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Understanding the Tie Between Mental Health & Self-Care During a Pandemic

Self-care: the two-word term that seems to riddle our timelines and flash through countless IG stories daily. It’s overused, overworked and often misinterpreted. It’s frequently tied to the “treat yo’ self” mentality and usually includes a new outfit, a mani/pedi and a trip to the South of France, right? Although that’s technically self-care, if it makes you smile without breaking the bank, it leaves out a lot of depth.

So, honestly, what is self-care?

It’s the choices you make in your life that bring you peace and happiness. Those mean different things to different people, but the outcome is the same. Self-care has a lot to do with the stigmatized, hushed, deep world of mental health. It’s time to break the silence around the importance of self-care for mental health in both men and women. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. We need to exercise our emotions and minds often. Mental health should be something we can talk openly about without feeling shame, guilt or embarrassment. Seriously, stop making people feel terrible about living with anxiety, depression or whatever else they may experience. And for those that live with mental health disorders, this is your reminder to stop feeling ashamed about what makes you, you and dive headfirst into self-care. When we know better, we do better, right?

Self-care leads to higher levels of self-love, confidence and a more fulfilling life.

So, what are some self-care ideas?

1. A day at the beach to soak up the sun and listen to the waves.

2. Daily exercise that is fulfilling to you both physically and mentally.

3. Working through past (or current) trauma with a therapist.

4. Enjoying your favorite dinner with your favorite people.

5. Practicing yoga and mindfulness.

So, what are some unconventional self-care methods?

1. Leaving a job that is toxic and draining to your physical and mental health.

2. Pursuing your purpose unapologetically.

3. Walking away from people and situations that do not bring you peace or happiness.

4. Making a vision board.

5. Getting to know others with the same passions as you.

So, tell me how to clear the air a bit on how to practice self-care?

1. It does not need to be practiced alone. Spending time with ones you love is good for your soul.

2. It does not need to be planned.

3. It does not have to have any monetary value.

4. It does not need to be based on the opinions of others. Choose personal happiness.

5. It should focus on your mental health and well-being.

So, how do I possibly practice self-care during a global pandemic?

1. Remind yourself, often, to remain present.

2. Know your stance and boundaries on things and stick to them. We are living in a time where there are thousands of opinions floating around, choose what brings you peace. Seriously! You will lose it trying to please everyone.

3. Self-care may look a lot like turning off the news, lessening social media time, ordering groceries, cancelling plans, working out in your garage, creating a new schedule for your kids, watering your plants, drinking wine in the tub and sanitizing mail. Do what makes you and your family feel safe during this uncertain time.

4. Don’t set impossible standards for yourself. There is no way that you can live exactly how you did prior to the pandemic hit. Be gracious and flexible. Allow yourself to understand that you’ve literally never lived through a pandemic, so you are learning as you go.

5. Breathe! Anxiety levels, for most, are at an all-time high. Find time to just sit and breathe. It’s so important to not lose sight of your mental health during all of this.

I cannot say it enough: balanced mental health is essential to a healthy life. Physical and mental health are equals in our lives. Self-care is the tie to keep a balance between the two. Remove the stigma around talking about your mental state, open up about your feelings and move to a place of better understanding so that you may get the most out of your intentional self-care actions. . I would love to hear how you self-care. Shoot me a message today and let’s chat!


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