Times haven't been that great lately. Activities to improve mental health are suddenly showing up as important on the graph - as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on our otherwise perfect mental health; leaving our minds to wander into the melancholy that exists outside. Well, we don't want you to stroll too far off and rather identify any problem at the very source of it. There might be multiple reasons for you feeling low at this time, for example, being away from your family and loved ones. Some of us have the habit of going all rogue on the weekends to let off the steam. Yet some others rely on comfort food in order to improve mental strength.
Now, what are the characteristics of good mental health?
While the definition of being happy is highly subjective and diverse, there are a few common parameters
- Being able to communicate your feelings well, being articulate in your thoughts are signs of good mental health.
- Socializing well with people, or if you're an introvert, being best friends with the four walls of your room. If there have been no particular changes in your usual routine, your mind is doing well.
- Having a regular sleep cycle, getting a healthy amount and a good quality of sleep.
- Having a good, regular appetite. No binge eating, and no excessively low intake of food.
Self diagnose your present state in an honest manner. Talking about your mental health is the first step to better mental health, so leave all your insecurities behind and open up! If you feel that you are struggling to keep up with what is going on around the globe, do not panic. Here are some good mental health tips and a few activities to improve mental health -
Mental and physical health go hand in hand
It is common to feel low when you are sick, and it is common to feel sick when you are low. Your body and your mind are connected in more ways than one. A good way to make your mind happier is by exercising, as body releases endorphins or 'feel good' hormones while working out. Yes, you can rely on physical activities to improve mental health. A daily home workout routine would work great in this scenario, as it would bind you to be regulated. Just work up some workout leggings or your regular yoga activewear tops, and your daily women's activewear outfit is good enough to nail your workout!
Talk to yourself
Quit being too harsh on yourself, as you need a share of your own kindness too. You need to inculcate within yourself some habits to improve mental health. You need to discover exactly what works for you. For some people it might be journal-ling, yet for some others it might be sketching or painting. But no matter what, try to open up and discuss your issues with someone. Only talking about your mental health will show you how to be mentally healthy and happy. a improve mental health during lockdown.
The renowned magazine Psychology Today talks in length about the good vibes you can give to your own mind and soul and consequently improve mental health during lockdown
Eat good food.
Studies have been published stating that various foods do hold the capability to reduce your stress. Omega 3 fatty acids (found commonly in fish, flaxseeds) are known to lower anxiety levels. Deficiency of Vitamin D is known to prolong one's recovery from depression. Hence you can rely on these foods to improve mental health. Do not eat something that you would feel guilty about afterwards, as is likely to happen if you indulge in unhealthy binge eating. To maintain the perfect mental health, you need to be mindful about some activities to improve mental health like consuming healthy and wholesome foods like nuts and leafy greens.
Here is an article stating accounts of various people who have fought their mental health problems by introducing new foods in their diet, or new diets altogether.
Have a daily routine
One must have things to look forward to each day, as the simplest of things can give us a reason to keep moving forward. In order to improve mental health during lockdown, you must not let the quarantine get to your head. Make a routine of things to do everyday to improve mental health, like a daily home workout, or chores focusing on one corner of the house.
The certainty of our routine can help us to manage the uncertainty that life can throw up.
Develop a hobby
If you don't have a hobby yet, will there ever be a better time to develop one? Relaxing hobbies like gardening, colouring, listening to music are known to improve mental strength. If you lack focus and need to better your concentration, turn to meditation for mental health and well being. Certain articles on mental health do raise awareness on how to improve mental health, anxiety by laying out a plethora of options for creative and mind engaging hobbies.
Please do not give in to myths surrounding mental health that state only people with severe issues need assistance. Any one of us can be dealing with problems and it is perfectly okay to seek help from someone. If you feel that you need a little more than casual talking with people around you, feel free to contact a counselling firm like Vandrewala Foundation (Call - 0261 2667600\1800 2333330 Email - firstname.lastname@example.org)
At the end of the day, remember to feel grateful for the people who care for you and love you. Everything is temporary, but your happiness doesn't have to be!
By: Akanksha Mehta