The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another - William James
Has COVID-19 taken a toll on your mental health? Do you feel sad or anxious, or worry about the future? Have changes in your work, social life, or finances caused you stress? You’re not alone. A recent study by the Black Dog Institute found that just over three quarters of Australians surveyed felt their mental health had worsened since the pandemic began. But there is good news. There are simple steps that can bring joy back into your life.
Firstly, remember to be kind to yourself. These times are unprecedented and there’s no rule book. Listen to what your body and mind need. Take time to rest and get sufficient sleep. Dedicate moments to simple pleasures and delight in your favourite hobbies.
Move often. Catch the sun and bathe in nature. Enjoy long and short walks. Hit the gym for a healthy dose of happy hormones. Swim at the beach or in your local pool. Take yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi classes − join a group or try online tutorials. A focus on your fitness will also help to lower the risk of physical pain that often rears its head when under stress.
Eat well. Nutrition nourishes your brain. Choose a rainbow diet, one filled with a variety of colours. This provides the vitamins, minerals, and fats needed for brain function and mental wellbeing. But don’t be rigid or harsh; savour that piece of chocolate cake! Engage the 80/20 rule − eat well 80% of the time − remember food can, and should be, therapeutic and delicious.
Reduce your stress. Ongoing tension wears us down. This past couple of years has provided little respite. One negative event has followed another. Even when we’re not fully aware of it, harmful stress can exist. So...
Catch up with loved ones and plan regular social catch-ups; whether it’s in-person or online, keeping in contact with people is very important for your mental health. Keep a daily journal. Practice slow, deep and rhythmic breathing. Be mindful, fully in the present moment. Meditate, dance, sing, bake, cuddle animals, volunteer. Read an inspiring book. Watch the sun rise or set. Plan and take a holiday. Find those things that bring you calm and schedule them, regularly.
There is much you can do to protect your mental health and find joy, but if you need expert help, reach out. We can put you in touch with the right health professional.
Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.