4 Mental Health Coping Strategies
The global Covid-19 pandemic has distorted the normal rhythm of life. Board members of the homeowner associations and condo associations are now dealing with deficits in their budgets, overworking, the loneliness associated with social distancing, and missing loved ones.
As a community leader, how you cope with mental health issues affects the wellbeing of the members also. In addition, neglecting your mental health reduces your productivity and can lead to depression, burnout, or worse. That said, it's important to create time for self-care and seek advice from healthcare providers. Let's explore a few coping strategies to safeguard your mental health.
1. Stay Connected
Mental health can deteriorate because of disconnecting with people or the community. Talking to other members of society can improve your mood or create an outlet to share what's affecting you. To that end, joining or reconnecting with your community can jumpstart the journey to better mental health.
Here are a few ideas on how you can stay connected:
- Organize Weekly Forums: People feel comfortable while sharing similar challenges in a forum. Open forums are avenues that people can use to let out their feelings and become vulnerable. As such, it's a brilliant idea to organize regular online meetings where board members can share their experiences. Being a board member of your community association, you can invite homeowners to create a larger forum.
- Faith-based / Community Associations: A larger community can provide more diversity and solutions. It's therefore perfect to participate in community or faith-based groupings for better mental health. The role of the regular meetings and associations is to create a support system and a sense of belonging.
2. Take Care of Your Health
If you can change the environment — for example, the economic situation — you may cope better by equipping your body to deal with stress. Taking care of your body can improve your alertness, mood, and general psyche.
Here's a brief breakdown of how to take care of your health:
- Exercise Regularly: There is sufficient evidence in scientific studies that suggest physical exercise will help you feel better and improve your body functions. One of the best exercises you can conduct is yoga which incorporates mind and body— it also works best when integrated with talking therapy.
- Eat a Balanced Diet: Eating a healthy and balanced diet improves your immunity and ability to handle stress and anxiety. Foods that boost your mental health include dark chocolate, salmon, yogurt, spinach, and avocados.
- Take Health Precautions: The pandemic is a significant risk, so you need to take extra precautions. Ensure you take vaccinations when available, avoid an unhealthy lifestyle, and attend screening exercises.
3. Be Kind To Yourself
You probably have a lot on your to-do list, which can be overwhelming. Instead of planning to complete all the tasks in one sitting, it's prudent to stagger the tasks evenly in your day or week. In addition, you can break down complex tasks into small but manageable tasks.
It's also critical to list and meditate about what you're grateful for at the beginning of the day. Instead of putting your thoughts and energy into negative experiences, display an aspect of optimism.
4. Create Ample Time to Rest
Mental health can aggravate if your body is not getting enough rest. During rest, the body and brain muscles recover and regenerate. Some methods you can use include sleeping for 7-8 hours daily, doing a hobby, e.g., gardening or word games, or a five-minute break to wash utensils. You can also take deep breaths or exercise to enhance relaxation during work breaks.
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The work of a board member is an addition to your regular schedule. The extra stress, workload, and worries can damage your mental health. It's therefore essential to practice self-care.