How to… Mental Health
If there’s one thing people are struggling with right now, it’s their mental health. Lockdown, quarantine, countless stories of friends and family sick or dying and just as many stories or more about people struggling to survive financially, businesses closing down, people being laid off work.
Sure, there are also stories of hope. My brother-in-law, 2 Aunts and a cousin have recovered from Covid-19, as have my friends in our neighbourhood and we all feel very blessed. My own Covid test was negative this week and life can go on again as normal. Yay!
And of course, there are also businesses that are thriving during this time. I’m also lucky enough to have one of those. Double Yay! (Leave me a comment if you’d like details).
But the general voice of the public right now is shouting very loudly… we’re in fear, we’re in resistance, there’s too much uncertainty and we’re just not coping.
And for some, this is all too much to bear. I’ve heard that suicide has been on the increase at this time. And domestic violence. How terribly sad.
Those who struggled to keep their mental health in check before the epidemic, are fighting a bigger battle now. Because they are tuned in to the drama and consumed by the fear.
Turning these Challenges Around
Yet… perhaps this could be the very time that their battle is won.
Sometimes it takes something of this magnitude (a global crisis) for someone to find their answers, their solutions and their way back to healing.
Because it’s not just one person looking for these answers, it’s many, many people right now. And their need is magnified.
And just as mass hysteria can lead to disaster, the collective conscious of thought leaders around the globe has the power to rise up and heal the planet.
How to Take Care of Your Mental Health
Here’s a sample of my favourite thoughts, strategies, tips, tools and techniques when it comes to caring for my mental health. Hopefully, these will help you too.
This Too Shall Pass
I read this honest article today about Benjy Grinberg about erasing the stigma of mental health.
Grinberg shares some great advice on how he overcame his own mental health challenges and his parting message was one of my favourite quotes, “This too shall pass“.
It’s an adage I’ve always lived by and one that I remember us Mom’s discussing OFTEN in those early days with a new baby in arms.
When you’re in the thick of it (whatever it happens to be), it feels like it’s going to last forever – but the truth is, nothing lasts forever. Nothing in this world anyway. Seasons come and seasons go. Viruses come and viruses go. Markets fluctuate. Recessions come and go. Jobs come and go. We are born, live and die. It’s all part of the cycle of life.
This saying also came up in the Chopra Centre’s 21-Day Abundance Challenge as well… and that brings me to one of my favourite techniques to care for your mental health.
Meditation is one of the most important things you can do to keep your mental health in check because the results are instant (once you get the hang of it).
When I first started meditating I found it really hard to quiet my mind enough to get into the zone. I still find it difficult when my mind is particularly active.
I watched Eat, Pray, Love again the other day and giggled at how Liz Gilbert (beautifully played by Julia Roberts) also struggled with this, even at an Ashram in India. Adore Elizabeth Gilbert by the way.
But you don’t have to travel to India to learn how to meditate. You can do it in the comfort of your own home.
I’ve discovered that for me, guided meditation and visualisation really helps. There are plenty of brilliant free YouTube videos you can watch and just as many podcasts you can listen to that help calm your mind.
I’m trying out a meditation app on my phone at the moment called Synctuition which is gorgeous.
Featured Mompreneur, Jackie Carroll, Inventor of Genie in a Headset is working on a meditation tool that is next level. It will turn your visualisation into a virtual reality experience. And it was Jackie who invited me to do Deepak Chopra’s 21-Days of Abundance Challenge, which was awesome.
A Course in Miracles
I’ve been studying A Course in Miracles for years and sharing it by reading and publishing the lessons daily for the past 129 days.
A Course in Miracles has been incredibly comforting to me at this time because it takes you through a process to discover inner peace. As you read the lessons and focus on the core message each day you are able to let go of all fears.
To me, the basic premise in the Course is that all our pain and suffering is caused by the belief that we are separate from God. The moment you realise that we are all one and all one with God, all your fears melt away.
Here’s lesson 129, the lesson I published first thing this morning.
The Work by Byron Katie
A process that really works for me is The Work by Byron Katie. If you’re new to The Work, Katie’s first book, Loving What Is is a must-read. The idea behind the work is that when we try and fight reality, we cause ourselves pain and stress. It’s essentially our thoughts, not our circumstances that cause us to suffer.
Release those thoughts and you set yourself free and start feeling lighter and more peaceful than you’ve felt in years.
Katie gives you an amazing tool to help you do this. It starts with a Judge Your Neighbour Worksheet, where you think about someone that really angers, saddens or frustrates you and write out all the stuff that bothers you about them and what they should or shouldn’t do.
And then you start questioning those thoughts. The four main questions are:
- Is it true?
- Can I be absolutely sure that it’s true?
- How do I react l when I think that thought?
- Who would I be without that thought?
And then you turn the thought around.
It’s such a simple process and yet it has profound and lasting effects. Try it, you’ll see.
Emotional Freedom Technique
EFT or Tapping is a marvellous way to calm your emotions and again, it provides instant relief. When you’re spinning out or feeling stressed or any kind of unwanted emotion, try tapping out your thoughts and feelings.
This technique is easier to demonstrate than explain, so here’s an EFT session where I’m Tapping on Money Blocks.
I may just create a new EFT session this week specifically for this post, around the collective fears that are coming up during this pandemic (Leave me a comment if you’re interested).
There are many other ways to improve your outlook on life in times of crisis (or anytime, really).
Here are a few that come to mind. Maybe I’ll flesh these out in this post over the weeks or months to come or create an ebook. . (Comment below if that would be helpful for you). Most of these are free.
- Listen to Music
- Enjoy the wonders of nature
- Focus on your family
- Do fun physical activities
- Burn or bath in essential oils
- Have an Aromatherapy Massage (or any bodywork treatment)
- Get creative – paint or craft
- Do Yoga
- Listen to motivational talks
- Follow Thought Leaders
- Eat colourful, rich, healing foods
- Get out in the sunshine
- Get enough rest
- Talk things out with a good friend
- Listen to Inspirational Tedx Talks
- Stop. Be Still. Listen for the Voice of God
- Give or Volunteer
- Practice random acts of kindness
How do you care for your mental health? Do you have any favourite tips, tools and strategies to deal with mental health challenges?
If you are feeling deeply depressed and suicidal at this time, please seek the help and advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider. Please do not disregard professional medical advice because of anything you have read on this site.
This post was sponsored by Benjy Grinberg. All opinions are my own.