How to stay mentally sane in 2020?
Even a psychopath would get affected somehow by the outpour of CraZyyy that has come down on us this year.
But I figure trying to stay sane is a good use of my time,
so here are some of my tricks to Staying Mentally Sane In 2020:
This is really important. Find whatever daily routines work for you, and then honor them. DAILY.
Is it making your bed in the morning and changing your clothes even when you work from home? Is it working out daily? Meditating daily? Is it taking your vitamins daily? Is it cooking with your family daily? Is it journaling? Is it jogging? Is it writing a daily blog? (ahem, yes!) Is it making a schedule of your day even when you are unemployed? Whatever daily routines you make - KEEP THEM.
I feel so grateful that I started with self-care about a year ago, when I noticed my habit of being a workaholic. It was tough at first, to allow some ME time purely for the sake of being peaceful, calm, and nourished. But I quickly started seeing the benefit of it, and continue to see that now. For me, self care is drinking juice daily. It's taking epson salt baths often. It's meditation. It's playing video games. (yes yes in moderation...) It's puzzling. It's doing something creative for the pure fun of it. It's going out to nature. It's writing. It's homemade face masks. It's incense. It's candle lights. It's homemade dinners. It's calling my loved ones for a chat.
How do you self-care?
*LIMITING news time.
Easier said than done, I know. I get almost addicted to the news these days...is it a form of masochism!? The news are hardly ever positive these days. Sigh... But knowing what's going on in the world, settles me a bit.
It gives me a much needed false sense of control. I should have underlined the word false.
Limiting my news intake helps me remember that I have no control anyways, and to try to let go and find happy moments within this new challenging reality we are all facing.
Being in attitude of gratitude literally shifts your brain!
I write five things I am grateful for every morning. Some days those things just roll right out on the page... other days, it's harder to feel grateful, and I usually strip it down to the most important: I am alive. I am breathing. I am healthy. I am whole. I am loved. Try writing your five things daily, you'll feel a shift and relief almost instantly. Key is to focus for a moment on that thing you are grateful for. Let it fill your heart for a moment. It feels soooo good.
Find whatever makes you laugh, and LAUGH OUT LOUD. Is it a sitcom on Netflix? Is it zooming with some of your funniest friends? Is it tickle parties with your spouse? Finding humor in difficult moments is incredibly human. We laugh and cry, cry and laugh, laugh and cry and cry and laugh. Humor gives us perspective and is a whole lot of fun. I recently watched Will Ferrell's Eurovision movie, it was silly, it was goofy, it was FUN.
If you are fortunate to have resources for a therapist or counselor, GO TO ONE! (I mean, virtually, duh)
This is a challenging time and it's beyond okay to ask for help. Healing is a process that can take years.... start now. If traditional therapy doesn't work for you, how about talking to a friend? Finding a church to belong to? Maybe group therapy is your thing? Or maybe a more holistic approach like acupuncture?
Whatever you do... it's all about being open to look inward and seek help. When I think about the plague of narcissism that has spread rapidly in recent years, and suicide, depression, and domestic violence rising in certain circles... the importance of mental and emotional health echoes loud and clear. It's never too late to seek help, and it's not weak to be vulnerable. It's actually quite brave, and it will open new possibilities of deeper relationships and understandings. It does for me...
How do YOU give back? Maybe by donating funds. Maybe by donating time. Maybe by being engaged in your community in some way. Is feeding the homeless a thing that moves you? Is offering free mediations or yoga on zoom to people more aligned with you? Is it by making phone calls encouraging people to vote? Is it by canceling rent on your tenant for a month? Is it by watching over your neighbor's dog while he's away? There are countless way to give back. Find yours.
*Get A Dose Of Nature.
I mean, the color green actually centers you! (Did you know that's why desks in schools are often painted green!?) Breathing fresh air, and appreciating nature has been a huge help for me this year. I am lucky to live close to the beach, and seeing the sunset on the ocean is a deeply grounding experience for me. Walking barefoot on the sand does it too. And picnicking in a park, or venturing into a waterfall, or going on a challenging hike...they all make me feel better instantly. So go hug a tree! It's safer than hugging a human right now...
Look, you already know that working out elevates dopamines in your brain. By that, it improves mood, motivates you to be more productive, and makes you feel happier. Not to mention it will help getting that beach body you want. I mean, don't you want to come out of Covid era being in the best shape of your life!?
Tell your loved ones you love them.
Enjoy the love they give you.
Know you are not alone, even if you are in isolation.
And love yourself. It's a cliche BECAUSE IT'S TRUE. ;)
Lastly, I don't claim to have 2020 'down' and know how to stay mentally sane whatsoever. I'm not even sure if I AM mentally sane right now, but I am compelled to share what works for me. It can change tomorrow, which brings me to the most helpful trick I have:
Grow your skill of adaptability. So you can roll with the punches. So you can make a challenging time like this one - a wonderful time to re-set and grow. I develop my skill of adaptability by trying new things, by facing fears, by staying with discomfort and seeing its affect on me.
This year has given us all a lesson in adaptability.
How are you doing with that, friend?
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman