How are you? I hope you’re looking after your mental health at the moment. It’s tough to stay grounded and compassionate when the news is full of war. Our nervous systems have barely had a chance to recover from the panic and anxiety of the pandemic when we’re being activated again. The stress hangs around in the body unless we do something about it so I’m sharing a few of my ideas in case they help.
How I look after my mental health in challenging times
My strategy is 3-fold: I practice gratitude at least once a day by writing down what I’m grateful for, and trying to carry that attitude through my day. It helps to be very specific so instead of just being grateful for Rosie the dog (obviously!), I am grateful for her warmth as she sleeps curled up next to me.
I don’t want to see distressing images so I’m avoiding newspapers and tv news, staying up to date by reading blogs or listening to podcasts (those links are more educating myself on the background to the conflict). That’s about as much as I can cope with at the moment! Or you could avoid news altogether with this silly 80s pop classic!
The final part of my scientifically-formulated plan 🙂 is taking concrete action to support the people of Ukraine when the opportunity arises. It helps no-one for me to be lost in sorrow or overwhelm, so taking care of my mental health means I’m better able to help. After a recent break from work, looking after myself, I was delighted to be able to say yes when asked to teach yoga to some Ukrainian people staying locally.
What can you do to look after your mental health?
Do you think you could try avoiding news, being grateful and taking concrete action when the opportunity arises? I’d love to know how you got on.
My online yoga classes are specifically designed to address mental health challenges. We work on
- reducing the harmful affects of stress,
- learning to relax and let go, and
- practising ‘tools’ that we can use in chgallengees that crop up in day to day life.