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Feel Like You are Running on Reserves When It Comes To Your Mental/Emotional Health?

Do you notice lately that you seem a little more blah than before? If you notice that then pay attention because this message is for you.

Some people feel less energetic or positive after the holidays. That makes sense right? No longer are the glitz of lights, glitter, ornaments, and everything that makes us feel warm inside during the holidays.

Additionally, the pandemic has certainly put a strain on nearly every aspect of our lives in some fashion. So even the typical family or friend gatherings may have been affected for you in the last month or so.

We have all been in and are still enduring a collective crisis- an abrupt change of circumstances that has for many thwarted plans, dreams, goals, and altered habits, energy and where we go, how or if we spend time with people, how we educate our children etc.

Very little about our lives today seems or feels the same as pre Covid. That’s a lot of adjusting in a short amount of time. Whether your health, business or family life has taken a hit or whether you are doing ok with pandemic circumstances but just not feeling the same bounce in your step, this is the time to pay attention to what your body and brain are telling you.

Here’s some clues you may be receiving if you are receptive to listening…

You are avoiding people more (for whatever reason)

You feel more anxiety lately

Your appetite has changed in either direction

You have gained or lost more than 5 pounds in the last few months without trying

Your energy feels down

Your mood seems more solemn

You avoid things or activities you used to enjoy

You find that smaller things or issues set you off more quickly

You feel spent though it’s only midafternoon

Your sleep is adversely affected.

If any of these seem to fit, then it’s time to rethink how you will begin to deal with improving your mental and emotional health and wellbeing. First it is important to know that help Is out there if you need to seek it. Whether you seek help or choose to begin on your own, here’s some suggestions for you to begin to turn your mental and emotional health in the right direction.

1. Invest in time with other safe and fun people! In other words, don’t go it alone right now. This is a time we need other humans more than ever. The key here is to choose to spend time with emotionally safe people that energize you, or if you lean more towards introversion perhaps they may just sit with you.

2. Rekindle your Spiritual Life. If you are someone who has prayed in the past, then begin to do that again. Are you someone who used to read the bible or some other spiritual book and then just got away from it? There is something beautiful and comforting about communing with God or whoever you consider to be your higher power.

3. Consider the Parts of Your Life that Need Attention. Is your business or job getting you down? Do the leaders where you work just seem to behave in a way that is stressful daily? Our environment both at work and at home matters, so rethink the work you do, who you do it for, and where you do it. If it feels less stressful to work from home and your boss wants you in the office, consider a hybrid approach as well as some honest conversation about the culture of your workplace.

4. Move Move Move your Body. When you engage in any kind of fitness, you give your brain and body such a beautiful boost of happy neurochemicals. While you may not feel like moving, just remind yourself that moving, or any kind of fitness is the best medicine and mood booster around. Grab a buddy to join you if that helps you to do it!

5. Rethink your Diet. What you eat matters daily. If the bulk of your diet is high fat, sugar or processed junk food, your brain and body are going to likely feel heavy and sluggish. Food and mood are inextricably linked. When you eat natural, healthy, vibrant foods from nature, your body and brain will function better and you will likely notice a difference in how you feel. Try adding good quality fish such as non farmed salmon into your diet. Salmon supplies healthy Omega 3’s shown to improve mood.

6. Consider a news or social media fast. Sometimes our mood and energy can take a dive because we are watching and ingesting too much bad news. You can hardly turn on the news or read headlines on the internet without being aroused toward fear, or despair for what is going on in our country and in the world. Sometimes we just need a break from all the news. Choose to listen to music, read a good book, cook a new recipe or call a friend instead of spending time on social media or watching the news.

7. Be intentional about boosting your reserves. We actually all have brain reserves. We are born with them and we can make deposits or withdrawals by our daily choices in how we treat ourselves and all the aforementioned. Deposits of course are the good foods we choose daily, getting in some fitness time, meaningful interactions with others, finding purpose in our work, and making enough time alone to feel balanced. Withdrawals of course are stress, not exercising, eating a poor diet and not getting the social support we need.

8. Listen to your own thoughts. What stories are you telling yourself? If your story is critical, shaming or judgmental of yourself or others, and you repeat that thinking daily, it will serve to take you down the road of feeling depressed, anxious, fearful or a combination of all of those. Write your thoughts down, and then look at them later. Check them out with fresh eyes… are your thoughts accurate? Beneficial? Truthful? If you find they are negative, hopeless, helpless or critical, begin to examine them one by one and see if you can find the grain of truth while seeing that perhaps you’ve been stuck in thoughts that do not serve you well.

While there are so many things in our lives we cannot control, when we pause to remember there are just as many or more that we can control AND we control that which we can, life goes better. Daily choices in the right direction can make a significant difference in dealing with fear, anxiety, depression, or just being in a down mood.

If you find that making these changes is not providing a noticeable change, reach out to a mental health professional. Let us know how we can help! Reach out at info@livewellkitsap.com for more info.

Life is short, let’s be intentional and make small step changes so we can live it well!

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