We’re in a mental health crisis.
There’s no way around this.
Whether you come from a conservative society that doesn’t believe depression is real or a place that’s supportive of mental health awareness, everyone has been affected.
In some parts of the world, Covid-19 regulations are slowly easing, and life is returning to normal. But for most of the world, new waves of this virus are ravaging the population and forcing governments to enforce new restrictive lockdowns.
It can feel like an endless cycle with no light at the end of the tunnel. Many people are stuck alone with their thoughts, and sometimes those thoughts can be damaging. Whether you are dealing with anxiety, depression, or grief, this article might be helpful for you.
We asked 46 mental health experts to give us unusual tips about staying mentally stable during lockdowns. They gave insightful advice that can work as a compass for those struggling with their mental health during these trying times. Here is a list of 46 expert tips to help you stay mentally stable during the lockdown and the pandemic.
1. Keep a Positive Outlook on Life
Spiritual guide Shamananda states, “There is a simple tool that, when applied effectively, can offer peace to anyone, regardless of situation or circumstances. The tool I’m referring to is living in gratitude for what you are experiencing at the moment and noticing that blessings are always concurrent in your life. To be the most effective at experiencing gratitude, it’s important to initiate your physiology while thinking about it. For instance, during a 15-minute morning walk, if you do some breath work (four breaths in, four breaths out) as you go over everything that you are grateful for, it’ll be the beginning of shifting your consciousness to mostly focusing on what is working, instead of what isn’t. The idea is to retrain your mind to see the world differently. The world isn’t going to change, but your perspective can. The other half of this would be to recognise what the blessings are in every situation. There are many ways to dissect life experiences. In order to remain strong and calm in any situation is understanding that every experience can be seen as a burden or a blessing and that you have a choice as to which one you experience. This thinking alone will grant you the opportunity to discover a solution quickly, as opposed to marinating in the problem, which is the key to shifting your perspective into a peaceful state, allowing the door to open for positive and enjoyable outcomes.”
Author Girish Shukla states, “Focus on the good things – even if you are faced with adversity, make a conscious effort to focus on the good things no matter how insignificant they may appear to be. Practicing gratitude can also help you to lead a very fulfilling life. It can help you realize that you don’t have it as bad as you may think you do. Also, surround yourself with people who are positive by nature will help you greatly since positivity is highly contagious.”
Nicole Lacherza-Drew, a licensed psychologist, states, “Looking at the situation with a positive spin helped as well. Throughout the pandemic, the phrase, “safe at home” came out instead of “stuck at home.” I used the opportunity to get creative with my pre-COVID routine. Instead of only calling family once a week via phone, I now called them almost daily via video. Instead of going into businesses that were closed during the lockdown, I looked at their website if I needed to purchase something and went on long drives with my husband. We found places and saw things that we often passed and didn’t give a second glance at pre-COVID.”
2. Participate in Volunteer Programs
Michael Brown, the director of Fresh Results Institute, states, “One perfect way to spend this time at home is volunteering for community relief (or vaccine advocacy) projects in the pandemic. First, the empathy and psychological juice of saving life will keep you mentally charged. You feel empowered with a noble cause. Every morning, you wake up with the enthusiasm of creating one more smile; you wake with the exhilaration of keeping someone’s loved one alive.”
Nadia Charif, a wellness coach & health advisor, states, “Helping others got me through Covid. I listened to clients’ struggles, empathised, counselled and repeated. It was such a cathartic way to understand and cope with the universal solitude and anxiety that came with a large-scale pandemic & social isolation. I realised it wasn’t their fear or my fear; it was just fear. It was human to be afraid, be fed up, be irritable, or feel lost with a lack of connection or intimacy. Fortunately, I had my clients via Zoom or masked outdoor group therapy circles to help me stay connected and spiritually vibrant in such a soul-trying time.”
3. Stay Physically Active
It’s easy to fall into the habit of lying in bed all day. You know how it goes — you eat in bed, study or work in bed, and only leave your room for bathroom breaks. That can be fun for a few days, but it isn’t sustainable for long periods of time.
Robert Bradley recommends that staying physically active can be beneficial. Bradley uses martial arts as a way to stay active and connected with his body. He states, “Finally, martial arts are great for your mental health, even without lockdowns. They help you focus, get rid of stress and anxiety, and help you learn how to channel your anger or aggression into something useful.” He and many others agree with this method.
Rhea Sheedy, a fitness expert at Ballet Fusion, believes that staying active can positively impact your emotional well-being. Sheedy states, “It’s well-known that exercise releases endorphins, our happy hormones. A group class can force us to move our bodies and get motivated. Seeing other people and listening to the teacher boom instructions is a great way to feel part of a community and remember that we’re all in this together. In the studio or online — there are literally 1000s of group classes out there to get stuck in to.”
Julia Bobak, creative director at Home Grounds, says, “I live in the Pacific Northwest, and night walks got me through Covid lockdown. My community was fairly conservative about masking & social distancing, even when outside in the fresh air. I tried to conform for as long as I could, but I was getting so antsy & needed the fresh air & outdoors to feel whole & connected to something larger–when I couldn’t connect to people. I felt like I was disappearing. One day was becoming dangerously like the previous & the next. I was losing track of time & feeling depressed.
I remembered Rumi’s Night Traveler:
“Search the Darkness
Sit with your friends; don’t go back to sleep
Don’t sink like a fish to the bottom of the sea.
Life’s water flows from darkness
Search the darkness, don’t run from it.
Night travellers are full of light,
and you are, too; don’t leave this companionship.”
That’s when I started to take walks after dark when others were asleep or Netflixing. It was lovely! The peace, the expanse, the unmasked smells of nature and the freedom. Without a doubt, night walks got me through the hardest parts of being in social lockdown.”
4. Stay Connected
Alissa Schneider, a counsellor at Naples FL Counseling, explains ways to stay connected. She shares, “Connecting with others as much as possible via video chat and keeping the mind and body active are essential. It’s important to recognize the things we can or can’t control as well, and focus on what we can control in these types of situations. Journaling can be a coping mechanism that is useful for helping us to express emotions when we don’t have as many people around to vent to and express how we feel. I recommend having some fun and moving the body in mindful ways. Lastly, a connection with God can be really helpful, too. When we don’t have others, talking with God can help us to feel less isolated and lonely.”
Debbie Proulx, the executive director of the National Alliance of Mental Illness, also recommends this strategy. Proulx states, “Stay in touch with your social supports and attend support groups. There are many ways to stay in touch even if you can’t do so in person. Apps such as Facebook, Signal, and House Party were all found to be helpful. Of course, Zoom and telephone calls were also big hits. Most surprisingly was the amount of joy that good old fashioned snail mail brought people; cards, letters, care packages brought joy for weeks.”
Komal R, a university professor in the UK and a member of os.me, states, “When it comes to interactions, most of us struggle to cope with the lack of human and emotional connection during lockdowns. We may also fear being judged if we share our innermost feelings with close friends. Personally, thanks to os.me, the kindest online platform and community, I was least affected by loneliness and didn’t feel any lack of human connection. After sharing my thoughts and feelings with this beautiful online community, as of May 2020, I instantly felt at home. When we cannot share our worries with those around us during a lockdown, it’s truly a blessing to find people who are there to support us and always have kind words for any challenge anyone may be facing. We welcome everyone there and help each other grow, without judgment.”
5. Try Gardening
Author Ja-ne de Abreu states, “In the pandemic, I started growing food. It was a surprise to me how it brought joy and calm to my life. While the rest of the world was chaotic, when I was with my plants, I was in the present moment. Nothing else mattered for that time. I was so inspired to find the peace I could create solely within me that I wrote about it. Sassy Food is an empowerment tool anyone can use to grow food on any budget. Written in a fun, upbeat way, it is designed to bring levity to our pandemic-ridden lives. 170 pages of luxurious colour photos and graphic designs are like a tropical walk in the tropics while learning how to create your own edible jungle anywhere in the world. It is my hope that others will find the joy that I did while being safe in this ongoing pandemic.”
Talia Boone, CEO at Postal Petals, states, “The process of arranging flowers is considered by many to be a form of meditation. Thoughtfully arranging and manipulating each stem into a work of art built with your own hands doesn’t just beautify your space; it quiets your thoughts and brightens your mood.”
6. Keep a Schedule or a Daily Routine
Designer Hugo Samengo-Turner states, “Usually, I’m a very sociable person, and having to spend weeks at a time on my own without any actual face-to-face human contact has been very testing. To get through this and keep me as sane as possible, I have found that creating a daily routine that prioritizes looking after myself is imperative. Examples being reading more or watching more films, trying new relaxing techniques, having an exercise routine, or finding new knowledge on the internet. In summary, I have attempted to create and discover new experiences and stick to a disciplined routine that has kept me on the straight and narrow.”
Architect Alex Valera agrees. He says, “I think that being mentally stable during lockdown is a challenging task. Your schedule might turn 180° if you switched to working from home, and if you were used to seeing tons of people every day and now you don’t, it can take a toll on your emotional balance. [Make sure that you] timetable your day. This will help you achieve your tasks because you don’t need to think about what’s next, you just read your schedule and go with it. It’s important to find some time to rest and disconnect and to keep your workspace separate as much as possible. I take a break at least every 3 hours or so and grab some water, go to the kitchen or do something else and preferably in a different room.”
7. Put the Alcohol Down
David Kendrick, a Mental Health First Aid Professional, states, “During the lockdown, alcohol usage has increased, opioid abuse has increased, and suicides have increased among all ages, races, and sexes. For those young adults who are struggling now is a perfect time to work on self-development. Interacting with new people and groups will increase our social activity as well as give us something to occupy ourselves. We are social creatures that desire contact with other people. Meeting new people/learning new things open us up to worlds that we didn’t know existed. Occupying your time with things like learning a new language or learning how to play an instrument is great for your cognitive and social development. Many young people drink out of pure boredom…if there is nothing to do the liquor store is always open and a great way to kill time.”
Dr. Cali Estas from The Addictions Couch, states, “Suicide and mental health are at an all-time high. According to the CDC, addiction is up 30% and mental health is up 40% in terms of people seeking treatment. How can you stay mentally stable and not overdo alcohol or other substances? Before you reach for alcohol or other drugs, think about the outcome and what you desire. If you think that drinking and not leaving the house is the answer, what happens a week later when you haven’t showered and are still sitting on the sofa? Doesn’t sound like fun, does it? No. Call a professional If you are already in the rut of drug and alcohol use. Call us at 800 706 0318 ext 1 if you need assistance.”
8. Take a Break from Technology
Mindset Coach and podcaster Shannon Andress was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and she finds that this method helps her immensely. She started her podcast to support other people struggling with anxiety and recommends this strategy to her listeners.
Andress states, “I started a podcast to open up about my mental health struggles and help others to understand that they are not alone. Through my experience and interviewing guests, I share with my listeners what I have found to be the most helpful for me during my journey. [I tell my listeners to] step away from all technology when anxious thoughts begin to appear. Find a quiet space where you can take deep breaths and repeat a calming mantra to yourself ex: “everything is going to be okay, I am here, I am present, everything is fine.” Sometimes finding 5 objects around you can help you to recenter and be present.”
Farwah Sheikh, a mind, body and soul coach, suggests, “My tips are to first take time to be present and alone in your thoughts by disconnecting from all social media and devices (iPads, Netflix), etc. Once you disconnect you have to reconnect your energy within, I suggest using meditation techniques, deep breathing…this is so crucial because you want to tap into your subconscious mind to be able to help level up your energy and mood. Then spend at least 10 min looking at or being in nature… scientifically nature has been proven to help with reducing stress, and releasing chemicals to boost mood.”
When technology is the main thing keeping us connected with the rest of the world, it’s easy to become all-consumed by it. However, when anxiety is at its highest, it’s essential to disconnect for as long as you need.
9. Only Take Doctor-Prescribed Medications
On social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok, many unqualified creators recommend supplements and medications that are not medically certified. It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying trendy medical products, but it can also be harmful to your health.
Dr Kojo Sarfo, a mental health nurse practitioner and psychotherapist, advises against this. In this TikTok video, Sarfo states, “Purchasing medications/supplements that you heard about online is one of the things you should avoid during lockdown. Always consult your doctor for medical advice.”
It’s important to remember that people who are not licensed medical professionals can’t be trusted to recommend medications. When you spend hours online, make sure to keep that in mind!
10. Use Your Awareness & Keep Your Mind Active
Clarán Coleman, a clinical hypnotherapist, states, “Staying mentally stable through lockdowns, ultimately comes down to one thing, awareness. As a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I primarily study how our unconscious habits, emotions, and beliefs impact our conscious day-to-day thoughts. Such thoughts, through lockdown, may make it hard to motivate yourself, deal with stress or manage the level of uncertainty you may be facing. Awareness is much more than just how you feel. It is a conscious acknowledgement of what things you do/say/experience have you feeling positive or negative. In this acknowledgement comes understanding. An objective understanding of how we can make changes to what we are already doing in our routine is the best way to stay mentally stable during the lockdown. It means you are not attempting something you have no experience in, adding to uncertainty levels. You are working upon the already existing habits which dictate your mental state.”
Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family therapist, recommends that you do as much as you can to keep your mind active. Ziskind states, “Staying mentally stable during a lockdown means keeping yourself busy and your mind active. You might pick a crossword puzzle book, read a new book a friend recommends, take a virtual yoga class through the mind-body app, go for a walk outside in your neighborhood, or even get delivery groceries and make a new recipe you’ve never tried like strawberry rhubarb pie. You can imagine your home as a place to have a new adventure. You might even pick up gardening and put in a new pathway from the road to your front door. The possibilities are endless, but you must think creatively to keep your mind alive. Think about things to keep your muscles sharp eye trying a workout class. You might even pick up meditation to gain a sense of spiritual connection. If you would like company or companionship, I would recommend adopting a cat or a dog from your local humane society.”
11. Keep Doing the Things You Love
Dr Bruce Forman, a psychologist and certified trauma treatment clinician, states, “There are several things we can do to minimize the impact of quarantine to prevent the experience from being a traumatic event. First, it is important to stay engaged with friends or family on a regular basis through virtual meetings, telephone, or even email. It is also important to keep up with enjoyable activities or hobbies such as listening to music, binge-watching TV shows or movies, getting physical exercise, practicing relaxation or meditation, and focus on pleasurable events in the future to maintain a sense of hope.”
Have you tried using art as a form of therapy? Jennifer Jensen, a registered art therapist, states, “It is a travesty what the lockdown ramifications are having on our society. As Robert Burton stated, “There is no greater cause of melancholy than idleness.” It is important for people, young and old, to reclaim their hours in the day and lives and spend it how they see fit. For their own personal fulfillment both mentally and professionally. To become creators of the world they want and desire. My professional career, forced to stop because of social distancing and transference of germs through art supplies. I took comfort in revisiting and doing my art therapy activities during the lockdown. From experiencing the positive benefits, I created it into a self-paced course to do at home, with a fun kit filled with those projects and supplies. It is important to engage in healthy activities when life stresses become overwhelming or experiencing triggers or cravings. The other benefit of art therapy is it produces a tangible creation to cherish in your personal story.”
12. Invest in Self-Care
This doesn’t mean you should stop caring about your loved ones, but it does mean that you should prioritize self-care now more than ever. Diana Mercado-Marmarosh, a board-certified Family Medicine Physician, ADHD Physician, and certified Life Coach, recommends this strategy.
Mercado-Marmarosh, a family medicine physician and ADHD physician, states, “To anyone who is struggling right now, I would say – please become selfish – schedule more self-care time. You are not all your thoughts. Become aware of the faulty judgy thoughts “I am not smart/ tall/ organized enough,” these are unhelpful opinions. I now realize that I am responsible for the thoughts and emotions (sadness/irritation/joy) that I choose to focus on. Try meditation or napping, read or listen to audiobooks, set up routines, try new fun things (painting/kayaking), seek help from a counsellor, friend, psychiatrist, or life coach. Now I am on a mission to help physicians with ADHD or ADHD tendencies ready to reclaim 5-10 hours weekly guilt-free—so they too can stay mentally stable. Remember, this is not a dress rehearsal; it’s your life!”
Jacqueline Fulcher, a licensed psychologist states, “Practice self-care — this is the number one requirement for your mental health, especially in times of stress or crisis. Similar to how you work out physically to keep your body healthy, self-care is a way to keep your mind healthy. This can include daily meditation, communicating your wants and needs to others, journaling, or simply taking 20-minutes to sit by yourself and organize/collect your thoughts. Make sure your self-care activity relaxes your mind and allows you to recharge. Use mindfulness techniques- Mindfulness is a tool that helps us to focus on the present- what you can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel in the present moment. It is a way to become grounded within our environment and help our bodies relax during stressful periods. I encourage you to research mindfulness as a meditative and therapeutic technique.”
Sister Jenna, a spiritual leader at Meditation Museum recommends this as well. Jenna states, “In times of emotional strain, self-care can feel like a selfish act or something which is difficult to do. I feel that when we care for ourselves, we simply need some guidance and tips to help us along the way.
• The first thing about self-care is to know you’re sincerely ready to love and care for yourself
• Get a journal and start jotting down your current feelings. Also, envision what self-care should look like for you
• Meditate. Meditate. Meditate…
• Indulge in comedy…it’s a soul saver
• Write down the names of folks who are a strain for you emotionally. Next to their names, write the virtue you need to have to release the emotional strain that you are feeling.
Self-care is finding a healthy balance and being truthful with who you are, where you are currently, and being determined enough to encourage change.”
13. Take Baby Steps
Carrie Leaf, MS LMFT, is a psychotherapist and mindset coach who trains clients to change their lives by taking baby steps. Leaf states, “I start all of my clients in the same place. As I describe in step-by-step detail in my upcoming book, Therapize Yourself, I want my clients to go back to the body basics of eating, sleeping, and exercising. I want to see them working on 7-9 hours of sleep a night and ideally going to bed and waking up at the same time. I would like to see any exercise at all but the amount and intensity will depend on how much the client is already doing. I stress starting with baby steps. The baby steps also apply when it comes to what we are eating as well. I want to see my clients working on cleaning up their diets with little changes.”
14. Manage Your Stress
Jenny Okolo, an occupational therapist, states, “Stress is the body’s response to pressure and presents itself in a number of forms including physical, emotional, and mental. However, it’s not always negative. Stress can also keep you alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. A key part of keeping your mental wellbeing in optimal balance is being able to distinguish between these two types of stress.
It’s not easily recognizable when it’s negative so here is what to look out for:
- Heavy breathing and increased heart rate due to the autonomic nervous system going into “fight-or-flight response.”
- Chest pain
- Exhaustion or trouble sleeping
- Headaches, dizziness, or shaking
- Muscle tension or jaw clenching
- Stomach or digestive problems
- Weak immune system
So how do you deal with stress? This is by no means an exhaustive list, but some ways of reducing stress include; learning to say “no” to additional responsibilities when you are too busy and relaxation activities such as yoga.”
Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit, states, “Staying mentally healthy during lockdowns is not an easy feat. We have all been troubled by the spike in suicides, substance abuse, domestic violence, and rising reports of serious depression and anxiety. Here are my top three tips:
- Treat yourself well and know your value: Low self-esteem is difficult to overcome, but with meditation, a steady job, and determination, you can build it up. Treat yourself as well as possible during this difficult time. Converse online if possible and see family if you can. You’re worth it!
- Replace unhealthy behaviours with healthy ones: Unhealthy behaviours from drugs and smoking to pornography overuse and similar behaviours are damaging and can take your mental health further down a dark path. If possible, push yourself to do healthy behaviours: exercise, learning new skills like cooking, learning a language or working on organizing your home are just a few examples.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to someone: It’s OK not to be OK. If you are feeling very depressed or giving up about life it’s fine to talk to a professional, in fact, I highly recommend it.”
15. Practice Mindfulness
Dr. Kimberly Dwyer, PhD, a psychologist, recommends using mindfulness as a way to calm your anxious thoughts. Dwyer states, “Present moment awareness without judgment–mindfulness practices– serve to reset the central nervous system, reducing the anxious arousal (fight or flight response) that can come from future-thinking, worry, regret, and a variety of non-present moment thoughts. Mindfulness as a component of mental health therapy is extremely helpful for treating anxiety disorders, depression, and for managing day to day stress. Because fear and worry associated with quarantine are often future-oriented, mindfulness may be a useful way to return to the present moment and disengage from catastrophic future-thinking. My book, Mindful Mondays offers very easy and accessible strategies for daily mindfulness skills.”
16. You Don’t Have to Be Productive
Psychotherapist Jesse Rothberg states, “Give yourself the grace to be less productive. Now may not be a great time to pressure yourself into learning a new complex skill. It can be a great time to finally sit down and identify your values, though. Pressuring yourself to get a high paying job doesn’t feel good if you value family time over climbing the corporate ladder. Likewise, settling down doesn’t feel good if you value seeing how high you CAN climb the corporate ladder. Take this time to name those values you hold dear and honor them.”
17. Ask for Help
It may be a difficult thing to do, but it’s important to ask for help when you feel yourself slipping. Barbara Legere, a mother of someone who committed suicide during the pandemic, agrees with this.
Legere states, “My son took his life during the pandemic. He was struggling with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. He shared with me he felt alone, like his friends no longer cared about him. I believe that most times, once the final decision has been made, it’s too late. The most important thing is to reach out to others and let them know you’re struggling. This isn’t easy but could be the turning point to getting back to a healthy state of mind. There are online groups specifically for people struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, loneliness. The Facebook groups I have found since losing my son have been the most supportive to me because they are experiencing the same loss. It’s important to know you are not alone, there are others just like you and together you can build each other up. Sometimes it’s easier to encourage another than try to pull yourself out of the darkness and in doing so, you help yourself.”
Richard Jones, a Clinical Director from Heritage CARES, states, “How can young people avoid resorting to suicide and substance?
The acronym PERMA is helpful:
P= pleasure (what do you do for fun)
E= Engagement (what do you do to fully engage/occupy your mind)
R=Relationships (quality over quantity–avoid toxic relationships/interactions)
M= Meaning (why are you here? what do you believe in?)
A= attitude ( you can control your response to any given situation).
At Heritage CARES we offer a program that can help young people navigate mental health, suicide thoughts and substance abuse. We are here for you.”
And for those of you who want life advice, counselling, and emotional support, feel free to use the OS. ME helpline. This helpline is designed to connect you with life guides with expertise in wellness and mental health. You can become a member and access the os.me helpline here. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help.
18. Start Journaling
Brianna Kriley, a licensed mental health counsellor, states, “As a creative-minded counselor and person, creativity creates the foundation of my wellness. I use creative approaches to maintain mental health on a regular basis and during uncertain times, like during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Writing and expressive art-making helped keep me stable during lockdown. One of the most challenging parts of lockdown was isolation. I was living alone at the time and was desperate to feel connected to others. This is one of the activities I engage in: Journaling – use free writing to create space to process feelings and identify daily emotional needs.”
You can also share your journal entries or long-form pieces on the os.me platform. Thousands of os.me members use it as a space to share their personal experiences and learn from each other’s healing journies. You can also earn money and karma points for your articles and interactions with other community members. Sign up to become a part of the kindest and most truthful corner on the internet.
19. Avoid Overeating
Bracha Goetz, a Harvard-educated wellness expert and author states, “When you feel like overeating or engaging in another addictive behaviour to self-soothe, with compassion, ask yourself this one question that creates a mindfulness moment, “Is it my body that is hungry – or my soul?” And with loving awareness, you will know the answer. Then you will be able to provide yourself that very moment with more lasting pleasure than, for instance, the food you are overeating in order to try and make the pleasure keep lasting. You may want to step outside to feel a gentle breeze, turn on some music and start stretching, or call or text someone lonely. Whatever works fills the emptiness inside and lets your hungry soul shine with the nourishment it was genuinely craving. So the next time you feel like overeating junk food due to boredom, anxiety, or loneliness, instead, try filling your hungry soul with a more natural and lasting pleasure! Try it and see if that big bag of potato chips suddenly stops calling your name so loudly.”
20. Start Meditating
Thomas Fultz states, “To quote the great Bruce Lee: ‘Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind’. The pandemic bent me into a pretzel, both mentally & emotionally. Remote work, Zoom school, family grating on nerves & the instability of a rampant unknown sickness. It was hard to perform as CEO when my personal bandwidth would not pass the proverbial “speed test”. I also had a child who was struggling to concentrate in remote learning & the grades were suffering. #MoreStress I was starting to crack. I turned to therapy, which seemed to help me as an individual, but not necessarily my family or business. Upon the therapist’s recommendation, we turned to meditation–first as a family, then as a company. While an expert in business, I was definitely approaching meditation with a beginner’s mind. After one diabolical period in modern American life, I can honestly say that meditation is now within my wheelhouse. I highly recommend this form of centring and expanding, as does my family. Imagine how much more resilient and successful our future CEOs will be if we start them out with meditation as children. In fact, meditation has become such an integral part of my pandemic to the post-pandemic mindset that I’ve just hired a wellness coach and health advisor.”
Akshay Iyer, a prolific writer at os.me, states, “Step back and think about what you read. Your emotions are predictions. The anxiety or the sense of isolation you feel during the lockdown is simply a prediction of your brain. You have significant influence over these predictions because you can rewire your brain. This capability is called neuroplasticity. One of the best mechanisms to rewire your brain is mindfulness meditation. Many studies have shown that individuals who meditated for twenty minutes a day for three weeks also started showing changes in the brains related to reducing stress and an increase in happiness. Scientists found that mindful meditation strengthened areas of the brain that govern our emotions and memories. Hence, we can categorically state that meditation is one of the most powerful tools to help you manage your emotions during and after this pandemic and associated lockdowns. If you want to learn meditation or find it difficult, simply download the Black Lotus application on your mobile device and sign up for a free trial. Black Lotus is designed by Om Swami – one of the world’s foremost meditators and spiritual teachers”
Entrepreneur Jack Miller states, “I live alone and I believe I did go through some mental health struggles in the past year of lockdowns. For one, there was an overwhelming feeling of anxiety looming over my head about will I get sick or will some of my loved ones get sick. I also went through a rough period of depression because of not seeing people and living in isolation.
But with the help of a close friend who’s a veteran psychiatrist, I was able to power through. If you happen to be going through the same phase, here is one of my tips: Meditate: That friend of mine introduced me to actual scientific findings of how the brain undergoes positive physical changes when you start meditating as a regular practice. But generally, it brings you to a different headspace and gives you that awareness whenever you feel your mood or disposition go south. All you need is ten minutes per day for this. And at least for me, I did feel a positive change as I did it regularly.”
Hetal Sonpal, a motivational speaker and os.me member, states, “The most troubling aspect about the lockdown is unpleasant change. It’s human nature to not like any unpleasant occurrence, especially one that we do not have control over. And to go against human nature is not possible for a mere mortal. It requires one to have a strong mind. The way to have a strong mind is by being mindful and meditating. The practice of mediation, initially helps us to be conscious and aware of our thoughts and then to control them. The second key aspect of handling lockdown is ‘acceptance’. Till we believe that lockdown is unfair and we need to protest about it, we will be in a state of turmoil. However, once we ‘accept’ that it’s not only in our interest but in the interest of our immediate family and the society at large, that we will be able to adjust to the new reality.”
With all this information from mental health professionals and spiritual advisors, we hope that you’ll find healthy coping mechanisms during this time. If you need a way to connect with others as you take a journey of self-development, the OS. ME online community could be perfect for you!
Written by: Team OSME