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How to Conquer Your Mental Health While in Quarantine

It's a challenging time in our world to say the least. Whether you're stuck indoors without a job, stuck indoors with a job, or an essential worker on the front lines, right now is not easy. I have had so many people reach out telling me about their mental health struggles during this time. I get it. Your bipolar virtual hype girl seriously struggles too. But, I take steps everyday to be proactive about taking care of my mental health, before it takes over me.

#1 Have a Safe Person

I don't care who this is in your life, but you need a person you can call when you are balling out your eyes or about to kill someone or both. And don't tell me you don't have one, because there are ALWAYS people in our corner. Don't be afraid to ask, "Hey, I really need someone to call and just listen and support me when I'm in a bad place, could you do that for me?" If they say no, that's okay! That means they're taking care of their mental health and know that they couldn't support you the way you need it. DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY.

#2 Find a Clarity Tool

A clarity tool is what you do or use when you feel yourself spinning out of control. For me, it's an extremely hot shower. For others, it may be holding your dog (or cat), or doing 100 jumping jacks. Whatever works to stop your brain from going down that dark path. It needs to be shocking enough to get you back into a space where you can breathe and think semi-clearly.

#3 Redirect Negative Thoughts

As soon as your brain starts saying, "The world's gone to shit and it's never going to get better." STOP. Stop yourself right there and say (outlaid loud is best), "No, the world is going through changes, I hope they will help create a better world." Same with self deprecation. DO NOT LET YOUR BRAIN TALK TO YOU LIKE THAT! You must redirect those thoughts into kinder phrases. For example: "You're such a screw up. You can't do anything right." Turns into, "I'm working through my shit and am on my way to a brighter future." You can also try giving your negative thoughts a persona, someone you would just hate and absolutely rebel against, so if your frat boy Kyle brain says, "You should probably just stay in bed you ugly piece of shit." You can respond with, "FUCK YOU KYLE. I'M BADASS. KISS MY ASS." And then get yourself out of bed.

#4 Exercise & Outside time

Go on a hike, go take your dog for a walk, go take your roommate for a walk. Grab a journal or sketch pad and take yourself for a walk. Go on a run. Anything to get your body moving and outside. Vitamin D is natural happy juice and you'll get a dopamine kick when you exercise. It's the perfect way to reset your brain when you start to feel yourself moving into a bad headspace.

#5 Don't East Crap

I'm serious. Your brain need all the good vitamins and energy from good, wholesome foods. If you are binging chips, sweets, and fast food, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of falling into a mental health struggle. Don't do it. Take the 10 extra minutes to make yourself some nutritious food.

#6 Meditate

Mediation, hygge, and any other mindfulness techniques help you slow down and be in the moment. Even if you can only manage this for 10 seconds of a 5 minute guided meditation, those 10 seconds are helping re-train your brain so see the present moment, to breathe, to be at peace. Your brain is neuroplastic, so that means you absolutely can train your brain to react differently to your mental health.

#7 Be Determined to Break Through

Acknowledging where you are at in your mental health is good. That's what your safe person is for. But that does not mean you get to just talk about your feelings and then not do any of the other steps! Be active in your quest to relearn how to manage your mental health. And know, no matter how dark it is right now, it will pass. You can get through this.

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