It can be hard to make unexpected changes, however creating an action plan can help. You could explore making a change by answering the questions below, or using one or two of the CBT-Fit Skills mentioned afterwards.
- What activities are possible? Which seem like fun? What would you like to try or change?( e.g. listen to music, write down ideas, make breakfast for the family each day.)
- When will you do the activities? How often can you do them? (e.g. before bed, twice a week.)
- How will you know if the activities are working for you?
(e.g. I will laugh, I will get better leep, I will feel less anxious, I will have more energy.)
- What could get in your way? (e.g. I have no motivation, I don’t have equipment, I am not sure how.)
- Where can you get support? (e.g. ask a friend, research online, hire a coach, borrow equipment.)
You could try these things to help make your changes stick:
- Write it down.
- Set a reminder.
- Plan it with family or friends.
- Make a benefits list – noting the positives that you notice occur.
- Think about why it is important to you.
Tips to keep a healthy headspace:
Keep doing the things that you find are fun and important. It can help keep the fun in your life, give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose, boost your confidence and help to connect with others. Some of these things, such as drawing, cooking or playing the guitar, might just be for fun, but other things like work or study can give you new skills and might help to give you meaning. From reading to exploring somewhere new, there are lots of activities that can help you get in to life – even during a quarantine.
Learn Skills During Tough Times
There are a lot of different strategies that can help you to manage unhelpful thoughts and feelings. Things like meditation, taking a digital detox, listening to music, spending time in your backyard, going for a walk or writing things down are just a few ways that can help you handle challenging times.
Feeling connected to others is an essential part of human life. Spending time with friends, family and people in your community can really strengthen your mental health and wellbeing. Planning a catch-up with friends, joining a club can help you feel connected and meet new people. (These can all be done with online technology).
When you think of improving your mental health, you may not always consider changing the food you eat. But there is a strong link between what we eat and how we feel. An unhealthy diet can make you feel sluggish, low and increase symptoms of depression and anxiety. Staying hydrated and having a healthy diet can actually improve mental health.
Staying active can help you to sleep better, manage stress and elevate your mood. Find a way to keep active that you enjoy and incorporate this into your regular routine. Make time to take a break from study or work to do some activity, whether it be going doing a workout, stretching or just going for a walk.
Get Enough Quality Sleep
Getting enough sleep is good for your brain and body. It improves your mood, sharpens your concentration and increases resilience. Reducing things that keep you from restful sleep – like noise or light that keeps you awake, or “active triggers” such as social media or video gaming – will help you improve your sleep.
Reduct the Amount of Alcohol / Drugs
Alcohol and other drugs may feel like they help you to manage hard times in the short term but remember they can interfere with your mental health and make you feel much worse in the long run. Curbing the amount of alcohol and other drugs that you use (or avoiding alcohol and drugs altogether) will help you manage your emotions better and improve your wellbeing. Swap the drinks for movies, boardgames, cooking for the family, or you could get out for a walk.
Not sure where to start? You can start by journalling with the Ultimate CBT Journal. You can download the Ultimate CBT Journal FREE – or purchase your hardcopy version on Amazon.com (USA). or Amazon.ca (CAN).