It’s always good to focus on your mental health, and now even more so, because of winter’s lack of light, holiday stress, perhaps unemployment, the COVID-19 stress, all these can affect our mood negatively. A good mental health is vital for optimal functioning, says psychotherapist and founder of PsihoSensus Valentina Dragomir. She adds that poor mental health can lead us to avoid people, isolate ourselves, see ourselves in a bad light, procrastinate, or not being able to do the basic day by day tasks.
Recently, we’ve reached out to a wide range of friends, from small business owners to fellow bloggers, to pick their brains and know more about the importance of mental health to them. Here are some of their thoughts:
To Effectively Embrace the New Normal
Now is a very important time to focus on mental health because the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t only made life more difficult for everyone, both socially and financially, but it’s also reshaping our social and professional dynamic to which most of us are unaccustomed.
Anecdotally speaking, if before I would work from my office and attend meetings, now I’m working remotely and meeting people on Zoom video conferences. If before I would go to my local gym, now I’m going for jogs in my local park.
In order to embrace this new normal, it’s very important to focus on mental health so that we’re better poised to accept and make the most of our new circumstances and make for a personally and professionally rewarding experience.
– Laura Fama, Co-Founder, Dimepiece LA
To Help Us Resist and Survive the Crisis
I’ve been really focusing on my mental health and strength for the past few years. Anything from meditation, to psychotherapy, to gratitude, to journaling, and all that jazz.
The end goal was to be as efficient in my day-to-day life as I could, and knowing that it all comes from the inside that’s where I started. So, I guess I can have a good input for your query.
When we face a crisis, the health of our mind is the first to be affected. Paradoxically, mental health is the first thing that helps us resist and survive the crisis.
In times of crisis, the brain instinctively reduces its higher functions—those that support long-term planning—and moves into a primitive regime of immediate reaction to threats. If these symptoms are recurrent and persistent, our ability to calm decreases. In the midst of the current crisis caused by COVID-19, we need our capacity for self-calm.
It’s important to remember that there are things we can control, but there are also things that are entirely out of our control. Constant worries about the issues we can’t control lead to anxiety, directly affecting our mental and physical health. Anxiety and stress can also affect our immune system, which can make us more vulnerable to an infectious disease.
To limit the symptoms that can affect your mental health, you have to do the things that are in your immediate control. Some of these may include:
• Sticking to a daily routine like waking up, taking a shower, and dressing up as if you’re getting ready to leave for work.
• Making your bed and cleaning the house.
• Working out and stretching. There are plenty of free routines on YouTube.
• Staying in touch with loved ones through free video apps.
– Amru Shaban, Founder, Strength Gang
To Improve Our Physical Wellbeing
Taking proper care of our mental health is essential if we want to live a healthy life. Our mental health influences how we think, how we react to certain things but takes a toll on our physical health. For instance, if we stress too much, our immunity levels might drop, making us more prone to illnesses, but cause other problems, including gastrointestinal problems.
To explain it better, there’s evidence of a gut-brain connection. Those two parts of our body share many nerve connections, and the gut itself has a lot of nerve endings; we call it our second brain. When we’re stressed, the fight or flight response causes changes in our digestive system, including spasms in the esophagus, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation.
Lastly, we should want to take care of our mental health for the people we love too. We cannot give our loved ones and family the maximum if we’re not okay in our bodies. Knowing how to handle your thoughts, stress, and mental health issues that impact your daily functioning will help us skyrocket all other vital parts of our existence.
– Dr. Lina Velikova, MD, Ph.D., Medical Advisor, Supplements101
To Preserve Personal and Professional Relationships
I‘m not really an expert in this, but I thought your audience could really benefit from my experience of
suffering from bad mental health and then improving it.
I run a shoe website, and I also have a small business. My deteriorating mental health made it so much harder for me to focus on my life during the pandemic. I was losing everything including my business. After speaking with a therapist, I did, however, get back on track.
But what I really want to say here is that unstable mental health can ruin many things for you. It can ruin relationships with parents, siblings, and you may find things crumbling around you at what you previously excelled at.
Though it does take time to realize this, improving your mental health is the only option. It can ruin everything that you may have built with so much dedication over the past few years. For this very reason, you should work on improving your mental health before it’s too late.
Use free time during this pandemic to improve your skills or learn a few more. Clever use of this time can actually boost your knowledge and allow you to grow as a person.
– Sarah Walker, Founder, Shoes Centric