Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash

Mental resilience is just as important as spiritual and physical strength. We all have gone through so many changes to our life and environment during the past year. Pandemic fatigue is real. We find ourselves balancing friendships, relationships, work, and home, and sometimes, it just gets overwhelming, juggling the new challenges of trying to be supermen and women and keep it all together can lead to so much more stress.

The evening news drones on and sometimes it just takes a toll on our anxiety levels and just weighs us down. I’ve spent nights tossing and turning with an anxious mind, and I’m sure many of us have. The not knowing, can subconsciously get to us, make us tired, and social distancing, having to tuck a mask in our pocket and line up outside of a store and wait so that they don’t go over current capacity limits can make you grumpy. Yes, even my sweet-natured self tends to get into a Debbie Downer mode. I used to enjoy chatting a bit with the person in front of me or behind me, but now all I get back is a wide-eyed stare and no one is in the mood for conversation, even the brief kind of banter about the weather or current news. I try to deal with things as humorously as possible, but even I can get to feeling like a comedian landing a lop-sided joke with a bad mic and an unresponsive audience. People are overall tuned out, and just simply tired.

Aside from unplugging from the television and stopping your doomscrolling, there are some things that we can do to just get into a healthier mindset. If you find yourself heading down the grumpy person’s path, or just going ballistic waiting in the check-out lane when someone cuts in front of you trying to avoid the long line, take a deep breath, step back from the situation, and give yourself a little pep talk. Realize that other people are probably dealing with a lot on their plate too. No, hitting the other person in front of you with a shoe probably isn’t the best way to deal with frustration and you might be escorted out of the store (or worse) I say this jokingly of course, but we’ve all been in that situation figuratively.

Repeat after me, “Do not worry about the things that you cannot control”. Just do your best to protect yourself and your environment and breathe. Create a happy place, somewhere that you can escape to that allows you to just disconnect from the world, seriously, detach, don’t grab your phone every five minutes to find enrichment, create something with your hands instead; try to avoid the news as much as possible. Focus on what is in your space that brings you happiness and triggers joy, be it a pet, a crossword puzzle, tending to a plant (growing something and nurturing it is a wonderful idea) Engage in something that gives you a sense of true completion, like a jigsaw puzzle, something that you can feel, dive deep into.

The point is to show and tell yourself that you are okay in this space, that you will still thrive, there will still be a tomorrow and to slow ourselves down to appreciate the life around us. Similar to an anxiety attack exercise, find something that you can see, feel, taste, smell, hear. Focus on your heartbeat, your breathing, your rhythm, now, find your why. What can you do to improve the circumstances, can you reach out to someone? Try talking your emotions through even if it is just to yourself, and come from a place of action rather than reaction.

Sleep, if you need to, by that I mean try to incorporate a normal routine and don’t stray too far from your regular sleep patterns, it is easy to stay up way too late for your own good, but if you need a small nap, if we do not sleep for two hours or three or well into the night or day, it can refresh us.

These steps have worked for me previously, and I have found myself relying on them when life gets a little too hectic and I’m ready to lose it.

Claim your power back. You’ve got this.