Hello everyone! Happy April to you all. Last time I wrote, I was talking about how it’s been a full year of working from home for me during the COVID-19 pandemic. It feels like the perfect time for a mental health check in with you all.
It’s been a busy start to the year of 2021 and I haven’t talked at length about what I’ve been up to. I have been writing about very important topics, such as the BLM movement and attacks on the US Capitol, the self-love movement, and critiquing the popular reality show, The Bachelor and the franchise. Along with covering these important topics, I’ve shared my own mental health journey with you, particularly looking at the impact of the past year. It’s always important to stop and reflect on where we have been before we can move forward. And checking in on our mental health now, especially as we are over a year into the pandemic, is necessary.
I have not been up to much lately. Though I do have some upcoming exciting news that I will be able to share with you soon, for the most part, I have been continuing the work from home life, spending time going for walks and exploring my neighbourhood when I can. Thankfully, the days are getting longer and sunnier which means we can spend more time outside. This also means more ways to connect safely with others outdoors, though we still need to be mindful about the COVID restrictions that are currently in BC.
I did get the chance recently to celebrate Easter with my family outdoors. It felt really special to be together with everyone in a safe and socially distanced way this year, as last year I was not with my family at Easter and it was a really hard time for me, if I’m being honest. The reason it felt like such a hard time wasn’t necessarily because of the holiday itself, but rather because I was away from my family during the peak of the pandemic. I am grateful to be able to have spent so much time with them in the remainder of the pandemic, and getting the chance to celebrate together this year. Taking some well-deserved time off over that long weekend was also really nice. I am currently in the middle of one of the busiest times of year at work, and we have been moving at a full-steam-ahead pace recently, so this break was much needed. I definitely felt more refreshed heading back to work after the long weekend. I think a lot of people are in the same boat this year and really took the time to rest and rejuvenate over the long weekend.
The ongoing impact of the pandemic is a lot to deal with, for all of us. I feel that my mental health goes up and down. I wish I could say it is constantly going up, and somedays it does feel that way, but in reality it doesn’t feel like I am moving forward all of the time. I definitely still have those days where I feel like I hit a wall or the weight of the world is suddenly on my shoulders. I suppose these fluctuations are to be expected, considering we are still in the middle of the pandemic and not quite back to normal yet. Hopefully, the more things continue to open up and people get vaccinated, the better these next few months will be.
One of the ways I maintain my mental health when it feels like it could fluctuate at any given moment is by setting clear boundaries. I do my best to stick to a work schedule, minimize any overtime, and maintain my routine outside of work as well. I find this helps a lot in reducing anxiety and also allows me to be more present in all areas of my life. Another way of maintaining my mental health is carving out time for the things that bring me stability and joy, such as exercise, spending time with loved ones, and practicing hobbies. Having a balance of these various aspects is extremely important to me and ensures I can show up in all aspects of my life, without getting overwhelmed in one or the other. Of course, sometimes this balance does slip and it takes work to get it back on track, but designing my life with balance in mind has been very helpful for me.
As the days continue to get longer and brighter and we (hopefully) get to spend more time with another, I am hopeful for what the rest of spring can bring. That sunshine is also spectacular for my mental health, and I hope it is for yours too 🙂
What are some of the ways that you maintain your mental health? Let me know in the comments!