Experts say that everyone will experience anxiety at some point in their life – this is normal human behavior. Now with the two-year anniversary of the global COVID-19 pandemic approaching, doctors are bracing for the inevitable fallout; the mental health crisis. The past two years have been challenging indeed for everyone. However, trying to find the good in the bad, there is definitely more awareness now surrounding mental health and those who suffered even before the pandemic.
Feeling a Little Down? Here are a few ways to combat those post-pandemic blues.
6. Stop Watching the News!
I mean it! If you are still watching the nightly news or, even worse, the 24-hour news channels like Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, then you are only making yourself worse. Every news outlet has an agenda and that is to have more eyeballs watching their news than the other outlets. When you continuously watch, you are buying into their dogma.
5. Start a Blog
Humans have been recording their thoughts on various forms of media since Creation. Whether it be on the wall of a cave, a stone tablet, or on papyrus, writing one’s thoughts can be very therapeutic. A blog like mine read weekly by 100’s of followers can be set up fairly easily with little to no knowledge of computers.
Along with my digital art and my online stores, I use this blog as an additional outlet for my depression and anxiety. Sometimes, just getting your thoughts out of your head can provide some much-needed relief. So, if you feel like this pandemic has gone on long enough and you too need an outlet, why not start a blog. If you are interested, you can get started here (affiliate link) on Bluehost.
If you are an introvert but would prefer to keep your thoughts to yourself, writing a personal and private blog is also possible. There are no rules that state you must share your website with anyone but yourself. If you are interested, let me know and I would be glad to assist.
4. Start a Hobby
There are many free or inexpensive hobbies that one can enjoy. You could pick up that dusty book from the shelf that you bought years ago and never read. You can learn a couple of new recipes and then share them with others. Volunteer work at your local food bank can also be very rewarding. The key is to get your mind off the bad things in life and onto the good.
3. Healthify your Diet
Two years into this pandemic and I am sure if you are like me, you have put on a little weight. Sitting around the house all day long with nothing to do except to eat can quickly add on pounds. My wife and I try to make a weekly meal plan where we write down supper ideas based on what we have in the freezer and the pantry. Are we successful each week with sticking to our meal plan? No, but at least it is a start. When planning your meals, make sure to include those green vegetables. More green and less white make for a healthier lifestyle.
2. Learn to Say No!
As part of my battle with mental health issues, saying “No” is sometimes the best option. I learned very early on to say “No” whenever I knew a situation I would be placed in was going to cause my depression to flare up. So what do I mean by all of this? If a social gathering or event is causing you angst, then feel free to decline respectively the invite to participate. At the very least, you should have a way out if you decide to get involved – an “exit” plan. Going in knowing that you have a way out can and will make the event more tolerable.
We have been in lockdown for many months. Jumping back into social gatherings can be a challenge; especially for someone who dealt with anxiety and depression before the pandemic.
1. Connect with your Local Church
This may come as no surprise but I am a firm believer in the healing power of Jesus Christ. Connecting with your local church body is crucial to bettering my mental health. Even during the height of the pandemic, we were still connecting via our church’s online worship services. Now that many of the restrictions on social gatherings have been lifted, I am reminded of this passage from Hebrews 10.
And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:24-25 (HCSB)
Bonus: Take Care of Yourself and Others
And please remember, by taking care of yourself, you will be in a better position to care for others. During this post-pandemic world, it is even more vital to stay connected with your loved ones. And when you call or Facetime a loved one to help them deal with stress, you just may feel less lonely and isolated yourself.
If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store and affiliate links. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.