It is now the month of May as well as Mental Health Awareness month.  Many are experiencing sadness and depression now more than ever as we cope with COVID-19.  Things have drastically changed for all of us, and to be honest, it’s not something we were truly prepared for.  

Some are experiencing feelings they have never felt and it’s important to know what to do when foreign feelings show up.  Here are a few ways to grow through it:

Less fear and worry

A good part of my life has been controlled by fear.  Although my level of fear has lessened, there are times when it does find it’s way back.  Now is one of those times since we all have a new normal.  What I’ve learned is to allow myself to feel but to make a promise that I won’t stay there long if it will affect my ability to properly function.

I like to use the phrase “Grow through the fear”. You have to ask yourself what it is you need to learn from it that will assist you in getting through life when new problems occur.  

Seek wise counsel

One thing you must know is that you are not unstable or crazy for having to seek counsel in times like these.  When you are feeling down or negative thoughts seem to take over your life, it is important to have someone you can talk to about what you’re going through.  

Go for a walk

Get some sun!  Vitamin D has a tremendous amount of health benefits.  Walking in your neighborhood for 15-20 minutes a day to clear your mind helps.  I like to listen to podcasts or soothing music when I’m walking.  I have found this to be very helpful in pulling me away from what’s going on.

Get proper sleep

It is important to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  It does make a difference in the flow of your day. Not getting proper rest can cause a long list of issues.  Say NO to the news, social media and phone calls after a certain time each night because those things will still be there in the morning.

We say YES to everything even when we aren’t feeling our very best, but there is great reward in self-care and recognizing the things that do not play a role in you being your best self.

Practice gratitude

How many times throughout the day do you wish things were different?  It can be easy to focus on what we do not like.  Pay close attention to when this happens, and each time you notice yourself spending time on dislikes, write down something in your life you do like.  Place it where you can see it every day and watch your gratitude change.