With all that’s been happening throughout 2020, it is easy to feel as if you are being followed by a dark cloud (Olivia Brindle 2020). How does one protect our mental health when there are negative things happening in the world? Psychologist Mamta Saha shares her tips and tools on how to protect your mental health and stay informed without going down a rabbit hole.
Affirm daily: Affirmations are short grounding phrases written in the present tense. Say them to yourself either in the morning or anytime you feel your mind slipping. By affirming we reinforce and create a resilient mindset that builds ‘psychological immunity’ this reduces our cortisol levels (your bodies leading stress hormone) and releases endorphins, which make us feel good.
Turn off the phone and get creative. News and notifications can get overwhelming and eat into our time for cathartic release. To eliminate this distraction, turn your phone on to aeroplane mode or completely switch it off. This creates an environment of serenity and slows down our busy minds to focus on being creative says Artist – George Groves www.officialgroves.com. Creating, whether it be poetry, painting or mindful colouring, releases serotonin, which stabilises our mood.
Connect with yourself. Journal and write down your thoughts and feelings to become mindful. Also, pay attention to how reading or watching a particular source makes you feel and choose where to give your energy. Manage your schedule and connect with others who make you feel safe, to take your mind away from news that may not be serving you. When we share our thoughts with those we trust it helps us to process our feelings.