Second Opinion Magazine
Tips for Mental Wellness and Happiness
By Sandra Anderson, BS, CHT, RM
The COVID-19 pandemic still touches everyone, everywhere, everyday. Adults, young adults, grandparents, kids of all ages, race, culture and all socioeconomic levels have lived in it over a year now. We all have been challenged to adjust at every level with changes in job, food, shelter, health, childcare, loss of loved ones etc. Research has shown higher levels of anxiety and stress for many. None of these stresses are new, but they may have been long term issues for many.
Being happy and emotionally well has taken a hit, right? It has for my clients. Yes, happiness and mental wellbeing can be improved. COVID-19 still has many sheltering in place, working from home and not all kids are back in school.
We all need mental space, physical activity for mental well-being and happiness. Living in close quarters has challenged us in how we communicate. Our loved ones don’t always do tasks the same way we do. That may be a stressor. But their best is probably good enough. Everyone can do better by practicing self compassion and being kind. Take a mindful moment to imagine what will raise your good vibrations.
1. Do get enough sleep: Sleep is a key to mental wellness, health and Happiness. Research shows our Monkey mind can be tamed by harnessing “the power of ritual”. You have control over what that ritual is, all steps help to train your body, it’s time for rest. Regulate the negative news: none after 8:00pm and find several good news channels.
No more phone or tablet after a certain time. Instead, replace electronics with a book you’d enjoy reading.
Prioritize what helps you the most in the AM, especially for work and kids.
2. Socialize. This is a big one. We are creatures that need personal contact. Make a friend of today’s technology. Smart phones, iPad or tablets really can be a good way to connect with friends and family.
Create a special coffee date or card game with friends on FaceTime, playdates for children. Research shows having a real time face-to-face does lessen stress and anxiety almost the same as in person. You see faces feeling emotions, hear their vocal expressions, and connect at the heart level. When you cannot meet in person, this new technological meeting going on helps... a lot.
3. Help someone else, random acts of kindness. It is doing something for another with no expectation for payment or thank you. Help an elder to connect in a FaceTime party with their grandkids. Pay forward at your favorite coffee shop, drive through, grocery store. Volunteer at local organizations when you feel safe. Share smiles they are free. “...If you want happiness for a life time, help someone else.” -Chinese proverb.
4. Daily take time to be present/mindful. “Be still and know.” These quiet times give you the moment to see where you are putting the creative energy of your thoughts. Is it where and what you really want? If not, choose again.