How to Maintain Your Mental Health Without Disconnecting From the World
2020 is quite the year.
To put it simply, there's a lot going on in the world right now. And it's not just 2020. There are always things outside of ourselves that deserve our attention and support. The problem is, committing your mental energy to a certain issue is taxing after a while.
When you're dealing with big problems in the world around you, maintaining your mental health is so important. It's difficult to fight for what you believe in if you're not first taking care of yourself. But how do you stay engaged with the issues while still practicing self-care?
Limit Your Intake
Most self-care practices instruct you to disconnect from whatever is going on around you and focus on yourself instead. But when you're fighting for something you really believe in, disconnecting isn't an option. Instead, try limiting your intake of upsetting news. Rather than spending your days and nights reading every piece of information that comes out, limit yourself to maybe 30 minutes a day of checking in with your cause and educating yourself on what's happening in the world.
If you're inundated with disturbing news every second of the day, your mental health will deteriorate quickly. By limiting your intake of news, you're allowing your mind to rest and process the things happening around you. Setting a limit on how much you interact with upsetting information allows you to stay connected to the rest of the world without sacrificing your mental health.
Prioritize Moments Just For You
Limiting your intake doesn't necessarily mean you're prioritizing yourself. You're finding ways to stop that constant flow of information, but not reading something or seeing it on social media doesn't stop you from thinking about it all day long.
To give yourself a true break, prioritize moments that are just about you. Take 30 minutes to read a book. Rest in a bubble bath before you go to bed. Watch a show that takes your mind off things. Whatever relaxation looks like for you, make sure you're prioritizing it. It doesn't mean that you don't care about what's going on, it just means that you need a little time to yourself to prevent the burnout that will have a negative impact on your ability to fight for what you believe in.
Do Something Fun
When things around you look hopeless, it's hard to even think about doing something fun. But it's really important to continue doing things that make you happy. The world might look bleak, but focusing only on the bad parts will lead to a serious decline in your mental health.
Amidst everything that's going on, make sure you make time to do something genuinely fun. Plan a girl's night with all your pals. Play loud music and dance around your room. Watch something that makes you laugh. Those moments of joy might make you feel guilty, but they're crucial to keeping your drive to fight for what's right alive.
(La La Land via Lionsgate)
Maintain Your Routine
When bad things are happening around you, it's easy to get caught up in it. The world feels like it's falling apart, so all the normal things you do on a day-to-day basis suddenly seem so unimportant. You stop eating right, you don't exercise, you're not prioritizing time with friends and family—ignoring these and more aspects of your daily life seems logical when you care about something so much bigger than yourself.
However, maintaining your daily routine is so important to keep your mind right. You have to continue with the mundane tasks around you and try to create a sense of normalcy. Without that routine, all your time and energy will be spent ruminating on the negative issues in your life and the world. Maintaining a routine seems superfluous, but it's crucial to provide some structure to your day that will distract you from the bad things you're focused on, at least for a little while.
If you really care about a certain cause, it's easy to focus only on the negative things happening around it. Fighting for change is not easy, and it comes with a lot of anger and hostility. However, there are also so many moments of beauty that deserve to be appreciated.
Instead of focusing only on the negative news filling all your social media feeds, seek out positive news. Seek out stories, art, music and other mediums that make you feel good, but also align with your beliefs. That way, you feel like you're still dialed into the things you care about, but you're not sacrificing your mental well-being by focusing only on the things that make you feel bad.
Sometimes you don't need to escape from all the things you're feeling. Instead, you just need to take the time to process them. When there's a lot happening around you, your mind is working to process too many things, which can make your head feel cloudy and cluttered. Taking a few moments to sort through the things happening in your head might make all the difference in quieting your mental unrest.
Journaling is a great way to sort through your thoughts. For just a few minutes a day, you're allowed to sit with yourself and reflect on your own feelings and what you want to do moving forward. Journaling helps you maintain your mental health because it allows you to slow down, check in with yourself and make any necessary changes. Take the time to journal, if only because it gives you a few moments each day to focus on you and you alone.
Looking for more wellness tips? Click HERE for the perfect self-care activity for you, based on your zodiac sign.