whatsoever. Furthermore, many people are quarantined with abusive partners or parents.
I am going to be completely honest here — this pandemic has taken an impact on our mental health. For those of you who don’t know, my mother died at home. Being home has without a doubt has amped up the grieving process on my end.
This is why we need to be kinder to ourselves —- especially in this difficult time. This is also why we need to practice self care.
But, how do you practice self care during a pandemic?
Well, first off, I think that it’s so important for anyone to recognize that they just need to get through it anyway they can. This quarantine is not a productivity contest. If you want to read all of the books, you can. If you want to just watch TV, you can do that too. Just as long if you are working from home,that you get your work done.
That said, there is something else that I think everyone needs to do — be kind to you. This means setting boundaries. For example, just because we are bored at home, doesn’t mean that we have to always be on the FaceTime chat. Sure, it’s nice to catch up with friends and family. But, at the same time, I do believe that if you just want to sit and relax every once in a while in isolation, it is perfectly okay to stay out of it.
Being kinder to yourself also extends on one other thing — on my end at least. This is not a productivity contest. Throughout the past few months, everyone’s pretty much living day by day. I am pretty much a creature of habit, so as you can imagine, it is overwhelming to me.
Finally, the last thing we can do to practice good mental health is just to allow feelings. I feel as though we are asked to suppress emotions — and that is not healthy. Therefore, I think it is really healthy to do that. Remind yourself that your feelings are valid. Let yourself cry and feel. It. Is. Okay.
I am no means an expert, but I do believe that we need to focus on our mental health more than ever before. Therefore, let’s practice good mental health habits every day of every month.