Updated: May 25
May is mental health awareness month, and with the already added stress of social distancing and remaining the #StayHome orders in full effect, things are taking a toll on the mental more than usual.
Studies show that about 50% of Americans are dealing with underlying undiagnosed mental disorders, and without proper treatments, the effects can be determinantal on one's life. What we have left are human beings who are moving about with little ambition, excitement about life, or love for self—just going through the motions of a life unfulfilled and exhausted.
Here are a few steps one can take to improve your overall mental grades in just 21 days. According to most studies, it takes 21 days to develop a habit. As silly as some may sound when you speak something consistently, it truly does become your reality. Do different to breed different results. When you say certain things to your mind, you're, in essence, reprogramming the way you think, unlocking your subconscious thoughts and keys to make healthy conscious decisions more easily. It takes to undo all that you know to make room for what you genuinely need to reenact.
Firstly, speaking positive, encouraging words to oneself has proven to be successful with changing the way a person views them self. Rebuild your self-esteem, as I mentioned in a previous article I had written; the perspective on ego has caused so many to think very little of themselves. If you haven't read it, check it out. Be conceited. With moderation, of course, but you nonetheless build yourself in the morning as soon as you open your eyes. Some refer to them as affirmations, a statement of what are you proud of about yourself? If you have to take these statements and write them onto a sticky note and then post them all over your wall, you are encouraged to do that. Again it is about self-care; by whatever means necessary. If everyone is focused on improving self, whose going to care that your hallway has positive, uplifting affirmations.
Read them, believe them, and live them purposefully.
Secondly, eat a balanced meal. Feed your body as that is the only way to ensure you have the proper nutrients to fuel your mind and soul as well. Some entirely omit breakfast, but it's the fuel to carry you throughout the day. Have you ever heard of the term hangry? When you're upset because you're hungry. Your stomach is screaming feed me, Seymour, to your brain. Once you have reached this point, your energy levels are depleted, and your brain is low on the natural happy medicine; dopamine. It could be something small like a cup of yogurt and banana with fresh juice or a warm bowl of whole grains with fresh fruit. Just taking the time alone is a sign of self-care, caring enough for self that you provide the proper nutrients to your body before you carry it out to endure the demands of the day.
Photo credit~Adrian Clarke
Lastly, Make yourself look nice.
When you look good, you feel good. It doesn't have to be a ball gown and a full face of makeup, but something that makes you feel good when you look in the mirror. For me, I have my favorite pair of tights and a tank top, a slicked up ponytail, and some mismatched socks, smelling like a scent of rose oil that I made on one of these new moons. Walking around like clouds are being laid out in front of me with each step I take. The simple things
Full mind, full-body, entire soul I have my armor to face the day. Uplifting self without the need for the superficial validations of the world. Do this every morning for 21 days, and I promise you will notice a difference, but you have to stick to it. Nothing beats adversities like resilience. Dedicate time for you; if nothing else comes from this stay at home order, time for self is provided for all who take advantage.
If you want to accelerate the rate in which you reach mental peace, implement a mediation routine into your schedule. Meditation doesn't have to be hard; start small, with at least 10-15 minutes dedicated to sitting in one place. My first successful attempt was with a lit candle; in my bedroom with a house full of four children running around. It took some focus, but within minutes I was in another zone, a headspace that became addictive, and before you know it, I was meditating daily.
Start creating Healthy routines for you.
Find more resources at Mental Health America.