It’s been impossible to get away from bad news this year. 2020 needs a reset; there’s absolutely no doubt about that. The only thing is (and it’s a big thing) is that we literally cannot do that. But when the news every day is filled with Coronavirus, climate change and other things that can make you feel really damn hopeless after a while, taking care of your mental health has never been more important. That’s why we got you with this list of things you can do to stop getting into a funk about current affairs, and take care of your mental wellbeing in the process.
1) Follow a good news site for some daily uplifting content
It might not seem like it, but there is so much good news to be read. Follow a good news instagram or twitter account to give your feed a little balance. When everyone is posting about the end of the world, seeing something uplifting can do wonders for you. Plus, social isolation means more time spent on social media, and needless to say it’s a bummer out there at the moment. Check out this list of awesome accounts you can follow to make your social media a more positive space.
2) Take a break from the news – even turn off the notifications
We aren’t saying you should be cutting out the news all together as there’s a lot of important information flying around out there at the moment. But it is important to look after your mental health, especially if you are stuck inside, and so seeing hourly updates about how bleak the world might be looking is probably not all that great for you. Instead, turn off your notifications for a few hours, or pop your phone on silent for a while, and do something else. You might find it easier if that something else avoided the internet as well.
3) Spend some quality time with friends and family (if you can)
If you are out and about in the world, use this time wisely. Spend some time with the people you love (as long as everyone is comfortable with it and no one is feeling under the weather). If you can’t see them in person, set up a group video call to hang with your friends from the safety of your own bedrooms, or play games against each other online. Similarly, get the group chat going and all sit down to watch your fave TV show together, but in your own homes. It might not be quite the same, but it will still be hilarious we guarantee.
4) Try to discuss some good stuff
The conversation all over the world has been dominated by some pretty negative and damn right scary things for the majority of this year, but there are good things happening all over the world too. Like, have you seen all the balcony parties happening in lockdown in Italy right now? Or the supermarkets opening early just for the most elderly and vulnerable in communities? Or even just how some people are taking a little bit of time out of their day to spread a little kindness? The world is always going to be full of great things, just right now we have to look a little harder to see them. So take some time, do some research, and talk about them to everyone you know.
5) Keep the conversation open and honest about how you are feeling
Talking about mental wellbeing and mental diversity can be a tough one. But if you are feeling panicked, or just a bit sad and confused about what is going on with the world right now, talking about it to the people in your life is the best way to get some of the worst stuff off your brain. For tips on how to do it, give this article a read on how to talk to your mates about mental health.
6) Spread some kindness
It costs nothing to be kind, and right now there are a lot of people out there who really need someone to show them some kindness. If you can, offer up your services to those in need right now and do some volunteering, offer to get some shopping in for a vulnerable neighbour, or anything else that might help lighten someone else’s load. If not, start something on social media to give people a space to offer their services. Being kind to others is proven to improve your mental health, so it’s always worth a go.
7) But don’t forget to be kind to yourself as well
No matter what is going on in with the world, you need to remember to be good to yourself. Take some time to calm down by doing all the stuff you love, and see that the world is still turning and the things you love to do have always been there waiting for you. We aren’t saying to sit around on your own and wait for the news to refresh and worry – get distracted. And remember, this too shall pass.
If you are feeling lonely, isolated or just need someone to talk to, you can speak to one of our team of trained Digital Mentors here for confidential support and advice.