The brand new baseline: self-care and psychological well being throughout a pandemic
This pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another. From isolation to loss and grief to economic hardship, worries about health, isolation, postponing dreams, changing and canceling plans – we all feel it.
With no clear end in sight, we are all learning how to adapt to a new reality and a general sense of insecurity.
Mental health is important
Mental health can be a delicate balance. Throw in a pandemic – one of the most intense periods, if not the most intense, we've experienced in our lives, and it can easily make previous mental health problems worse.
Alone in the US 53% of adults Respondents reported that stress from the coronavirus had a negative impact on their mental health. Prices The psychological stress is even higher for first aiders and medical service providers.
Over time, we will continue to see the growing mental health impact of the pandemic, especially as it takes time for the world's economies to recover. This can manifest itself as Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, increased rates of substance abuse and suicidal thoughts or attempts, and domestic abuse and violence.
It's okay to feel wrong
Even if you don't have more serious mental health issues, you may have a general feeling of meh, bleh, or uhh.
We want you to feel your best, but not only is completely okay to feel uncomfortable, it's expected at this point as well.
As frustrating as it may be, feeling persistent fatigue, a lack of motivation, or increased worry, the last thing you have to do is beat yourself up for it. Give yourself permission to be okay with these feelings. Understand that you didn't do anything wrong and that you don't always have to focus on feeling happy or positive.
Balance is key, and that means feeling the full range of your emotions and looking for red flags that could indicate a more serious problem.
You may not feel most "productive" or motivated to get things done and get things done. That's fine! It can be helpful to change your perception of what being productive means. Right now, productivity may not mean meeting deadlines and making money, but rather taking the time to move your body and hang out with loved ones.
Through the pressures of life, we find new and novel ways to connect with one another, get involved and learn about the world, explore (often virtually) and practice self-care.
When you think of self-care, you probably think of meditation, massages, and manicures. These are all great tools, but we urge you to look beyond them.
Self care is all that does exactly that. takes care of the self. Why do you feel cared for? What feeds your body, mind and soul? What allows you to feel moments of softness and clarity?
These actions can be as big as a virtual retreat or as small as a few deep breaths to ground yourself.
Here are some of our favorite simple self-care tools that go back to basics:
- Cook: Whether you are a master at the kitchen or just starting out, cooking is a great way to develop your creative skills, nourish your body, and stay in the present.
- Gardening: You don't need a large garden to try your hand at gardening. You can create a herb garden even in the smallest of apartments. There is nothing like touching dirt to calm the soul.
- Move: Not only is physical activity important to a healthy mind, it can help you get back in time, ground you, and relieve the pain that can come from working from home. A brisk walk or dance in your room is great. You may also want to try an online or outdoor training course.
- Breathing: Just a few deep breaths can be enough to get you centered. This helpful Breathing exercises can help you shift your energy levels and improve your mood.
- Art: Art is the external representation of your soul. How do you prefer to express yourself? Music? Painting? To dance? Handcraft? Whatever it is, art is one of our most popular self care products.
- Community: Who in your community do you feel most supported and uplifted with? Whether it's a friend to giggle or a shoulder to cry on. Make an effort to stay connected to your community virtually or in person.
- Nature: Mother Nature is always at your disposal and waits with her loving, open arms. A hike, a dip in a body of water, a camping trip, or just stepping outside your house can all help to change your mood for the better.
- Be nice to yourself: Lastly, remember to be kind to your sweet soul. We all go through a lot and kindness is one of the most powerful but underrated tools we have. Use it!
As disoriented as the world may be, remember what is important to you and prioritize it. What makes you feel the most alive and peaceful? Get to know these practices and let them help you.
Know when to seek help
If you have problems or believe that you pose a risk to your own safety or that of those around you, please contact a qualified professional.
The US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always available, although you may find a more suitable resource in your area.
You don't have to struggle to seek professional help. Therapy, whether in a group or one-on-one setting, can be helpful regardless of where you are mentally and emotionally. There are a growing number of online and virtual ones resourcesthat you can use to speak to a professional from the comfort of your home.
Wherever you are emotional, we encourage you to find the support you need. Be it with a therapist, a tree, a friend, a lover or with you.
Natasha's passion for reproductive health began at the age of fourteen when she was present at the birth of her youngest sister. Her incredible experiences as a birthing doula gave her insights into the magical realm of childbirth, pregnancy and everything in between. Your role as an obstetrician is her way of serving as an activist. She uses writing as an important educational tool to bring about changes in our view of reproductive health as a whole.