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How I Improved My Mental Health During a Pandemic

by Nicholas McKenna 2 years ago in selfcare
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The Year I Change The Way I Saw The World

How I Improved My Mental Health During a Pandemic
Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Even before the pandemic, people were suffering with mental health issues. Most never know what to do to help themselves but some find their way. There're methods for you to improve your mental health and, with the way that people are living these days it has become more important than ever. It took me a long time to accept that I needed help when I first started working on myself and longer to get to the point I am at now. Here are the ways I improved my mental state.


Cognitive therapy is one of the best methods you can use if you are dealing with any mental or emotional issue. I started seeing someone the summer after high school due to panic attacks and have never felt better. One of the strategies you will pick up is to catch yourself in moments when you are beginning to spin out of control. It's difficult at first but when you learn this trick you begin to understand why you are losing control in that moment. This allows you to pinpoint what's causing you to wig out and then confront that problem.

Diet and Exercise

There're more and more studies coming out that state how exercise can make you feel as good as taking a low grade medication, depending on your condition. This is something that has helped me the most. Exercise releases chemicals that are natural mood enhancers. The release of these chemicals is a healthier choice than taking medication. The best exercises to improve your mood are cardio related. Your diet can also improve how you are feeling. I know it can be tempting to want Taco Bell or McDonalds all the time but having too much fast food will make you feel lethargic and depressed. Always try seeking some fruit into your day if you need a little pick me up.

Reducing Stress and Relaxing

One of the biggest problems in the work force today is stress. It can be hard to get out when you want to finish one more report or send this last email. Most of us like to finish what we started and forget to take breaks, including lunch. I have lost track of how all times I have done that. The best thing to do is learn when you are being overwhelmed and step away for five or ten minutes to calm down. Breathing exercises such as meditation and Tai Chi are great for this but probably not at work. Set time aside when you go home or when you first wake up to clear your mind and meditate. Start with five minutes and work your way up. It takes a while to learn how to sit still for even a short amount of time.

Cutting Out Negativity

This is a powerful strategy to improving your mental health. Negativity is all around us and there's no way to cut it out entirely, but you can decide how much of it you would like to deal with on a given day. Some people will live in a world of it, but you do not have to. If you can, limit the amount of time you are around people who tell you that you cannot do something or put you down for your own ideas. Sometimes they will be right but I have always found that it's better to experience a failure and learn from it than to not try at all. The people that are putting you down are the ones who are scared to do improve themselves and misery loves company, so they do not want you doing better. Believe in yourself and give it the old college try.

Change Your Mindset

This might be the most important thing that I have done to improve my health in general. In the past I would believe that I was not good enough or did not deserve to be happy and I would have a laundry list of reasons why. To fix this, I changed my vocabulary. People who are like this most of the time use the same words or phrases. “I can’t do that”, “That will never happen”, or “why would that happen to me?”. Instead of admitting defeat at once, try say “what happens if I try this?” and then do what you were thinking of doing. Take it step by step until the task is complete. Curiosity did kill the cat but it can also get you started towards your dreams if you are scared. Remember to grow a little each day and your fears will start to vanish and what you did not think you could do will soon become easy for you.


Taking care of yourself physically is becoming more mainstream these days and mental health is starting to enter the conversation as well. This is not a trend but something that we should have been talking about years ago. People are going through tough times and need to realize that it will take time to improve their mental health. I started out in an angry, emotional state but today I can say that I have never felt better. It takes time but if you are going to invest in something, invest in yourself and you will be the wealthiest person on the planet.


About the author

Nicholas McKenna

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