This darkness invades when you struggle with mental health. While we have grown tremendously within our culture with depression, PTSD, emotional anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues, we still have such a long way to go. This is especially true in the workplace.
It seems that while mental health has become a more open discussion, the workplace isn’t quite ready to offer all that people need to be successful in those days of struggle. The days we fight the ghosts. There is this unwritten expectation is that you are expected to go about your job as normal in most places of business; no questions asked.
The most challenging element to this dilemma is that questions do exist; negative thoughts do live within your mind and emotions. For some, it is a win to get out of bed, much less get dressed and begin the workday. These challenges have seemingly been compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many find themselves working from home, taking part in daily activities they are not used to, and playing multiple roles, possibly as a part-time teacher, full-time parent, and full-time employee.
Recent research indicates that up to 75% of U.S. workers have struggled due to anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent world events. No one was equipped or prepared for this sudden disruption in our system and daily lives. This is only magnified for those who struggle with mental health issues. But you are here. You cannot change the past. You can only adapt and adjust to the present and do all you can to strengthen yourself and move forward continually.
But there remain those days that getting out of bed is still the biggest win of the day.
So what do you do when this darkness overwhelms you? How do you fight the ghosts when anxieties are at their height? Let’s look at five actions you can take to navigate mental health while working from home.
Take action on something.
During the darkest days, it may seem impossible even to move. Mental health can often paralyze you while reality continues moving forward in the world. These days, taking action on anything is always better than nothing. This action gives you a feeling of being productive. Even the smallest success can breathe life into your mind, emotions, and thoughts.
Take vulnerability to the next level.
Sharing with someone you trust about your struggle is incredibly empowering. If this is someone who has walked with you through your journey, you know they will support you during challenging days. Isolation during the moments of struggle is not where you want to be. You are not alone. Allow others to walk with you.
Allow nature to heal you.
Being outdoors might be the most underrated action you can take. Nature has a way of healing and changing perspective on the day. Take a walk, go for a run, or play outside with your family. A shift will begin for the positive when you allow nature to be part of your healing.
Move your body.
Studies have shown that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. One study specifically found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour daily reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. Moving your body activates your mind, which is always a doorway to great mental health.
Live in the moment.
Whatever is igniting the feeling of hopelessness and doubt exists. Expending too much energy trying to figure it out is futile. Acknowledge this moment, feel it fully, then learn from it. Mental health can teach you much about yourself, your environment, and those around you. Change what you can and learn from what you cannot. Being fully present within these moments can become a powerful gateway to healing.
If you struggle with depression or mental health of any kind, please reach out. You are not alone.
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