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How to keep mentally healthy during a crisis

Have you experienced a crisis lately? In recent times, the global community has been faced with a pandemic and this has led to various crises occurring in people’s lives. How can you stay mentally healthy during a crisis? Here are eight steps to help you look after your mental health.

1. Acknowledge the reality

Many times when a crisis hits our lives, we waste a lot of resources on wallowing in the unfairness of the situation but we need to rather accept the reality of the situation and work towards making positive steps towards what is affecting our life. In a way, we need to accept what is happening and then see how this crisis affects our world. We may start to feel overwhelmed by the impact of the crisis on our life but we need to create small steps each day to walk into our new reality.

2. Set boundaries

When you are going through a crisis you may have limited resources, therefore it is important to set up boundaries. You should limit how much you scroll on your social media platforms as this may add to your anxiety and stress. Furthermore, you could let people know that you would rather discuss a different topic if talking about your current crisis stresses you out.

3. Exercise

Going for a walk or dancing in your kitchen to your favourite tunes are all ways to get the endorphins running in your body. Doing exercise also helps to relieve stress in your body.

4. Keep your connections

Many times when you are going through a crisis, you will want to lose connection with those close to you. It is important to keep in contact with those around you. If you can’t talk to someone around you then you should contact the national counselling line, Lifeline, so that they can help you during the crisis.

5. Process your emotions

When you are putting out fires, you are often in auto-pilot, and shove the emotions into a box. It is important to take the box, sit with the painful emotions and feel them so that you can heal. You should not wallow in it, but if you feel you need to cry then do so because this will help with the processing of these emotions.

6. Journal your thoughts

Another way to process a crisis is to journal your thoughts. Sit down for two to five minutes and write down how you feel about a situation. By writing down your thoughts you will help your brain to process the emotions you are feeling about a certain situation.

7. Assess your day

According to Colorado University’s article on mental health, you should assess your day into bright spots and landmines. Bright spots are those things in your day which have a positive impact on your mood and landmines are those things which have a negative impact on your day. When you have identified these items then you should make two lists and try to incorporate more of what makes your day better and try to put systems in place to prevent the landmines from happening in your day.

8. Do something for you

There are things we enjoy doing but sometimes in a crisis, we forget to do it or think we don’t have time or energy to do it. But we must take time to do those things which bring us joy during the day. By doing things we enjoy during our day, we will bring balance to our life.

By following these eight steps you will be well on your way to improving your mental health through a crisis.

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