Updated: Nov 3, 2021
I've been asked a couple times on how I dealt with my mental health during Covid. While I was challenged like everyone, I believe I was more prepared for the quarantine restrictions. I've heard of many people struggling with their mental health during this pandemic who may have been laid off or restricted to stay in their homes. Now more than ever the rise of Mental Health Issues have hit our nation, and people are in a position they have never been before. Personally, I was built for mental health recovery from by past experiences that have gone down roads like this before.
Late February I was coming out of a hospitalization for Bipolar Disorder and was left in an uphill battle to emotionally, spiritually and physically be the person I am known to be. Granted, I have been in this business before and have resources set up in life to get to where I want to be with my mental health. The road is not easy, but can be simplified if you know what you need to do to swing your mental health in the right direction. This month before Covid was essential lead time for me to get on the right path and benefited me greatly in the long run with this pandemic.
There are certain things I would do before the pandemic and during to put myself in the right direction for mental health recovery. It is extremely important for me to maintain these traits BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER anything like the pandemic or falling into a period where your mental health is put to the test.
Here is a list of 5 things I have done:
Get into a routine... even when you have nothing going on. Schedule out the day and keep yourself busy
Stay active ... this might be hard doing the pandemic but walking outside multiple times during the day or even getting an in-home workout is fantastic to boost your mood
Nutrition ... for me if I caught myself eating a lot of junk food or fast food it would really not help myself and in the long run it would make me feel even worse
TALK ... this is huge and I feel like so many people are talking about their Mental Health with family, friends, loved ones, health professionals and Peer groups.... I use ALL of these resources EXTENSIVELY and it really does help
Have and use a mental health tool ... These tools can be anything from meditation, breathing exercises, practicing positive self talk, journaling, and there are multiple apps that could help as well.
I found myself in a position that certainly no one wants to find themselves, but with the tools needed to come out the other side. I had a conversation with my therapist during the beginning of the pandemic and she asked how I was doing and if I was going to be okay. I came back and said that I was built for this and, in some sense, it is no different from what I need to do to take of myself.
My advice to you, work on taking care of your mental health all the time, not just times where we need it most. We need it all the time. Be ready and know what works to boost your mood. Have resources so when your mental health starts to suffer, you are fully ready to take it on with a plan.
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