By Brooke Weber, content writer
Are you going through a hard time in your life? Do you feel isolated or alone?
We get it: We are living through challenging times. So, first and foremost, you are not alone.
Indeed, prioritizing your mental health is vital to caring for your well-being as a whole. In fact, according to the CDC, “Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health.”
Yet, there are so many ways to care for your mental health that perhaps it’s left you not knowing where to begin. That’s why we’ve compiled tips to help you understand how to find solace during difficult times. Read on to learn more.
Get moving to find comfort!
Exercise is important for keeping up your physical and mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has required many of us to get outdoors for our daily dose of exercise. When you’re outside, social distancing is much easier, and retreating into nature is great for keeping your mood up! Now that it’s getting colder, though, it might be more difficult to go on weekly hiking trips. That’s where indoor exercise activities come in!
Adapt, adapt, adapt
Think about all the fun ways you can move it and shake it from the comfort of your own home! Jog in place while you watch TV, take a virtual yoga class, go up and down the stairs at a safe pace, lift weights you might have lying around – get creative!
It’s recommended that you get 150 minutes of exercise per week, which amounts to about 30 minutes a day if you’d like to spread it out. How you break up that time is completely up to you – so you might as well make exercise fun!
Dig into your creativity to find solace
One great way to find comfort in struggle is to express yourself in some way. If you’re into journaling, allow yourself to pour out however much of your heart you’d like onto the page. You could even try making a beautifully designed bullet journal if you’d like to add some kind of organization into it! If you’ve got an artistic side, try painting, collaging, or maybe even take up knitting! You could even try an entirely new hobby, like singing, gardening, making videos online, writing poetry – it’s totally up to you. Ask yourself what you’ve always wanted to do, and do it from home!
Why not become a yoga instructor?
Some hobbies can even be fleshed out into full-time careers, and teaching yoga is one of them! If you love working with kids and have a basic knowledge of yoga poses, you can become a kids yoga teacher with Pretzel Kids. Not only will you be entering an amazing field with a supportive community of fellow teachers, but you’ll also get all the mental and physical health benefits of yoga! Even better, it only takes 12 HOURS to complete the Pretzel Kids’ yoga teacher training course, and it’s all online! Whether you’re in the market for a lucrative side hustle or an entirely new line of work, your yoga certification is a great thing to work towards during tough times.
A little escapism never hurt anyone!
If you’re finding that you’d rather read a book or watch TV than complete your magnum opus, that’s perfectly okay! It can be incredibly helpful to lose yourself in a world that isn’t quite as chaotic as this one. This is also a great way to form routines and habits that you can look forward to! Set up a weekly or bi-weekly virtual movie-watching session with your friends or pick a TV show to watch each night with your quarantine squad. Enjoy whichever fictional universe you choose to inhabit – just don’t lose yourself in it completely!
Lean into mindfulness
Mindfulness is a great way to incorporate calm into your life!
Mindfulness involves observing the things that are happening around you without passing judgement on them. If you’re not feeling grounded right now, you could try taking note of the things you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. For example, even if you hear an annoying noise like a siren in the distant background, try to simply note that that noise exists without leaning into the feeling of irritation.
Do mindfulness activities and practice yoga
You can do crossword puzzles, knit, complete adult coloring books, practice yoga, play an instrument – all these activities help you focus intently on something and not pass judgement on the world around you. It can be comforting to get in touch with your own mind, to really just zero in on a task without letting anxious thoughts take hold! Strangely enough, occupying your mind can help to clear it.
Breathing exercises help, too!
You can also try a few breathing exercises. These can help with anxiety and reduce your fight-or-flight response to stressful stimuli. If you’re really stuck in a loop of negative thoughts, breathing in for four seconds, holding that breath for two seconds, and breathing out for eight seconds can help in a pinch.
Connect with others
There are people in your life who care about you! Family, friends, chosen family, online communities, and more can be sources of solace. We know it can be hard to reach out and make the first move towards letting people in your life know you need them. Still, surrounding yourself with people who you know have your back means that they’ll be able to catch you when you need it.
As we said before, it’s great to connect with yourself, too! Solitude can actually be good for your health. Lean into what you love, and try and learn something new about yourself every day. You could even start writing down three good things that have happened to you each day to retrain your brain away from negative thought patterns. Trust us – you’re worth all the work it might take to see the brighter side of life.
Your mental health matters
Nothing is forever. The same goes for hard times! You can keep this in mind when you’re feeling really low and trying to find solace: there will come a day when things feel sunnier.
And if you’re looking to incorporate kids yoga into your life, Pretzel Kids is here for you! You can become a kids yoga teacher in just 12 hours or sign up your little ones for a virtual kids yoga class to keep their mental health up, too!