At the onset of this year, no one could have predicted the dynamic turn of events we would soon face.
I’m overhearing numerous accounts of those who have transitioned from stable livelihoods to suddenly failing relationships, skyrocketing financial stress, and parents who are ready to go postal.
The topic of mental wellness is taking precedence right now and for a good reason. The challenges and stresses of the current situation are proving to be a real test of our resolve and character.
A great place to begin is by looking inwards at the relationship we have with ourselves. The concept of self-love may be challenging to come to terms with at first. In the same breath, it is our relationship with ourselves which modulate our external inputs from the environment. The reason a lot of us feel like we cannot handle what is going on is that we carry a state of internal disarray.
This time presents an underlying need to evaluate aspects such as our sense of self-worth, traumatic past experiences, and self-love.
A well-rounded approach to wellness can come in many forms. I recommend a combination of nutritional coaching and cognitive support/therapy. The blend of working on physiology and mental health is unmatched when seeking to create lasting impacts on our whole health picture.
Many avoid therapy due to the stigma of being someone with mental health issues. The public commonly perpetuates the negative stigma of mental health. In actuality, the role of a good therapist is to serve as a medium for us to have conversations with ourselves. Therapists will ask difficult questions to revisit traumatic experiences that burden our souls. By speaking to a therapist, we allow the gradual release of toxic emotions. The outcome of therapy can be potent. Ultimately it will help to stop us from inflicting harm on ourselves due to spiritual ambivalence.
One notable commonality during this time is that many of us are idle due to the imposed restrictions from self-isolation. We are consuming more than we ever have in the form of tv, scrolling through our feeds, and watching movies. While we remain in this idle state, we fail to stimulate our brains properly. Our right brain hemisphere represents our outlet for creativity, imagination, intuition, and emotions, while our left hemisphere provides us with the skill of critical analysis, logic, calculations, and organization. When we mindlessly scroll through our feeds or binge-watch our favorite tv show, we fail to utilize our brain’s full capacity.
An under-stimulated brain can lead to a state of feeling stale and lackluster.
While I’m not suggesting anyone stops watching television or their favorite show, I am suggesting a need to incorporate more activities that stimulate both brain hemispheres. Integrating more stimulating activities will allow us to build a sense of flow, which will facilitate a healthy flow of energy through our beings.
These hobbies stimulate the left hemisphere: puzzles, brain games, problem-solving, critical analysis, reading non-fiction, gardening
These hobbies stimulate the right region: music, singing, dancing, meditation, watching tv, reading fiction, gardening
Finding a therapist may prove beneficial during this time. The current pandemic has given us space to heal, and we can make great strides by using this time to establish a healthy relationship with ourselves.
It is also essential to find hobbies that help utilize our brains capacity. We should seek to find hobbies we enjoy. Opt to incorporate hobbies that also provide movement to support calorie burn and weight management.
Contributed by Naomi Sachs, B.Sc., A.C.H.N., PFT
Fully-certified since 2015, Naomi has been successfully coaching clients throughout North America and facilitating their self-growth in the nutrition and fitness realm. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the myriad of health strategies available, her services aim to introduce clarity and self-motivation.