A Guide To Protecting Your Mental Health In The Pandemic

The truth is, we’re still in a pandemic and we have no idea when things will get back to normal. Mental health is declining since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Here’s a guide for you to protect your mental health and wellbeing. 

In a recent survey done by Cosmopolitan, 52% of millennial women who suffer from mental health conditions say it’s gotten worse due to COVID-19. 32 % who never had anxiety before are now experiencing it. 

During uncertain times, anxiety tends to develop as we can’t predict what comes next. The human brain prefers what’s known and comfortable — that’s why it’s called the “anticipation machine” by the scientist — because it uses past experiences and information to predict the future.

What’s Going On?

Photo by Imani Bahati on Unsplash

As you already know, the brain likes to control and predict. When this ability is gone, anxiety might be triggered. Most of us, mainly the Millenial generation, aren’t used to living during periods of uncertainty. 

The generation before, the Baby Boomers have definitely gone through rougher times than us. Take civil, Cold War and WW II. Besides that, many countries were still fighting for Women’s rights, and some facing dictatorship. 

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What Can We Do?

Since this is all new to us, we’re still trying to make sense of it. It’s utterly important to take care of ourselves — both mental and physical health.

There are some practical ways to do it, but to begin with, you should reframe your thoughts. Instead of focusing on the negative, focus on the positive. Try to see the glass as half-full instead of half-empty. In other words, see this as an opportunity to evolve, grow and learn something out of it.

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Connect With Yourself

All the answers you’ve been searching for are within you. Our minds are so busy trying to forecast what comes next and we barely pay attention to what’s going on inside of us.

The best way to listen to your intuition and get the answers you want is simply going within. Meditate, do some journaling, go out and connect with Mother Nature.

Photo by Henk Mul on Unsplash

Keep on breathing

When things are getting wild, focus on your breathing. Breathing exercises are great tools to help you alleviate stress and feel more relaxed. 

Deep breathing signals the brain’s message, then to the rest of the body that “everything is fine”. The nervous system calms down and it slows the heart rate. 

Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

Be Present

Be present with whatever you’re feeling, whether it is a positive or negative emotion. Don’t avoid any and allow them to be there.

When you try to rush out of emotion, you create resistance and make things even harder. If anxiety is present, welcome it. If sadness is here, say hello. After all, we’re all humans!

Written By:
Camila Santiago

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