Mental health self awareness is the new normal

INVESTING ON THE GO - Iggy Go (The Freeman) - August 25, 2020 - 12:00am

Living in these uncertain times, a lot of us have found ourselves in a situation wherein an increasing amount of stress, anxiety and even depression is becoming the norm.

When a global event like a pandemic happens, it alters our lifestyles very quickly, literally overnight. Given that human beings are creatures of habit, it is very disturbing to have our world turned upside down like that. We all have our ways of destressing or dealing with frustration or anxiety provoking situations, but now that the world has changed, we are faced with new stressors and our previous methods of coping may not be available.

I tried to avoid this topic since a lot of people are talking about it already. But after doing a round of podcast recording recently, I found out that it is actually much concerning than ever before.

I interviewed a group of volunteers who are trying to help their public school alma mater. And I found out that the teachers, students, parents & related government agency had to adapt to so many things in such a short amount of time. Imagine to change the way you taught/learn in just a few months (Technology learning curve, new process of teaching/communication, internet speed/bandwidth/connection issues, just to name a few).

We can also tell that some of government workers are clearly out of their comfort zones, and yet they some still refuse to admit that their mistakes and continue to commit more blunders by trial & error.

So what can we do?

Different people will have to cope differently. But we can all agree that staying away or having to keep distance from internet media, fake news and social media in general can help reduce our stress.

Be intentional about your emotional health. Be honest with yourself – what are you feeling? Irritable? Sluggish? Panicked? Unmotivated? Angry? These emotions are normal given all the changes we’ve seen in our daily lives over the past few months. So give yourself permission to feel as you feel. The important step is to identify the things that add to your stress and find things that bring you more peace.

Make sure you are maintaining your physical health. Eat healthy & nutritious foods. Be sure you are getting enough sleep and exercise. Because many of us are working from home, our daily physical activities have changed. Find ways to move.

Remember the things that bring you joy and be grateful. It’s easy to focus on all the things that are going wrong in the world and in your life. At the end of each day, take time to reflect on what happened that was good. Get a jar and each day write on a slip of paper something for which you are grateful. On a bad day, reach into the jar, grab one of the slips and read it. End each day by counting your blessings.

If you have a job, save your money. If you don’t have income right now, just keep trying, hustle till you find a stable source of income whether via a job, gigs freelancing, or entrepreneurship.

Lastly, If your stress is impacting the quality of your life, seek professional help. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and we're all in this together.

Focus on what you can control. During stressful times, it’s easy to think you are powerless. Focus on the actions you can take to exert some control over your life.

Self care isn’t selfish.

MENTAL HEALTH
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