In 2020, Mental Health Awareness Month takes on a special significance. While the coronavirus pandemic has our complete attention – and rightly so – there’s another topic that’s front and centre in everyone’s mind. It’s a topic that’s directly related to the pandemic: Mental Health.
We have found five tools that can help you thrive during this pandemic versus giving into temptations. We can all use these tools to safeguard our mental and emotional health.
1. Own Your Feelings. When you can identify and discuss your emotions, you increase your ability to manage the most difficult ones.
2. Look for the Positive. Experts say the best way to find the positive in your life is to start with gratitude. When you can name the things you’re grateful for, positivity will follow.
3. Nurture Your Connections. Make sure you stay in touch with family, friends, and peers. Send emails, use the phone, use social media – use anything that helps you connect with the people you love. Talking things out with a friend can lift your mood when you’re down and make a good day even better.
4. Remove Toxic Influences. Mental Health Month is the perfect time to identify and remove the toxic influences in your life. Work to name and eliminate toxic habits, toxic people, and toxic patterns of thought.
5. Establish New Routines. Shelter in place orders and social distancing guidelines mean most of us have extra time on our hands – time we can fill creating habits that support mental health and well-being. This is a good time to revise your approach to food, sleep, exercise, and media use. Think big, but start small: positive change happens over time, and it’s best to make manageable changes you can stick to, rather than big changes that overwhelm you.
These five tools – the Tools 2 Thrive – revolve around personal empowerment. The key to positive mental health lies within each of us. We have the ability to accept and embrace ourselves and our emotions – perfect or imperfect – and take steps to manage our difficulties and improve our daily lives. And we can do more than that: we can share these five steps with people we care about. If we help just one person get through a tough day, or give them access to support they’ve never had, then we consider that a win – for everyone.