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 the use of 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.
I’ve highlighted the significant bits for you, just in case your schedule is tight.
*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
- Circulation Problems
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.
I make sure I keep hydrated at all times; water helps carry oxygen around the body in 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 your health or lose weight. If anything, it will slowly make your health words by starving yourself of the nutrients you need.
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.
A good dose of fresh air also helps, too, 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, isolated, especially living 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.
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 send signals from the body to the brain.
Serotonin is one of the feel fantastic chemicals we produce; it is also a pleasure chemical.
Seratonin plays a role in the process that controls movement a person makes along with 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.
The lack of sunlight makes it almost impossible to naturally produce vitamin D3 an essential vitamin that our body relies on for a great many things.
For the past year, being in the UK has meant I’ve been getting very little sunlight than usual and have started to feel and experience its lack.
With all the COVID-19 restrictions, gyms and recreation facilities have been closed for almost a year now.
The constant lockdown extensions and isolation have made things so much worse and have put most people under tremendous pressure these past 12 months.
Winter, particularly during and after the Christmas holidays, usually is quite a stressful time of year.
People had to experience heartache, isolation, confusion, anger and loneliness this past Christmas.
Particularly in the UK, social distancing measures meant people could not get together as they would usually at this time of year.
Credit Cards, Debt & Other Bills
The bills, credit cards, and debt need paying back after what is usually a big spend at Christmas.
This year was different, though; people dealt with traumatic events such as losing homes, jobs, business closures, university, college and school closures.
2020 was a challenging year, a tough time for everyone, adults, young people and children alike.
As we 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.
The best course of action you can take right now is to ensure you are ready and prepared for whatever comes next.
If you find yourself unable to cope with debt, seek help, the longer you leave these thongs, the worse it gets.
You’ll find some useful websites and phone numbers at the end of this post if you need some advice or support.
It also has to start with making sure YOU are OK, in the best way you possibly can, with what you have, wherever you are, mentally, physically and spiritually.
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 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. 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 do 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.
Try keeping an eye on developments that are of value will hopefully help with navigating this new world in the best way I can with the least stress as 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.
Such a lack of exercise and limitation of movement can also affect specific body systems such as circulation. Over ’50s are exceptionally high risk.
Your body’s circulation system ensures blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body, including your brain.
The restriction of normal movement has only increased anxiety and stress levels, along with unnecessary health issues.
Long walks and fresh air does you a world of good. I make sure I take as many as I possibly can throughout the week.
Try exercising at home, in whatever way suits you; I use weights, I also use the Wonder Core, a 6-in-1 fitness system.
It’s straightforward to use and perfect for keeping the circulation going, particularly in my legs.
For me, a hyperactive 54-year-old who regularly travelled before COVID 19, the restrictions and lack of movement have been challenging and highly stressful.
Things are different now; we have to evolve, adapt, and move forward in the best way.
Positive affirmations have got me through so many difficult times for many years.
Reading, books, poems, learning hold a phenomenal power; reading and books have always entranced me.
Anything that helps you through.
Not Forgetting The Kids, Family Loved Ones
Lastly, I have to mention my children and the grandchildren; they depend on me; I must remain strong for them.
Our families come first; they need us; if we do not look after ourselves, how can we look after them.
They keep me going, too, always have.
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-debtline
- 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