Are you one of the many people struggling to stay positive and healthy with all the negative fallout from the Covid-19?
You may be bombarded by negative news updates, or sense the fear on the masked faces when you accidentally get closer than 6 feet from someone. Social media posts are evidence of our disunity politically and racially, and most of us know someone who has been laid off of their job.
This pandemic requires that we have more strategies to counteract the negativity around us so we do not become mentally, physically and spiritually poisoned from our surroundings. We need to be equipped to persevere, overcome and end up more resilient, so we can look forward to living each day!
As a professional counselor, my current clients are reporting higher anxiety, due to their fears of contracting the virus. They are sharing that they have more depressive symptoms from staying home and isolating socially. The tips I am giving them to stay mentally healthy start with governing their own thoughts. I suggest they start their day with 10 gratitude’s to bolster positive thinking, rather than starting their day with the news or social media. The more negativity we expose ourselves to the worse our mental health becomes.
We need to intentionally put positive information into our mind to stimulate more positive moods and emotions. Positive affirmations and gratitude are two ways to do this.
Some examples of gratitude’s to say are:
- I am grateful for the ability to think
- I am grateful I am loved
- I am grateful for nature- beautiful landscapes, streams, mountains, and sunsets
- I am grateful that I have unique abilities and talents
- I am grateful for the ability to make choices each day
Some examples of positive affirmations to say are:
- I am always enough
- I can create a meaningful life
- I am an overcomer
- I can handle all that life brings me, one moment at a time
- All that I need will be provided if I ask my Creator
In addition to intentionally adding more positive thoughts to your mind, it is important to keep your thoughts in the present moment where your body is. In the now. Do not allow thoughts to run into the unknown future or ruminate in the past with worry or regrets. Each moment is an opportunity for a new decision to create a more meaningful life. Write down how your daily life can be more gratifying. Put this where you can see it to be reminded of what you are doing to create this for yourself, one decision at a time.
Thirdly, you must give yourself something enjoyable to look forward to each day to keep mentally healthy.
Some examples of enjoyable activities are:
- Playing- games, or sports with your children, partner, or pets- to decrease stress
- Taking walks in beautiful places-parks, creeks, mountains, or nature -to re center
- Watching a favorite movie or show that makes you laugh
- Listening to your favorite music, or creating music to stimulate imagination
- Reading or looking at something that inspires you to expand your perspective
If you are taking care of your mental health each day, your positive emotions and moods will make it easier for you to be at peace with yourself, and the people you encounter will enjoy you more!
Some signs that you are mentally healthy are:
- You are flexible with change and new situations
- You feel in control of your emotions and behaviors
- You like yourself and practice good self-care and kind self-talk
- You connect with others and express what you need
- You have a sense of contentment and enjoyment in life
- You maintain long term, fulfilling relationships
- You can put yourself in a positive mood without using alcohol, drugs, or unhealthy habits
- You quickly bounce back from disappointments, setbacks, and difficulties
- You manage anger and intense emotions without taking it out on others
- You set healthy boundaries and do not allow others to abuse or degrade you
Taking care of your mental health is a daily practice. The same is true for physical health. Each day you must eat healthy, natural foods, exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, drink plenty of water, stretch, and get restful sleep. Your immune system becomes depleted if you are not getting all the nutrients, hydration, movement and rest your body needs for optimal health.
The physical benefits you can receive from taking care of your body include:
- Physical endurance to accomplish your daily responsibilities
- Quick recovery from illness
- A body free of chronic pain
- A body free of chronic disease
- A healthy weight
- Restful sleep
Just as you are a mental and physical being, you also are a spiritual being. “But there is a spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent.”¹ “If God were to take back his spirit and withdraw his breath, all life would cease, and humanity would turn again to dust.” (2)
Your spiritual health is important to remain alive! As a human being, you are given innate qualities; the ability to think, create and share ideas. The intuition to learn and grow in wisdom. But there is more to being human than just your intrinsic qualities if you want a life with love, joy and peace. This is where spiritual health matters.
The source of spiritual qualities come from the Creator of life, who freely gives these to you if you ask and believe. These are ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ (3) You may lack some of these qualities, or may know people who are deficient in expressing them because of the absence of spiritual health.
Each day you can become more spiritually alive by:
- Praying to the Almighty
- Seeking a relationship with the Creator of your breath of life
- Reading the bible to learn who God is and what the Almighty is capable of
- Intentionally loving others, being kinder, gentler, and expressing spiritual attributes
- Listening to pastors, or spiritual leaders’ messages to enhance spiritual knowledge
- Looking at the stars, the oceans and all that God created, to ponder The Almighty’s power and intelligence
You can become more mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy if you chose, and what a better you and world it could be!
Written by Elisabeth Davies, MC
Counselor, and Author of Good Things Emotional Healing Journal: Addiction
1 Job 32:8
2 Job 34:14
3 Galatians 5:22