There is no denying that this has been one of the most challenging years ever experienced by many people. The general mood of our nation has understandably dropped and many have reported feelings of depression- a huge percentage of them for the first time in their lives. If you’re feeling unlike yourself we wanted to reach out a hand and hopefully give some simple steps to finding the old you.
First, take the Beyond Blue mental health checklist. It’s easy to underplay your emotions so taking the first step and leaning on a trusted resource like Beyond Blue will help solidify your position.
Next, Talk. Talk to your family or friends and definitely talk to your GP. This is something we women are usually pretty good at however we’re also renowned for putting others first. Remember, if you’re not loving yourself how can you love others? A me-first approach isn’t as selfish as it sounds.
If your mental health is suffering due to the current COVID pandemic then this is a unique situation and there is a specific response to deal with this once-in-a-century event. Services are becoming more accessible with online consults or telehealth now covered by Medicare.
It’s true that we are in this together but it’s fair to say so many are feeling alone, in particular, our Victorian friends. It’s worth sending a genuine message of thanks to all of Victoria for doing it so tough for so long and dramatically weakening the spread.
If you’re after small practical actions you can take right now there is a lot to be said for how you begin each day. Whilst these tips don’t replace professional support there are some mood-boosting ways to start your day
- Say a mantra to yourself. It can be out loud, in your head or written nice and clear as a visual reminder but you won’t believe how far this little trick can get you. It’s not a hippy commune technique there is evidence behind the power of positive affirmations. You aren’t winning the lottery but you’re setting the scene for the day and positioning your mind to be in the best place from the outset. Fight those negative thought patterns with a sentence or two that truly speaks to you.
- Dust off clothing that makes you happy! Put on that lippy you love! As Marie Kondo would describe them, look for pieces that “spark joy”. You don’t need to dress up (although that’s fine too) but a fun comfortable frock or a favourite colour top to lift your spirits, as certain colours have been proved to have an effect on our mood.
- Take a mindful minute. Stop. Breathe. Rest. Resting your mind is an activity that takes practise but once you get accustomed to it it will be your most relished moment of the day. You definitely don’t have to master anything, it’s all about stopping and being still and clearing your mind.
- Get Moving. Yes, it’s the opposite of our tip above but it’s not about going hard at it. You don’t have to break a sweat even stretching is a brilliant motivator and ties into the calming principles of yoga. It’s all about getting the flow going and understanding your body.
Ultimately, be kind to yourself. We always talk of being kind to one another but this has to start within yourself. The inner-monologue is the driving force to your wellbeing and a negative voice isn’t welcome.
Stay well and reach out if need be.