Staying Centered and Protecting your Mental Health in 2020

If we’re keeping it real, we’ll admit that 2020 has been one of those years. From the Australian Wildfires to COVID-19, BLM protests and Beirut blasts, there’s no short supply of tragedy. So how do you stay sane, functional and maybe even happy through this barrage of bad news? We’ll share a few tips to protect your mental health this 2020. 


Go through all the feelings: Let’s face it. No one has a manual for this.  More importantly, the chances that you’ve lived through a pandemic before now are very slim. This is all new for us, and it’s okay to feel anxiety at all this uncertainty. It’s okay to cry over loss and tragedy – loss of lives, of income and maybe even a whole way of life. Just be sure to pick yourself up afterwards.


Journal: Journaling lets you process your emotions. When you journal, you can express your raw feelings without having to censor how you feel. I recently started using Jour on iOS to help me walk through all the anger and rage I was feeling. There are also other journaling apps you can try out if you’re not a fan of pen and notebook journaling. 


Find a routine that works for you: If you’re worried about losing control, then creating a schedule can help. Routines not only help us stay sane, but they also give us a semblance of being in control. Anything can help – running, cleaning, reading, meditating, praying, writing, etc. Just start one that’s easy to keep up and enjoy the benefits of your routine. 


Go offline: Staying connected online is essential. It helps us keep in touch with our loved ones and stay on top of business. But it can also be a source of anxiety. Since social media is always awash with bad news, it will do us a world of good to log off once in a while and enjoy life’s little pleasures. Also, since we’re (mostly) working from home now, our distinction between work and personal life may be blurred. Try to define boundaries. For instance, I found that removing my work email from my phone made me less anxious about my day. 


Curate your life: I get it, for some of us we simply do not have the luxury to log off. If you’re one of those people, then it will be useful to curate your social media. Most apps have “self-care” features that you can use to curate your feed. So, if you have to, don’t hesitate to unfollow, mute, block, unfriend or unsubscribe. 


Take out time to enjoy life: If there’s anything we’ve learned this year, it’s that life is short and ELKAFT. So make out time to enjoy every moment with the people you love. As we say in Nigeria “try dey enjoy life, problem no dey finish”.