It is not easy to make sense in the chaos we are facing, but this may actually be the best time to improve our mental health and our well-being, but first, let’s define what well-being actually is and then learn about three things we could do at home to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
These days we can frequently hear people describe the situation as «surreal». In most countries people are still advised to stay at home in order to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. This situation is completely new for all of us and we don’t really know how long it is going to last. So why not make the best of it.
What is Well-being
It is not easy to make sense in the chaos we are facing, but this may actually be the best time to improve our mental health and our well-being, but first, let’s define what well-being actually is. According to www.psychologytoday.com “well-being is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose and ability to manage stress.”
Keeping and improving our mental health
As we are now witnessing a changed world and leading lives that we are not used to, it is very important to keep our mental health as well. There are a few things that we might make time for which could improve the quality of our lives immensely. We may just need to be reminded of them.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”, says Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based stress reduction. It helps us to respond, not react, less worry about the past or future and encourages us to criticise less both self and others. It helps acceptance of the present moment as it is. Mindfulness gives a greater sense of being a part of life and gives you a break from the intensity of distressing thoughts and emotions because you see that they are only PART of our ACTUAL present moment experience. As you gain some distance from the intensity of a problem – solutions are much easier to arrive at. If you have never practiced mindfulness, this would be a good place to start. Practising mindfulness daily, improves your well-being and mental health.
Empty your mind. Focus on the essential.
2. Do things that feed your soul
Usually, these are things that we don’t have to do. We do them because we want to. So make some time for the things that make you happy. Something that fills your heat with joy. It doesn’t always have to include a walk in a forest, it may be watching a good movie, reading a nice book, baking a cake, taking an online course or playing with your kids. And remember, happy parents raise happy children.
3. Do something you are good at, and do it often
There is a wonderful course “the Science of Well-being” provided by Yale University. They talk about increasing the level of happiness in your life and one of the points they are making is that we should actually do things we are normally good at. And we should do them almost every day. When we are good at something, we usually enjoy it. Remember your favourite subject at school? A great teacher might have had something to do with it as well, but actually, you should wonder whether it was also because you were good at it.
For instance, if one of your strengths is “Love of learning”, then you should deliberately learn five new words, including their meaning and usage, at least twice a week, or you should join a book club. If one of your virtues is kindness and compassion, then you should do one random act of kindness weekly for someone you don’t know. The list goes on and on…
Actually, we shouldn’t wait for a world pandemic to work on our self-development and improve our mental health and well-being. We should do it regardless of the current situation, because the chores can wait, our souls can’t.