No matter who you are or where you live, the past 2 years have been especially difficult for everyone around the world. Living in the US far from your friends and family during a pandemic can be very hard to go through. Making sure your VISA status is legal or worrying about war around the world can be stressful. Maybe you are a parent juggling both school and kids, or you live alone and haven’t seen your family in a long time. To help ease these feelings of anxiety, depression, or loneliness, it is so important to take care of your mental health and learn self-care.
Even before the pandemic started, I, like many others, struggled with my mental health. I had daily anxiety and even struggled with panic attacks, and decided to go to therapy. If you have gone through something similar, you are NOT alone. Talking about your mental health is just as important as talking about your physical health. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help.
Some way that I helped improve my mental health was by practicing self-care. Everybody practices self-care in ways that work best for them. For me, that means calling my sister, taking a relaxing bubble bath, or spending time outside in nature. For others, that may mean watching a good movie, eating a homemade meal, or playing video games. Sometimes it means setting boundaries with people or having that difficult but necessary conversation.
Take some time and think to yourself about what you enjoy doing and what truly makes you feel happy. Then, set aside specific time for your self-care. You might decide to take a walk in your favorite park once a week, or you might choose to watch an episode of your favorite TV show after your kids have gone to bed. It’s not easy when you have a busy schedule, but it becomes a time that you look forward to and eventually becomes a healthy habit. We have a phrase in English that says, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” meaning you can’t help others until you help yourself first.