Let’s be honest, times are tough right now. So, if you’re having a rough go at life, you’re not alone. For many of us, it’s easy to go through the motions and dismiss the need to care for ourselves. We are busy supporting our friends, coworkers, children, partners, and so on.
Just about everyone is suffering right now, and it’s easy to get consumed with being strong for others. But, you know what? If you don’t take the time to care for yourself, pretty soon you will crash and be the one drowning; needing someone to throw you a lifeline.
The truth is, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, it’s imperative that you make sure you are caring for your own mental health. We know it sounds like a tall order, but hear us out! We’ve got a few ideas to help you stay your best, so you can be there for those that need you most!
Here are a few tips to help you stay afloat during the current tsunami that is consuming our world today.
Find Your Mantra
Now is the time to connect with yourself, find what you love, and go for it! You will never find a better time to connect with and learn about who you are.
So, what do you stand for? What do you care about? And, how can you integrate that into your daily life. Discovering who you are will help you build a strong foundation to get you through this difficult period.
Change Your Perspective
How we see the world directly impacts our mental health. No one better coined this idea than Aaron Beck in his cognitive theory of depression.
In his theory, Aaron Beck describes how negative thoughts about oneself, the world, and the future tend to plague people with depression. These negative thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Those with depression tend to see the world through a narrow, selective lens, which further perpetuates their negative feelings, leading them further down the rabbit hole of depression.
Of course, there is a lot more to Beck’s theory, but in short this drives home the point of how important it is to make a focused effort to stay positive in order to protect your mental health during this time in your life.
Now is Not the Time for Perfection
Attention perfectionists out there- this tip was crafted especially for you! If you are one of those people who takes great pride in keeping the perfect home, being the perfect parent, or being the perfect employee…let it go! Now is not the time, you will end up setting impossible standards that you can’t possibly live up to right now without sacrificing your mental health.
There is no point in pushing yourself until you break. It won’t help anyone, especially you! So, if you need to sit your kids in front of the TV so you can take 30 minutes to do something that fills your cup, that’s okay! Miss a day of laundry or didn’t quite finish your to-do list? That’s okay too!
Make Time for You
Those around you might need your support, and that’s okay; it’s alright to be there for them. But, it’s not okay to be there for them at the expense of your own health! In order to stay in the game and support your crew, it’s imperative you take sometime each day to do something for you.
Not sure what to do? Try going for a walk, reading a book, or practicing a hobby that fills your cup. And, if your life is especially chaotic, schedule out sometime each day to make sure your own needs are met.
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
We can’t stress enough how important sleep is for managing your stress and mental health. However, if you are like many people, the first thing to go out the window when you’re stressed is a healthy sleep schedule.
Most of us know how it feels to go a day, or several, without enough sleep. Your body hurts, you’re less productive, and you feel sluggish and emotional. Not having enough sleep impacts the way we interact with our world. It can put strain on not just our health, but also on our relationships with those around us.
Bottom line- do what you need to do to get enough sleep. Make sure you have a regular sleep schedule, a bedtime routine, and, if needed, talk to your physician about sleep aids or supplements to get you through this difficult period.
Create a Routine Amidst the Chaos
As people, we all crave and need structure. Creating a routine will help you to have consistency in your life, even through this tumultuous time.
Obviously, this is easier said than done. With many of us working from home, creating and sticking to a regular routine takes planning and self-discipline. So, I challenge you to take the time to draft up a regular schedule for yourself, and then take it one day at a time. Soon enough, your new schedule will become habit and it will be easy-breezy from there!
Looking for more tips to help you on your way to a happy and healthy life? Follow us on social media at Youth Dynamics of Montana and People of Youth Dynamics on Facebook. And, don’t forget to check out our blog regularly for more useful articles on everything from parenting to self-care.