Looming deadlines. Overdue bills. Perplexing relationships. Growing health concerns. You are bound to feel anxious, frustrated or even upset as you learn to deal with stressful situations in life. Life as we know it can be especially challenging and tough at times. Even then, bear this in mind: you are tougher! Looking for ways to cope? Aside from going to therapy, here are things you can do every day to improve your mental wellness in 2022 amidst these challenging times as shared by members of our team.
Unwind with a video game
While video games are perceived by some as addicting and violent, more recent studies show that they actually have social and mental health benefits and can contribute to overall wellness. Games such as Animal Crossing became a sweet escape for many.
One of them is TheBeauLife Features Writer Alyana. "I've found that it helps to really disconnect from my work after 6PM. One of the ways I achieve this is by doing something completely unrelated to my job, specifically playing video games. It has really helped take my mind off of work. I set aside an hour every evening to don my noise-cancelling headphones, log in to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and lose myself in this virtual world. By the end of it, I'm relaxed enough to go to sleep and recharge for the following day."
Take a walk and immerse yourself in nature
Feeling stuck and stressed at work? You'd be surprised how much a brisk walk could help. The simple act of taking a break from your desk to take a nice, short stroll could improve focus and memory. Some evidence even suggests that regular walking can improve mental health in the long run. If there's a nearby park or greenery nearby where you saunter while on a break, then much better — as studies show that exposure to nature could reduce psychological stress.
Clozette Integrated Solutions Manager Dora Tan shares that one way she keeps her mental health in check as she copes with a recent loss of a dear one is to ensure that she doesn't coop herself up in her room. "I will take some time to go out into nature to get some fresh air and sunlight," she said. Clozette Program Manager Roanna Tan can also attest to the benefits of immersing one's self in nature. "Connecting with nature and the environment is key for me to reflect on myself, clear out cluttered thoughts and simply live in the moment," she said.
Get an emotional support animal
Gaining a friend does not always mean a person. For example, if you are struggling with mental health issues, you can gain an emotional support animal (ESA) as a friend. You just need to get an ESA letter from a professional mental specialist or a reliable online source like ESA Pet or Certapet.
A pet can be a best friend for you, or it could be a loyal family member waiting at home for you to return from a long day. It is not hard to see how having an animal companion can improve your life in many ways. For one thing, pets provide us with unconditional love and companionship, and it helps to improve the mental wellness.
Do some baking
Tried baking during quarantine? Here's a reason to keep doing it: baking (and cooking, in general) can have positive psychological and social impacts. That's right, making sourdough bread, cookies and other baked goodies don't just help you hone your culinary skills but doing so can also make you more relaxed. It's literally and figuratively a sweet escape!
Clozette Senior Campaign Manager Kristel Ann Cruz is a total cooking newbie but she loves "zoning out" while baking. "Tinkering with mixing bowls and measuring cups until a lovely smell wafts from the oven is heavenly," she said.
Catch up with a friend and get a different perspective
We can sometimes get too much into our own heads when we're stressed and under a lot of pressure. And one of the ways you can improve your mental health when you're in this situation is to reach out to a friend. Even just a quick online chat or video call with a friend could foster a sense of "connectedness and support", according to a 2021 study.
Clozette Campaign Executive Rebecca Wee shares that she values "talking it out" with trusted people in her circle. "This usually helps to be able to expand my train of thoughts and be able to look at the issues from a third party perspective," she said.
The same goes for Clozette Campaign Manager Xuan Yi Low who says that hanging out with friends online or offline makes her feel refreshed. "Arranging a day-out and doing activities with friends during the weekend like chilling at a beach help to boost my energy and takes my mind off stress," she said.
You don't have to be a Monet or Picasso to enjoy making art. All you have to do is just draw what you feel like. It's not about the results but more about the process. Current research shows that engaging in visual arts "alleviates feelings of loneliness and isolation" and promotes self-expression. So don't worry about creating the perfect and just do it.
Take it from TheBeauLife Senior Features Writer & Campaigns Executive Amanda Arambulo who has found solace in creating digital sketches on her phone. "It's something I can do anywhere, anytime whenever I need a breather. Concentrating on what I'm sketching, blending the right colours and so on allows me to take my mind off of things even for a short while," she shared.
It's no secret that meditation can help increase emotional awareness and "ease symptoms of depression and anxiety". Simply put, trying it can bring more mindfulness to your life. However, newbies face distractions while doing meditation. To combat this, Senior Content Solutions Manager Jam Pangan makes it a point to do it early in the morning where there are fewer disturbances. "I start the day with 15 minutes of quiet time to pray and meditate before I review my to-do list," she said.
It's common knowledge that exercise brings a lot of physical benefits, but did you know that regular workouts can also keep us mentally fit as well? Yes, exercise can reduce anxiety, depression and negative mood and give us relief from stress. How do you make time for it? Clozette Content & Community Manager Aizel Dolom advises creating a schedule complete with target time and duration. "This way, I don't get overwhelmed with commitments and get to allocate time to rest and recharge. I personally do jump ropes or yoga."
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