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MINDCARE: HOW TO SPEND A PANDEMIC MENTAL HEALTH DAY?

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Currently, life seems to be a page sprung out of Hunger Games. Or Avengers. Or something worse, because nothing comes close to the dystopia we are living in. All of us are left reeling under a constant fear and hence, alarming stress levels. Everyone deals with stress differently, people have their own ways to negotiate and manage emotions. Usually, people do this so instinctively that they are unaware of the process. But, with the pandemic, stress levels have broken the ceiling. The world has finally woken up to the silent pandemic hidden in the curtains. Finally realised the importance of self care and detox days. Physical and mental health do not exist independent of each other. The last year has been tough on all of us. And this year is running a rampage on our mental health day. The stress, the doom, the burnout is taking a toll on everyone. Now, more than ever, we need to hit a pause button. Pause the incessant stream of worry, guilt and anxious thoughts. It is completely alright to take a break, turn all the buzz off, to escape. Rest days are essential to wellness. A mental health day does to your mental fitness what a workout rest day does to your fitness routine: gives you time to recover and re-energize for the road ahead. Now that we have decided that a mental health day is essential, we are here to give you some ideas on how to use that day off to garner the best results.

Here are 5 ways you can heal and nourish yourself:

Step Out: Yes, we are all locked into our homes but we aren’t chained to our workspace, right? Change your scenery, walk out of the places you spend most of your time in. Station yourself in the balcony for the day, have a drink at the terrace, stroll around the passage. Be anywhere you haven’t spent enough time in, let yourself soak in that oft-ignored corner of your house, let your face feel the warmth of the balcony sun, and breathe in the cool wind.

Social Media Break: Social media has become the storehouse of information recently, an explosion of Covid resources. As humbling and hopeful it is to see strangers all over the country come together to help anyone in need, looking at the thousands of requests and leads pouring in day after day can be distressful. Log off from your social media for a day. It’s important to be fighting fit before you can take care of others.

Dial that number: Sometimes talking with someone you love can be a stress-buster. Make that call to your friend you love chatting with. Or that cousin you haven’t spoken with in a while. Check up on the family you haven’t been able to call recently.

Reconnet. You will feel more rooted with all the people you cherish around you, if not in person, at least in spirit.Play a Game: If you have a playmate, jam together. If you don’t, you can still do it alone, or over a video call. Engaging in usually ignored activities often cheers one up. It’s been a long time since you have opened the chessboard or joked over your friend’s non-existent painting skills after a match of Skribbl. Plus, no one doesn’t enjoy a game. Yes, even if you’re losing.

Be Creative: Even if you think you don’t have a creative bone in your body, just do it. Draw, paint, splash, create, cook or bake! Most of us have conditioned ourselves to associate happiness with productivity. Being creative helps you reassess this conditioning, you realise there’s joy in the process and not the result. Even if the end is nothing startling, you learn something. Do anything that seems fun. Even if it doesn’t work out great nothing will fall apart, and believe it or not there’s peace in knowing that. Take a day off from all that is buzzing around you and nourish yourself. In times like this, going back to the more earthy and uncomplicated pleasures of life helps with restoring a semblance of normalcy, even when the world around is nothing but far from normal. Remember, as greedy as bingeing sounds — whether on pizza or on that viral series — it’s advisable not to engage in anything that can break your daily ritual. It does more harm than good. You want to heal, not shut down your surroundings altogether. So, pause.

Refresh. Rejuvenate. Take your time. BREATHE.

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