How Are You Coping? 7 Strategies For Mental Well Being
It is hard to believe that Covid-19 has been part of our everyday lives for over 1 year now. I know when Covid first came to Canada and our local communities, I felt like it was going to last possibly a month or two. Then last year summer when cases seemed to be declining I was very optimistic(my nature) and we seemed to be “beating” the virus. Then the fall hit and cases once again were on the rise and have been on the rise since and we now find ourselves in a “third wave”.
Finding It Difficult To Cope
I am not sure about you but after 1 year of this, I am finding it more and more difficult to mentally deal with the ongoing Covid situation. This feeling has been accelerated with the recent lockdown measures in all provinces. I thought that when the vaccination was available that we would see a dramatic decrease in cases however as I write this they are still on the rise and to date we have had 1.2 Million Covid cases diagnosed in Canada. I must say however that I am optimistic at this point as I feel that we will start seeing a reduction in cases as the masses get vaccinated and it starts to take hold.
Self Care For Mental Health
I believe that now it is more important than ever for us to focus on our own well being and self care. Next week is deemed Mental Health Awareness week in Canada and therefore I thought appropriate to share the strategies that I have been using and will continue to use to ensure that I can try and stay mentally positive and well. I would encourage my readers to try to do these on a daily basis as I believe that they have been key in helping me to stay positive and mentally well during this very long and ongoing Covid ordeal.
1.Get Outdoors in Nature
I find that my working days are spent in my office on the computer on virtual meetings, calls and sending or answering emails. I don’t think I have ever spent as much time in front of a ‘screen” than during the last year. Therefore, I believe it is more important than ever for us to get outdoors in nature. I make it a point of going for a walk first thing in the morning, during my lunch break or later in the day so that I can get outside. If my schedule allows, I try to get a few of walks in daily in order to get outside, be in the “moment” and appreciate the nature all around us.
For my regular blog readers, you know my feelings on the importance of “moving” on a daily basis. A common characteristic of Centurions (longest healthy living people in the world) is that they “move” every day. This could be as simple as going for a walk, hike or easy ride or Yoga.
I have personally been moving my daily workouts outdoors so that I can “get outside” to workout as outlined above. When I move my workouts outside, I shift my exercises to adapt to what equipment I have available outside which is simply some weights, a Kettle Bell, a Stability Ball and some resistance bands to have a great workout. It is amazing how we can adapt our workouts by just using some simple equipment and our own body weight and engage exercises such as pushups, planks, sit ups, resistance bands etc. I have personally found tremendous benefit mentally by moving my workouts outside this spring to witness the sun rising, breath in the fresh air, combined with the activity of nature all around me.
3.No Screens At Night
When Covid first hit over a year ago, I found myself in virtual meetings all day long and then I would hop on my computer once again after dinner to check emails, search up topics of interest etc. I found this was negatively affecting my mental health and also I was not sleeping well as my brain was hyper active and never slowing down.
Very early on I made the decision to eliminate screens at night. My routine for the last year(90% of the time) has been to leave my laptop in my office and close the office door when my workday ends. In addition, I put my phone in the front hall to charge it and therefore I am not tempted to look at it in the evening. The day I started this routine, my sleep improved dramatically and I found myself having deep sleeps and not waking during the night. We all know the importance of sleep to our mental health and well being so I would encourage you to turn off your computers and phones in the evening. I guarantee that it will improve your sleep and mental well being.
4.Limit The News
Once again, one year ago at the beginning of Covid, I was watching the news every single day and many times, a few times a day to get updates on the virus. We all know that negative and bad news “sells” and therefore I have changed my routine to limit my time watching the news. I do believe it is important to stay up to date however we can overdo it and get engulfed by the negative news around Covid. Therefore as part of our mental health and well being, I encourage you to eliminate or reduce your exposure to the daily news.
I believe that it is more important than ever for us to nurture our body with healthy and nutritious food on a daily basis. In my latest book, It’s Never Too Late To Be Healthy, I outline the importance of the Wheels Of Health and how they all work together. One of the wheels is Eating Well which affects the other wheels of health if we don’t pay attention to it. Therefore it is super important that we stick to a non processed, whole food diet as much as possible. When we fill our bodies with amazing healthy, nutrient filled goodness, it has a super positive effect on our mental well being.
The way I start every day to ensure that I am flooding my system with natural goodness is to start my day with The Wilson Shake. This is appropriately named after my dog Wilson who begged for my plant based shake every single morning and lived to the ripe old age of 18 years old. For those that want a refresher on the recipe, you can access it here: https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/the-morning-shakenew-recipe/
6.Daily Positive Mantra
Many studies have outlined the importance of expressing gratitude and appreciation on a daily basis to help our mental well being. I have a “Mantra” that I try to practice on a daily basis that I find really helps me stay in a super positive state of mind. I practice this typically when I am outdoors in nature going for a walk, exercising or many times right before I fall a sleep at night. I find that when I practice this before going to sleep, I very easily fall into a deep restful sleep as it is very uplifting and relaxing for my mind. To read more on my Mantra, you can access it here: https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/one-thing-you-can-do-today-to-have-a-great-2021/
- Be In The Present
- What am I Grateful For?
- Who Do I Love?
- The Future is Bright.
I have found that one of the very best things that I can do for my state of mind and slow my brain down is deep breathing. Deep and focused breathing engages our parasympathetic nervous system which puts us in a relaxed state of mind. I use a few simple techniques when I find I am overwhelmed or over stressed that right away puts me in a state of relaxation. I also use these techniques prior to falling a sleep which I find allows me to drift off into a deep restful sleep.
My favourite techniques are Box Breathing or 4/7/8 breathing. To learn about my stress reduction breathing techniques you can access it here:https://kevinbradyhealth.ca/my-3-simple-techniques-for-stress-reduction/
I personally know the impact that Covid has had on all of us and in particular the fact that we are now in the “third wave” does not help things for us mentally. Many of my followers have found the techniques that I have shared to be ‘game changers” for them from a mental well being standpoint. As this week we focus on the importance of mental well being, I hope that my techniques help you and your family in some small way.
3.No Screens at Night
4.Limit the News
6.Daily Positive Mantra
To learn more about these topics and others, you can order my latest book, It’s Never Too Late To Be Healthy using the link below:
Yours in the very best of health and happiness,