2020 was a challenging year for most people worldwide; the COVID-19 coronavirus hit, masks, social distancing, divisiveness, awful lock-downs were a massive shock to the system for us all.
In this post, I let you know how I’ve managed to cope with my stress, anxiety and depression.
I have had to do this for many years after quitting using repeat, long-term prescription drugs.
This year was different, though, harder to cope with, so many things happened; I’ve stood at the edge on a few occasions, too, only to pull back.
*Click the link you want to start with or, by all means, continue.
- Fresh Air & Exercise
- The Pleasure Hormone
- Sometimes Winter Doesn’t Help Your Mood.
- Credit Card Debt & Other Bills
- Avoid Being Sucked In
- Be Your Own Distraction
- Lock Down & Restriction of Movement
I Hold On to My Mental Health Big Time
In March 2020, when COVID hit the headlines, I decided to step up my game concerning improving my health, and at age 54, my appearance.
Strengthening my immune system, understanding how it works and taking much better care of it was vital to fulfilling all those needs.
Supplementing my diet as much as I can with plenty of vitamin and mineral-packed foods, oils, and spices is now a priority.
I also take nine different supplements each day to ensure I am getting the correct amounts needed, catered to my individual need and requirements.
Keeping yourself hydrated at all times; water helps carry oxygen around the body via your bloodstream.
Water also keeps energy levels up, clears the head and eases the digestive system.
My appetite has always been relatively poor, something I have had to work on; I would regularly skip meals, especially breakfast and lunch.
When you skip meal’s, it does not help improve health or lose weight. If anything, it will slowly make your health worse by starving yourself of vital nutrients your body needs.
Fresh Air & Exercise
Exercise has many benefits; it helps build a healthy appetite, reduces weight, and promotes sound sleep.
When I’ve been for a long walk or managed to fit an exercise routine during the day, I’ve discovered that I tend to have a much better nights sleep.
Filling those lungs with a good dose of fresh air also helps you get out in the garden or on the balcony to ensure you get outdoors.
For those who have had to work from home this past year, this is especially important.
Working from home can mean that you are at greater risk of becoming housebound and isolated, especially if you live alone.
Stick your head out of the window if that’s your only option, but do, make sure you get some fresh air in those lungs daily,
Any form of exercise helps; taking the dog on 1 or 2 extra walks a week counts, and your dog will love you the more for it.
Take up jogging, around the park, your block, your garden, up and down the stairs if you must; it all helps.
The Pleasure Hormone
After any exercise, there is an increase in dopamine levels, a naturally produced hormone.
Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter, a messenger that sends signals from all over the body to the brain.
Serotonin is one of the feel-good chemicals we produce; it is also a pleasure chemical.
Seratonin plays a role in the process that controls the movement a person makes and their emotional responses.
Having the correct levels of this “feel good” chemical is essential for physical, mental and emotional well being.
Sometimes Winter Doesn’t Help Your Mood.
Living in colder climates experiencing shorter days and long, cold winter months doesn’t help mood either.
With all the COVID-19 restrictions, gyms and recreation facilities were closed for almost a year.
The constant lockdown extensions and isolation made things so much worse and put many people under tremendous pressure.
Credit Cards, Debt & Other Bills
Winter, particularly during and after the Christmas holidays, can be a highly stressful time of year.
The bills, credit cards, and debt need paying back after what is usually a big spend at Christmas.
Christmas 2021 was different; people were also dealing with traumatic events such as losing loved ones, homes, jobs, business closures.
2020 and 2021 have been challenging, tough for everyone, adults, young people, and children alike.
As we continue to move into 2021, which is guaranteed to be a very different year in a very different world, there is understandable fear, anxiety, uncertainty and confusion.
If you find yourself unable to cope with depression or debt, seek help; the longer you leave these things, the worse they can get.
You’ll find some useful websites and phone numbers at the end of this post if you need any advice or support.
It has to start with making sure YOU are OK, in the best way you possibly can.
Avoid Being Sucked In
There is so much noise going on out there on the internet of things, from the government, the news, social media, family, friends, work colleagues, bosses, from more or less everyone.
It’s easy to get pulled in; I find it best to go my own way, seek out information for myself, do my own ‘fact checking’, and think for myself.
I also, like most people, have rational thoughts and know the difference between love and hate, right and wrong, good and evil. So I’ve decided to go with that.
Be Your Own Distraction
I avoid and refuse to be sucked in by the news anymore, and when I engage on social media, it’s to give out positive vibes only, affirmations or helpful information.
I also read lots, one of my all-time passions; it’s a great way to take a break and take your mind off what’s going on out there in the world.
I decided to use the time stuck at home by improving my skill set, which has now been a well-established part of my daily routine.
I’m also building my own online business from the ground up, with lots to do and lots to learn.
It’s crucial to keep your mind and thoughts occupied; it helps avoid being distracted by all the negative news and images we see every day.
Whether brushing up on old skills or learning something new will help prepare you for the future.
Keeping an eye on developments that are of value will hopefully help navigate this new world in the best way you can with the least stress possible.
Lock Down & Restricted Movement
Being locked down has had a significant impact on how people are feeling mentally and physically.
Lockdown extensions have made it challenging to stay active, to keep healthy and fit.
The limitations put on peoples physical movements these past 12 months have been something we have never experienced before.
Gyms, swimming pools, recreation centres, even parks have all been closed for almost a year.
Not being able to visit these facilities, as usual, has had a significant impact on thousands of people’s mental and physical health.
It is so important that we talk about our mental health and do all we can to keep it as healthy as possible.
Positive affirmations have got me through many difficult times for many years, they hold a phenomenal power
Affirmations are positive self-talk and expressions of self-love, they are statements that can help you to challenge self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.
When you repeat positive statements to yourself often and with conviction, you will find making positive changes easier.
Positive affirmations are what exercise is to the body, the more you do the mentally stronger you will become.
Affirmations are exercises for our brain, our mind and our outlook on life. Positive repetition over time can reprogram thought patterns and behaviour so that you begin to think and act differently.
Not Forgetting The Kids, Family Loved Ones
Our families come first; they need us; if we do not look after ourselves, how can we look after them.
Have you any suggestions to help others get through the changes taking place moving forward into 2021.
What works for you?
As always, any contribution to the conversion is always encouraged and always very much appreciated.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Strong!
*Please note the information in this post is intended for general information and not used as a substitute for healthcare professionals’ expertise and judgment.
- National Debt Help UK: website: gov.UK/national-debt line
- The Samaritans: 116 123 (free 24-helpline) website samaritans.org.uk
- Mental Health Foundation: mentalhealth.org.uk
- No Panic: (Re anxiety) : 0844 967 4848 (10pm -10pm) website: nopanic.org.uk
- USA Government Debt Support: website: usa.gov/dept
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) (hotline) website: infonami.org
- Crisis Text Line: Connect with a crisis counsellor to receive 24 hr crisis support via text message: text NAMI to 741-741