With midterms, the holidays, and the middle of the semester coming closer, I feel it necessary to drop a list of ways to help take care of you and your mentality during a pandemic and school year.
1. Talk about your feelings
It may not seem fun, but talking about your feelings can help relieve so much pent up emotion. You don’t have to specifically talk about them. Maybe write them down in a journal or talk to a pet. A fun way to do it? Write down all of your negative emotions and thoughts in a journal and then burn it! That’s an instant way to let it all out and let it all go!
2. Keep in touch
Believe it or not, staying in touch with friends and family is a great way to get that extra serotonin in. Talk about other friends or family members, talk about sports, or talk about school! Whatever it may be, try to chat with someone once a day. Every morning when I drive to work, I call my mom and let her know how I’m doing and I get to hear about everything they’ve done.
3. Do something you’re good at
This is so important! Some say to learn new things, and for me it’s upsetting when I can’t figure out how something works. It’s better (and easier) to engage in something that you're good at! If you’re good at it and it makes you happy, continue to engage in that activity!
4. Take care of your body
Yes, taking care of your body is an important step in mental health. This doesn't necessarily mean to crack down on a new diet or start running five miles a day. For me, I’ve started to wake up an hour earlier every other day to just go on a run. Nothing huge but something to keep me active and up! Taking care of your physical health does wonders for your mental health.
5. Take time to laugh
As some super smart person said, “laughter is the best medicine,” and it's true! Laughter creates endorphins and can even relieve pain. Laughter also increases blood flow and also helps to release stress. So sit down and watch your favorite comedians, movies, or even TikToks!
6. Indulge in self-care
EVERYONE needs a good self-care day. This doesn’t necessarily mean to slap a facemask on and chill. The best thing I’ve found is to unplug yourself from social media, take a bath, and follow any of these steps. It’s super important to take it easy and let your body reset when needed.
7. Take a break
Like I said in #6, it’s important to unplug and just relax. For most, we’re constantly busy and on the move. You need to relax and take a break before you overrun your body.
8. Listen to some music or a podcast
Like I like to say, “music is the best way to put things into words when you can’t”. When you’re down, listen to songs that are uplifting and upbeat. It's super easy to find playlists that are made for moods, and you can even make one yourself! Podcasts are another way to relax and let go. There are also a TON of different kinds of podcasts such as comedy, crime, relationship-based, and more!
9. Surround yourself with positive people
Positivity is key! If you are trying to stay motivated and positive, that’s great! Sometimes, we have some people who hold us back, and it’s okay to let them go. Staying around those who keep us motivated and going is something we need to all have in our life.
10. Reach out and get help
Lastly, if you are ever stuck and can’t get out of something, reach out and get help. It can be scary to reach out and open up, but there are so many resources available to help. If you ever just need to talk about how you’re feeling or about what you're going through, Crisis Text Line is available for free. Crisis Text Line connects you to real people who can talk to you whenever you need it. Just text “START”, “HELLO”, or “HOME” to 741741 to be transferred.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): 240-485-1001
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA): 800-826-3632
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
LGBT National Hotline: 888-843-4564