Finding your #tools2thrive: Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the theme this year is #tools2thrive. The national dialogue has been focused on our physical health, and rightly so, but now let’s take this opportunity to talk about how we can support our mental health. Perhaps there’s no better time than now to have conversations about tools we can use to cope and even thrive.
First of all, you may need to get creative with the tools you use for two reasons:
The ways you were coping may not be accessible
We are somewhat limited in not only the activities we can do right now but also what we can purchase as well. Maybe part of your routine was going to yoga, or kickboxing, or having weekly dinners with friends. Perhaps you enjoy putting together puzzles or doing knitting projects. During this time of quarantine and social distancing, going to an in-person class, going out with friends, or going to the store for crafts just isn’t an option. If your #tools2thrive isn’t available right now, though, you’re not alone. It just means you might need to get more creative with finding #tools2thrive right now.
The ways you were coping may not currently work
Do you feel like what used to help just doesn’t right now? Maybe you have enjoyed doing puzzles, and now you feel like that would be more challenging to sit down even if, in the past, you loved the peace it provided. Or maybe lighting a candle and listening to music helped you relax at the end of a long day, and as much as you try to find relaxation, the candle and music just aren’t the same right now. And you know what? That’s normal. We are in the middle of a health crisis that’s affecting all of us. What you previously used to cope might not be as helpful when you factor in the extenuating circumstances. Different circumstances need different coping tools. Again, it just means you might need to get more creative with finding #tools2thrive right now.
Second, remember there are #tools2thrive out there.
Now is the time to get creative with coping. Start with what’s accessible to you. There are a lot of great coping tools out there, but if circumstances prevent you from accessing them now, those aren’t the ones you can use. Look around your house and use what you have. Think about ways you can stay connected to others. Perhaps also thinking about how you can stay connected to nature.
Technology is providing support in totally different ways
Remember when all the conversations about technology were around how to limit screen time? Gone are those days, and now technology is a way that we are all staying more connected to our friends and family in addition to using it for work or school. There’s one other significant way that technology can support your mental health, and that’s TELEHEALTH.
Telehealth is healthcare that is accessible remotely. And when it comes to mental health and therapy, telehealth gives us the option to provide therapy in this time of quarantine and social isolation. If your provider is utilizing telehealth services, this means you can continue to ‘see’ your therapist either via video or have phone sessions. Telehealth has been around for a while, but right now, it’s become much more popular for therapists because it means that we can continue to offer mental health support amid this global health crisis.
And lastly, be compassionate to yourself.
During this crisis, self-compassion is a valuable tool in your #tools2thrive toolbox. Caring for yourself through this crisis, validating your experience and emotions, and show yourself some kindness by using the coping skills you have available. And remember, there is no perfect way to cope. We are all doing the best that we can.
Here at Mindfulpath, we understand that you might be feeling a variety of emotions, and just coping might feel incredibly difficult, let alone finding #tools2thrive. During this time, Mindfulpath is offering all of our services via telehealth, including individual, family, and group therapy. We provide online classes, as well. If you need support, reach out to us or a therapist in your area.