What COVID-19 has Taught us About our Mental Wellbeing
COVID-19 has caused us to question our way of life. It has also taught us to value the simple things, make time for mental health, and for “me” time.
There’s no denying that it’s been tough. The uncertainty about our futures, combined with drastic lifestyle changes, has taken a toll on all of us. But on the bright side, the pandemic has taught us the importance of prioritising mental well-being and mental health.
It is essential for all of us to engage in activities that promote mental peace and give us internal satisfaction, whilst avoiding those that don’t. And it is important to realise what works for you.
For a lot of us, dancing and exercise helps. The release of endorphins gives us a feeling of pleasure and enhances our mood. It helps us to cope with daily life stressors by taking an optimistic approach. Often during the motion of dance and exercise, people subconsciously break down a mental challenge and think of solutions to put into action. This can have a major impact on your stress levels and mental health.
But for others, you may find triggers of music, food, a good book, laughter, being by water, being out in the open air, quiet time or serenity, or even meditation, more effective.
Mental wellbeing involves how we are able to function psychologically, emotionally, and socially among others. There is so much to gain from taking the time for self reflection to learn what triggers your mental health wellbeing. A great way to do this is to start writing down when you feel a strong emotional response to a person, event, place, sound, food etc. Write down both positive and negative responses to be able to gain an understanding of your personal triggers. This way you know what to make more time for. And what to make less time for.
We’ve learned some extremely invaluable mental wellness lessons here from the Train Like a Ballerina team. Our TLB community is a labour of love to provide guidance in a variety of areas, including nutrition, anatomy, mindset, and strength and flexibility training. We believe our TLB method not only provides physical strength but also helps in building mental well-being.
Here’s what COVID-19 Has Taught Our TLB Team To Focus On To Improve Our Mental Wellbeing
- Communicate to People: At times like these, it’s easy to feel isolated and overwhelmed. It may appear to be the most obvious thing to do, but reaching out to your trusted network can be extremely reassuring. An open discussion can go a long way to helping you manage your mental health.
- Take Time to Reflect: As well as communicating with others, it is important to communicate with yourself. Take the time to reflect on the new things you have experienced or learned, or simply give yourself credit for making it through the last 2 years! Journalling can be a great way to keep in check with your emotions and help you realise how you are REALLY feeling.
- Pause for a Moment: We are always looking for ways to increase our productivity. But the truth is that overworking can be detrimental to our mental health. As a result, it is critical to take breaks whenever you feel the need to.
- Meditation and Breathwork: Mindfulness, visualisation, and breathing exercises are some of the techniques that can help you disconnect from the outside world’s chaos. Make time to meditate most days, even if it’s only for 5 minutes. Regular practice will improve your focus and patience, resulting in a more relaxed state of mind. It will help you to accept and face tough times.
- Get Proper Sleep: Our hectic schedules caused us to struggle with sleep even before the pandemic. However, not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact on our mood and make us irritable. Most people find that 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night is essential for a healthy body and a healthy mind.
- Make Your Routine Interesting: We’ve all seen friends and family members transform into social media chefs during the lockdown. So, why not try it for yourself? Learn a new skill, such as cooking, musical instrument playing, drawing, or even dancing! It can be a great mental diversion from your hectic lifestyle.
- Think and Act with Positive Energy: Little things like reminding yourself to smile and laugh more has a massive impact on your energy levels. If you’re having a tough day, taking 10 minutes out to watch your favourite comedian on Youtube, or go for a quick walk listening to music or Podcasts can help you to re-set and push on through. Even standing up straight can make you appear and feel more confident and energised (whilst also improving your posture).
- Focus on Improving a Skill as a Healthy Distraction for Your Mental Health: Some dancers used the extra time during the pandemic to focus, practice and work on their dance movements. Ballet exercises can help you understand your body better and increase your awareness of how you move. For many, ballet ignites a sense of self-belief. However, exercise alone is not the only way to manage your mental wellbeing. Finess-ing a skill of yours, no matter what it is, can give you a great sense of achievement and purpose, whilst distracting you from other stresses.
We at the TLB team hope the above tips combined help to boost your mood and self-esteem –