Skills of mental fitness
Steps to develop these skills
Step One: Take the time to answer big questions
Are you considering a lifestyle change? Make sure you set aside some time to work through some of the big questions that could be bothering you and find some solutions. You could spend 15 minutes once a week writing down what stresses you out, research your next step in life or your future career opportunities or email a teacher to discuss options.
Step Two: Get productive by getting practical
During this quarantine being ‘productive’ does not mean doing everything you possibly need to do, instead, it means being practical and do what you need to do. If you need to sit in your pjs for the next few hours eating junk food and binging your favourite series, then you are being productive by looking after yourself.
However, some of you might want something proactive during this quarantine and here is how to do so:
- Set long-term goal
- Make sure the goal(s) are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based
- Write your goals down – you’ll be more likely to achieve them if you write them down
- Put then somewhere visible – you’ll be reminded of your goals
- Don’t rely on willpower alone, you’ll quickly run out of energy
- Celebrate your achievements
Step Three: Control your emotions
This can be done in five steps
1) Allow grieving – this is a difficult time where events that may have kept you going might have been cancelled, its okay to take time out to be sad and grieve for your lost memories
2) Don’t spiral –
3) Manage setbacks – we all fail, its part of life but don’t let the setbacks define you. One of the best things you can do is get back up and improve
4) Maintain confidence – learning is the best way to maintain your confidence, but this doesn’t mean you have to learn academically. You can learn a new a yoga routine or a new language or teach your pet a trick
5) Boost resilience – create positive emotions but expressing your gratitude, boosting your resilience will help maintain the 7 skills of mental fitness
Common well-being suggestions
1) Create a routine – these require less energy
2) Develop some hobbies – take this time to do that one thing you have wanted to do for years but never quite got around to, it could be learning a language, taking an online course, drawing or reading some more
3) Stay connected – talk to the people you love regularly
4) Physical activity – the government allows you to leave your house once a day for exercise so use it to go for a walk, even if it’s a short one
5) Stay calm – I know this one will be hard, but panicking isn’t going to change anything, try and stay calm and take each day as it comes
6) Be mindful of the information you read – if reading the news is going to stress you out then don’t do it and be aware that tabloids will spin information
Being ‘Mindful’ instead of ‘Mind Full’
Descartes nicely puts it ‘I think, therefore I am’ – being ‘Mind Full’ is being overwhelmed by thoughts and feeling out of balance which is completely normal; we have a tendency to believe what we think is true and valid without examination.
However, practising mindfulness is a much healthier way to live and will help implement good wellbeing during COVID-19. Being mindful is being focused on the present – being aware of what we’re doing.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are here for you, and there are plenty of other resources available too!