8 Ideas for Protecting Mental Health During Uncertain Times

Posted by Nicole on December 8

The times we live in seem to be characterized by increasing uncertainty. Whether you are worried about politics, pandemics, climate change, or something else entirely, it can be difficult to take care of your own mental health when you are wrapped up in world events.

Nevertheless, taking care of your own mental well-being is as important as ever. Following are some simple recommendations for how you can do so effectively.

1. Limit your time reading or watching the news.

How many hours a day are you currently reading or watching the news? Although you might be following the news in order to try and increase your sense of control or reassure yourself, dedicating too much time to it can actually increase your stress and anxiety.

The CDC says, “Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.”

2. Stay connected on social media, but limit your time reading feeds.

As with watching news on television or reading news sites, you shouldn’t spend too much time reading news on social media sites. But it is wise to use them to stay in touch with family and friends.

3. Take stock of what you can control.

At times when we are focused on the things that are out of our control, it can be easy to forget how many things we still can control. Consciously take the effort each day to take stock of those things as well.

4. Make plans and preparations for worst-case scenarios.

Planning for worst-case scenarios may not be fun, but you will probably feel calmer and less stressed after you do since you will have increased your sense of manageability.

5. Make sure you have a supportive routine.

It is easy to let a healthy routine fall by the wayside during uncertain times, but doing so can just add more uncertainty to your everyday life.

Sutter Health recommends, “Stick to a daily routine. If you are working from home, don’t work from bed. Get up, get dressed and shower at your usual times. Have meals when you usually do, and put the kids to bed on time.”

6. Look after your physical health.

As with maintaining a daily routine, continuing to manage your physical health with a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep can help you to maintain your mental health during uncertain times.

7. Get help from a therapist if you need it.

Sometimes a neutral, uninvolved party can provide you with the perspective you need to function at your best amid uncertainty. Consider a telehealth appointment with a therapist if you need one.

8. Tailor your self-care to your individual needs.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention writes, “Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. This will be different for everyone, and it’s important not to compare yourself to others.  It’s ok if you’ve decided what makes you feel safe is to limit attendance of large social events, but make sure you separate when you are isolating based on potential for sickness versus isolating because it’s part of depression.”

Now you have some suggestions to help you maintain your mental health during times of uncertainty. You can also try taking a healthy supplement like 5-HTP, L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine or Passion Flower. Check in with us again soon for more mental health tips.