5 ways to protect mental health

  “Breathe, Take 5, Focus, Disconnect and Reflect.”

5 Ways to Protect Mental Health Amid Chaos

Who knew the year 2020 would bring so many changes to our lives! This year has brought COVID, quarantines, social injustices, mass protests, and political upheavals. Many of us have also been faced with job losses, childcare disruption, and loss of loved ones. It is no wonder we are all struggling with maintaining some sort of balance in the “new normal” we all live in. How is it even possible to maintain any sense of normalcy, let alone protect our mental health? Consider these five easy steps toward finding your balance:



  • Take time every day to simply stop and breathe. When we are constantly moving and going all day, we fail to realize how much our bodies bear the stress. Subconsciously we are holding our breath, gritting our teeth, and tensing muscles. Our stomachs are upset, our head hurts, and our body generally ache. Why? We forget that sometimes the most important thing we can do for ourselves and those around us is to simply stop… and breathe.


Take 5 Minutes

  • Take 5 minutes at the beginning of every day to remind yourself of what you are thankful for. Doing so, sets our mind in motion on a positive path that will filter light into all aspects of our lives. Too often we become consumed by how bad things may feel or seem in the moment and find ourselves down a rabbit hole of despair. In doing so, we fail to realize how good the reality of our situation or circumstances truly are.


Focus on What You can Personally Control

  • Focus on what you can personally control and let go of the rest. Anytime you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed, focus on the aspects of the situation that you can control or change. You cannot control the actions, words, or thoughts of other people. You can however control how you choose to respond to a situation or a person. Never give up this control or power to anyone… it belongs to you and no one else.



  • Disconnect from social media. Yes, I know this is hard, but doing so has exponential benefit! I have recently adopted the phrase “doom scrolling” … How often do find yourself scrolling through social media and physically feel yourself becoming more stressed, sad, or anxious? I dare say, we have all been there at least once or twice. Know when to say when. Set a daily time limit for yourself. Take social media holidays. Embrace the disconnect!



Reflect at the end of every day on the positive. What went well? What did you achieve? What made you smile? How did you make a change to better yourself today? How did you demonstrate joy or love to another person today? Reflection is a simple practice that if done consistently will reduce insomnia, limit rumination, and overall improve your quality of sleep. In the same light that starting your day with gratitude sets you on a brighter path, finishing your day reflecting on the good provides balance to our otherwise chaotic world.

For more ways to find your balance in the chaos, check out https://tinybuddha.com/blog/4-ways-to-remain-centered-amid-all-of-the-chaos/.