These days, when travelling around, you’re likely to come across a few potholes. What often starts as a small hole suddenly grows into a large hole, and before you know it, the ground beneath you collapses, swallowing everything above it into a big sinkhole.
In our own lives, we don’t often think about what triggers the ‘soil’ beneath us to erode. Even when we notice the cracks forming over time, most of us tend not to do much about it until the problem becomes bigger and then we are dealing with our own ‘sinkholes’.
It’s evident that we are still dealing with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is compounded by a growing unemployment problem, a crippling energy crisis, alarmingly high crime, and an escalating cost of living that’s forcing more and more people into financial distress. All these factors contribute significantly to the state of our mental health.
As we move closer towards the festive season and the promises of a new year, it’s important to take care of our well-being and decide how we plan to tackle our goals – whether financial, spiritual, physical, or emotional – for the upcoming year. Being proactive and having a plan can help stop some of those problematic ‘cracks’ from forming in our inner worlds.
Here are a few tips on how to take care of our mental health as we move into the new season:
Make time for alone time: There can be so much healing in solitude and being one with our thoughts. Start with 10 or 15 minutes, a couple of times a day, then look at your day, week, or month. Use this time to meditate, read or simply listen to a podcast.
Lean in to thepower of ‘no’: Be discerning about how many things you say 'yes' to in one period of time. It’s important to give ourselves permission to say 'no thank you' to things that deplete us.
Determine what you want:When our emotional cups are empty, it might be a sign that we’re out of alignment with what our hearts desire. Refocus your life on the things that feel life giving to you.
Prioritise your obligations: Start taking stock of your life and assess which obligations you no longer have capacity for and which ones you want to continue with.
Take time off and reset: We live in a world that glorifies the idea of always being on the move. Whether you’re part of the 5am club or team no sleep, or you’re running a side hustle – you can’t keep going at a crazy pace forever. Rest is essential. It’s important to take some time out to recharge your body and mind.
Help! How hard is it to say that word? Asking for help can be difficult but it’s important to remember that we all want to feel supported and our community can’t help us if we don’t ask for help.
None of these tools are magic fixes, but just like good road maintenance, doing the small ‘repairs’ and taking stock can help prevent more severe problems down the line.
Bonolo is a multimedia journalist and content creator at Heartlines. She has experience in online and radio media production and helps spread the Heartlines message on multiple platforms.
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