While it might seem impossible to escape the endless news cycle and general uncertainty that defines 2020, there are a few ways to improve your mindset.
So why not make your lifestyle and mental health a priority? Not only will you feel better for it, you might even find the day-to-day grind is less stressful when you’ve taken some time to reset and nurture yourself.
Here are our top five tips to help yourself feel better, starting now.
Turn off the news.
Experts actually have a name for the relentless news cycle: headline stress. Some psychologists are using the term to describe the increasing number of people they’re seeing who are struggling to cope with the bombardment of bad news in the digital age.
If you’ve been glued to the news 24/7 since March, it might be time for a break. There’s a lot to worry about right now, but sometimes switching off can do wonders for your mental health.
To start, try turning off any news notifications and limit your exposure to a couple of times a day at set times. Be mindful about where you get your news and avoid sensationalist media that leans more towards drama over accuracy so you can stay informed without it coming at you from all sides, all day.
Pay it forward.
Studies show that helping others in turn makes us happier. Called the “helper’s high,” this rush of endorphins occurs when you enact charitable deeds.
If you’re not in a position to donate financially to a charity right now, try donating your time to an organization or not-for-profit instead. Giving doesn’t have to include big gestures. Whatever your circumstance, it can simply extend to giving back to those you love. Pick up the phone and check in on friends and family, or arrange a (socially distanced) get-together.
Practice good nutrition.
We all know how essential good nutrition is to mental health. But while most of us are well versed in the importance of eating three nutritious meals per day, snacks are often a last-minute aside. However, this highly underrated category can make or break a healthy diet.
Instead of reaching for chips or chocolate during the afternoon slump, try a healthier option.
Step away from your screens (yes, all of them) and do something creative. Maybe it’s time you got out that jigsaw puzzle you’ve been meaning to do for years. Or paint a feature wall behind your bed. It could be sketching a piece of fruit, writing in your journal, or even potting a plant.
Whatever your creative process of choice may be, creating something with your hands is challenging, relaxing, and rewarding all in one and you’ll have something to show for it when you’re finished.
Finally, don’t forget the power of music to transport you to another place and transform your mood. Instead of scrolling through social media every night, browse and follow playlists you like on Spotify or make your own for different moods.
Name them by vibe, from ‘Uplifting’ and ‘Romantic dinner’ to ‘Silly dancing’ and ‘Running tracks’ and you’ll be ready to bust out the perfect tunes anytime and dance like no-one is watching. And doesn’t that make you feel good?
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.