I think we can all agree that the last couple of years were never in our plan. Whether we were at the best or the worst place in our lives by the end of 2019, a wide-spread virus and quarantine put just about everything on hold. Jobs, businesses, and routines all over the world were brought to a sudden halt—and one that has lasted for nearly two years. However, while many of our practical, everyday needs were unable to be met, this two-year pause did help to shine a light on our society’s immediate need for mental health resources.
Whether you were facing pandemic-induced anxiety or depression, or you were fighting an old battle with any existing diagnoses, many of us had no choice but to ask for help. Luckily, with some time surrounded by loved ones and away from our busy lives we were able to truly care for our health. But now that we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the question is, ‘how do we maintain our mental health post-pandemic?’ Well, here are some tips to help you do just that.
Normalise Your Needs
One of the biggest stigmas we often face when battling with mental health is the misconception that asking for help is considered weak. When in fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Whether your struggle requires therapy, emotional support, or prescription medicine, asking for help and tending to your needs are the strongest things you could ever do for yourself. Specifically after the pandemic, this is the type of mindset we all need to adopt. By normalizing our natural, human need for assistance in times of need we can slowly eliminate this stigma, not only within ourselves but within our society as well.
We can see how normalising our needs can even impact companies like Gopuff, who recently piloted prescription-based services in Philadelphia to support its consumers’ health throughout the pandemic. Similarly, BetterHelp, an online therapy service has created some buzz during the pandemic because of its on-the-go accessibility that has normalised therapy and integrated it into our daily lives.
Along the same lines as asking for help, we need to make the point of staying connected post-pandemic as well. Many of our mental illnesses thrive in isolation; making it so important to establish a healthy lifestyle and surround yourself with a support system.
Not only will a support system help you appreciate the good times, but they can also hold you accountable when you are struggling. And I know what you’re thinking but accountability is actually not as scary as it sounds. It is simply allowing your loved ones to call you out when you are living a life that is less than what you deserve. Luckily, when the accountability is coming from someone you trust, it can be the driving force that makes you want to be better mentally and emotionally and maintain your health for the long haul.
Find Your Passion
Oftentimes we hear that distraction is the best way to keep your mind off of the negatives in life. However, distraction is temporary and will only promote diversion, not growth. Passion however, will encourage you to go after the best things and life and in return, will promote mental wellness stability as well.
A passion is whatever you deem it to be. It can be as simple as a love for reading or even a full-time job in teaching. In any case, it can allow you to step outside of your struggles and feel your impact on the world. Passions are also much more sustainable than distraction because they are not rooted in a temporary escape but instead, they are based in a love for a particular thing or idea. Exploring your passions can provide you with a sustaining peace that can get you through whatever feelings of uncertainty may arise after the pandemic.
Take a Break
Lastly, don’t forget to take a breather! Given the lax lifestyle that the pandemic brought on, many of us may rush back into the busy and overwhelming lives we once lived. However, we often underestimate the power of mental and emotional strain. We think that since we’ve had so much downtime these last couple of years, we no longer need a break. However, whether you are working a job or working on yourself, your mind is constantly going and is still in need of a break.
Pandemic or not, don’t forget to prioritize yourself. Meet your own needs, stay connected with those you love, explore your passions, and as always, take a break and you’ll be sure to find some stability in your life.