Updated: 5 days ago
Guest writer for mynzdreamblog
By Del Gibson
There is total carnage in Ukraine, Russia is sending missiles. Climate change is rife. Our oceans and the planet are fighting a losing battle. Politics and Covid. Natural disasters are destroying homes and livelihoods. Our economy is on shaky grounds and there is a shortage of houses to home everyone. So what can you do to keep yourself safe? Mentally and emotionally these things can cause people with an underlining mental health disorder to feel lost and alone, with everything else going on in the world, these things can disturb the best of us. But what are some things you can do to make your corner of the universe feel some sense of safety? A place where you have relief at the end of the day? Do you have somewhere safe to call your own? The unknown is a frightening place to be when you are mentally unwell. Sure, you might be coping and managing just fine. I hope you are at peace. Here are some things to think about in this ever-changing world we live in, a world gone mad!
Let’s start with the news you are watching. Do you really need to watch this, if you are feeling unstable? Is it disturbing you and making you feel lost out at sea? Is it all doom and gloom? Take a good hard look at what you are filling your mind with. Turn off the news and put some music on instead, dance around the house, and feel grateful you have a place where you can be yourself. When I feel overwhelmed with it all, I turn to funny animal clips that make me laugh.
Find your passion. Perhaps you used to paint? Or write? You may have been into something that gave you great pleasure, reading a book in the sun? Sit at the beach and watch the waves roll in. Find your bliss. If you have no purpose to get out of bed in the mornings, find something. Change your morning routine to include something different. Maybe Yoga and meditation can help to ground you? If you have social anxiety and don’t feel comfortable joining a local group for yoga or meditation, seek some free programs you can do at home, there is a plethora of information on the internet. You don’t need to leave the house if you don’t want to. Always do what feels right for you. Though getting out of your comfort zone is good in the long run, do only what you think you can manage.
Look after yourself. Get plenty of rest, sleep, and sunshine. Vitamin D is great for your health and especially for those with mental illness. Take a walk around the block, and don’t take your music with you, hear the birds in the trees, and appreciate the environment. This is a great opportunity to think and regroup. Make sure you eat during the day, even if you have no appetite, a piece of toast, a sandwich, or a piece of fruit will help with your energy levels. It is not unusual to have a loss of appetite when you are feeling depressed. I struggle with this daily. I find weeding the garden very therapeutic, a chance for fresh air and sunshine.
Expunge toxic people from your life. This is usually a challenge for people with mental illness. We get so caught up in other people's dramas that we forget to look out for ourselves. Often giving and giving and receiving nothing in return. People can be emotional vampires, especially when one is down and feeling very vulnerable. People tend to take advantage when they see you struggling. They add to your difficulties and your sense of having to save the world. You are not Atlas; you can not save anyone but yourself. Try to stay away from people who dismantle the happiness you are gaining; they like to see you suffer and fall flat on your face. Though there are others who love you and want only the best for you, hold onto these relationships. But the dumpers, the ones who use you to vent or to dump their issues, their problems on you, you will need to gather the strength to set boundaries. This is important for your welfare. Setting boundaries can be an ongoing fight, people like to push against the boundaries you set up. Stick to, “no means no.” You never have to justify why you say no! Guilt is a factor many people with a mental illness struggle with. We are easily misled and prone to being emotionally blackmailed, by those closest to us. Set your limits and as hard as it gets, try to stick to them. Remember, this is your life and you get to choose the life you want to have.
Copyright © Gibson, Del 2022