Well, here we are finally in December. I want to check in and see how you’re all doing?
Are you taking care of yourself? Getting up every morning and brushing your teeth? Remember, no matter what, you’re the one in charge of your own mental health. Yes, you. You’re the one who needs to make every effort to move forward and make wise choices for yourself.
SideBar: Please know that I’m an Auntie and not a psychiatrist or medical professional. Here, when I speak of mental health I’m not referring to clinical or diagnosed psychosis. This is my opinion.
From an Auntie’s perspective, it’s been difficult to watch you and other young people have your wings clipped to wait out this pandemic. And it’s tragic to watch depression, anxiety, and negativity take over for some.
You need to know that those around you can only do so much. They can listen, they can make suggestions, and they can love you, but they can’t do the hard work for you. That is completely up to you.
Sometimes others will get frustrated with you. Try to cut them some slack.
It comes from a place of concern and love. When someone who cares about you sees you tired and despondent, they want you to snap out of it. They want to help you recognize how you’re acting and get you to do something about it. Remember, no one can do it for you…
There is help out there. There are help lines with trained professionals at the other end to talk to, there are hospitals and doctors, mental health centres and those that care for you… But you have to step up, recognize what’s going on with you and seek that help. If you’re in that place, do it now. Make that call, see your doctor… don’t wait or ignore how you feel.
If you’re at a place where you’re bored, down (not out), and lonely—here are five simple things you can do for your own mental health.
Go for a walk.
If you’re not much of a walker then saunter over to a park bench and sit. Maybe read a book or just watch people walk by. Remember to take a deep breath every once in a while as it will clear the head.
Sounds pretty mundane, but getting the blood pumping and breathing in some fresh air is extremely therapeutic. Just stroll around and take in some deep breaths. You’ll feel better.
Have a shower and put on fresh clothes.
Ahhh…. nothing like being clean to feel better. Practicing personal hygiene is so important and makes a big difference for your mood. After showering, brushing, shaving, etc. make sure you put clean clothes on. You don’t want to be all smelling fine and then put on some sweats that haven’t seen the inside of a washing machine in a month–that defeats the purpose.
Change your sheets and wash all your bedding.
If you’ve been spending a lot of time in bed, then it may be time to wash it all and make your bed. Don’t just heap the blankets on your bed… make an effort. It feels good to climb into a freshly made bed.
Write your feelings, frustrations, angst, down.
Keep a cheap notebook to jot down things that are bugging you.
—be blunt and use any language you want. It’s about getting the crap out of your head where it can fester and take on a life of its own. Believe me, writing, scribbling, doodling, creating can work wonders.
Connect with another human being.
This is so important. This could be in person or via electronic media—Zoom, FaceTime, Messenger—whatever. I’m not talking about texting or email…that’s too impersonal. I want you to actually see and converse with the other person. Maybe it’s your mom or your best friend in another town, I don’t care—connect so you can see each other’s faces, hear the voice and enjoy the experience.
Take care of yourself and your mental health. Believe me, you’re going to want to be healthy and ready to embrace all the world offers when this pandemic is over. Be healthy.
If you’re reading this and you know a young person who may benefit from reading it, please share it.
Here are some other articles I’ve written specifically for young people… Please enjoy and share.