Scientists analysing research carried out across Europe over the past few years have concluded that recessions cause an increase in mental health problems.
This got me thinking about the importance of taking care of ourselves in tough times. Money worries, relationship issues, family tension, work stress, or illness can all cause us to struggle and lose perspective.
In times of crisis, it’s a easy to think “I don’t have time for yoga”, or eat well, or meditate, or spend time in nature. The temptation is to focus all our energy on our problem. If we do, however, the problem gets bigger. It takes up all our emotional and mental energy and makes it even harder to feel hopeful or find a solution.
The best thing we can do in tough times is take care of ourselves. After all, we need energy, optimism, creativity, and strength to work through tough situations. It might seem “selfish” to take time off from caring for a sick family member to meditate, or set aside 30 minutes a day to walk in the park when we have a massive to do list, but how can we accomplish anything if we’re sick and tired?
Invest in your physical well-being
Times of stress make caring for your body even more important. You need to prioritise things that keep your body healthy. When you’re stressed, you need the calming, empowering benefits of yoga. You need nutritious food. You need the community of like-minded people you find in the yoga studio, or running club, or meditation class.
Don’t let stress overshadow all the good things in your life. In hard times, make a conscious effort to identify things that make you happy. Take the time to write down 3-5 things every day that you are grateful for. However small or large, it will help you focus on the goodness in life.