an image of a person getting a shot or vaccine, representing the COVID-19 vaccine

Living through a pandemic is extremely stressful and can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. With new vaccines arriving, it looks like life might start to shift back to normal, but there will most likely still be many kids learning from home and remote working for employees. With uncertainty in the world, it can be easy to feel your mental health needs some support, so here are some ways you can improve your mental health from home.

Try online therapy

 There are more options than ever to support your mental health from home. Last year, many doctors and therapists had to move their practices online, making therapy a lot more accessible to everyone. Some companies even offer monthly plans and other affordable options to their patients. Therapy is a great way to improve your mental health and build the skill set you need to feel healthy and happy. 

Some benefits of therapy include:

  • Feeling empowered
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Stronger relationships
  • Better stress coping skills

While there used to be a stigma around therapy, it is now a more commonly talked about and experienced part of life. You can pick what works for you and find a therapist you connect with since many options are now available. 

Get your daily helps endorphins

Getting exercise is not only good for your body, but it is also a great way to improve your mental health. Exercise helps reduce anxiety, improves your self-esteem, and also helps enhance your mood. And you don’t have to run for miles or hop on a treadmill for hours to enjoy the benefits of exercise. You can try dance, yoga, pilates, weight lifting, or anything else you enjoy. If you are just starting a workout program, try to start slow and have an easily met goal, like 15 minutes per day. Once you feel more comfortable, you can increase that number. 

If you can’t get to a gym, try an online class or app. There are tons of programs online for free and some that cost under $10 per month. You can also just throw on your favorite song and dance. While it doesn’t “sound” like exercise, dance has an incredible effect on your body and mood. 

Get your meditation on 

Stress is normal in small doses, but you can experience elevated blood pressure, hair loss, and anxiety when you have been exposed to long-term stress like a pandemic. Managing your stress is crucial to improving your mental health. As mentioned above, you can try exercise and therapy to improve your stress levels, but you can also give mediation a try. Meditation improves your emotional well-being, helps you improve your response to stress, improves your self-esteem, and can even help reduce chronic pain. 

If you are new to mediation, you can try out a guided meditation app or even find free videos on Youtube. Your local yoga studio might also offer meditation classes both online and in the studio. Try to start small and work your way up. Even ten minutes per day can have huge benefits on your mental health. 

Take breaks

Are you trying to work, help kids, spend time with your partner, clean, cook, and do all of the things? Phew, that sounds tiring, and your growing to-do list can be a huge source of stress. While we often think we need to get everything done, it is ok to move some things on your to-do list around and take a break. Exposure to increased stress is no good for your body and can cause anxiety, hair loss, and burn out.  If you do not write down your to-do list, it might be time to start. Writing everything down can get it out of your head and help you break down your tasks in manageable ways. 

You can also give yourself one dedicated day to relax, spend time with your family, and let the chores go for a bit. While it can seem counterproductive, if you are always on the go, you are sure to get burnt out and struggle to get anything done- so schedule some mandatory me time. 

Stay social

If you are missing friends and family, it can be hard on your mental health. While some might not be ready to visit in person just yet, make sure you are actively face-timing or having zoom calls. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it still helps you feel connected to others, which is important for your mental health.

Be kind to yourself

The truth is, we are living during a pandemic, so you have to go easy on yourself. You might not be able to get everything done, hit all your deadlines, or even eat as healthy as you would like. Give yourself some grace and recognize the amazing things you do accomplish every day. One trick you can use to reframe negative self-talk is once you have a mean thought about yourself, come up with three positives. Maybe you wrote a great report for work, helped your kid with a new project, or even got a few workouts in. You can also focus on gratitude by journaling what you are grateful for every morning. This is a great practice to feel happier about your life and everyone in it. Gratitude is a major component of your mental health and can make you happier.

About the Author

Tiffany Fuller is a creator for illumiflow, a revolutionary brand helping its customers regrow their hair and Premium Web LLC.