It's Mental Health Awareness Month. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a toll on many people and their mental state.
As the world slowly starts to reopen and there is a glimmer of hope of normal, even if it is still down the road, picking yourself up and getting back in the game isn’t always easy.
What can you do right now?
Dr. Alok Trivedi is a health and human behavior expert who is founder of the Aligned Performance Institute and author of the book ‘Chasing Success.’
He says 7 pivots that we can all focus on right now:
- Pick yourself up: The world is reopening and so must you. During quarantine, it’s easy to feel isolated, depressed and even sorry for yourself, but it’s time to pickup the pieces. Start slow to avoid overwhelming yourself. Reconnect with friends, colleagues and extended family you haven’t talked with recently. Get outside into the fresh air. Look ahead to the future and get excited with what you have coming up.
- Boost your mental focus: It’s time to let go of the negativity and COVID gossip and start focusing on more positive things. Take a close look and work on things like your energy, passion, zest for life, the language you use, your attitude and thoughts. It’s not as easy as snapping your fingers, but getting these things revved up and in alignment will make you feel a lot better and get you back in the game again.
- Slowly incorporate your old routine: Depending on the local health guidelines where you live, focus on slowly reincorporating part of your old routine into your current life. Maybe that means safely start going to the grocery store, spending a few hours in the office, sitting on the driveway with friends or whatever it is that makes up your day. Always put safety first, of course, but little by little the more you do the more normal you’ll begin to feel.
- Make it fun: We’ve all been through a lot and taken an emotional beating the last few months. One of the best ways to recover is by incorporating more fun into your life. This is one of the biggest elements that has been lacking for most of us lately. Whatever your definition of fun is, put a focus on it as you begin to adjust to life again. Your mental health and well-being will thank you.
- Put a focus on healthy relationships: Humans are social creatures who need interaction with one another. As you begin to have more person-to-person interaction, make sure you’re keeping healthy relationships. If a relationship – whether a business colleague, personal friend or of the romantic kind – isn’t healthy, supportive and mutually beneficial, that’s not going to help your emotional health as you start to return to normal life.
- Lend a hand: When you help others, you also help yourself. It’s a natural pick-me-up and one of the best things you can do for your emotional health. How can you assist your friends and neighbors? Does a colleague need help with a project? Can you giveback to first responders? It doesn’t have to be much, but lending even a small hand can make a big difference in how you feel.
- Get help if you need it: If all else fails and you still aren’t feeling like yourself, get professional help. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. Often times, things don’t get better if you let them sit and fester. They only get worse. Get help and start feeling better.