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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Caring For Your Mental Health During Stressful Times

How do I get through the next day
Photo courtesy of David Lezcano on Unsplash

It's no secret that life can get hella hard and stressful sometimes. Stressful, challenging, and hard times are simply a part of life, and they're basically unavoidable; and we all face them to some degree or another. Whether it's something in our personal, family, or professional lives, or perhaps a large scale crisis (like a global pandemic), we all deal with challenging or stressful things at some point in our lives. That being said, I'd like to clarify that it's normal to feel stressed from time to time. It's normal to be anxious or worried during uncertain times. It's completely normal to be sad during times of grief, such as after the loss of a loved one or after a breakup. It's normal to feel stressed when something in your life changes or you're not sure what the future holds, or what the present holds for the matter. It's okay to feel stressed, anxious, sad, or whatever else you may be feeling.

But the thing is if you keep allowing yourself to become more and more distressed, and you don't handle these emotions properly, it can really take a toll on your mental health. Sometimes it can even take a toll on how you're feeling physically. Honestly, I've been finding myself feeling a bit under the weather lately due to stress, both mentally and physically, and it's been affecting my energy and productivity for the worst. Not to mention my mood. I've been quick to get irritated or upset over the last month or so; way too quick. That being said, it's time to take charge of my mental health, as I can't just stay down forever. Nor can I wait for everything to blow over, as this isn't going to just blow over by next week, or even next month for the matter. It's time to pick myself back up, and if you're also feeling emotionally down in the dumps, I hope you'll do the same and do what you need to take care of your mental health.

Caring For Your Mental Health During Stressful Times

Realize that what you're feeling is valid

Woman laying on bed thinking
Photo courtesy of Free-Photos on Pixabay

First thing's first, no matter what it may be that's upsetting you or stressing you out, don't try to invalidate what you're feeling. Sure, objectively, there may be more pressing issues going on in the world than something that's going on in your personal life, like your crush not texting you back, but that doesn't invalidate the way that you're feeling. Neither does the fact that other people have it worse than you; although, I personally find that recognizing this and having gratitude for that fact can be helpful. My point is, even if you may think that what you're stressing over is silly, or not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, that doesn't mean that what you're feeling isn't valid. Don't let anyone, including yourself, make you feel guilty for what you're feeling. If it's on your mind, it obviously matters to you, at least to some degree, and you might actually stress yourself out more by trying to suppress it or invalidate it.

Find a healthy way to release your emotions

Curled up in a ball feeling stressed
Photo courtesy of Polina Zimmerman on Pexels

Time and time again, I have found that trying to bottle up my emotions, or trying to just suck it up, does way more harm than good. I need to allow myself to feel and release these negative emotions in a healthy way. If I don't, the negativity will just build up until I end up losing my shit, and I end up either crying over something silly or going on an all caps rage at the worst possible time. As you can probably imagine, it's never pleasant when this happens; for anyone who has to deal with me. So that being said, it's better if I don't hold back tears when I need to cry. It's better for me to vent than to keep everything to myself. If something is bothering me, it's better for me to just face that shit than to pretend it's not bothering me. I need to let it out in a healthy way. 

Note that I put emphasis on healthy. There are tons of positive, productive, and healthy ways to release your emotions without turning to harmful coping methods. Turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms may provide temporary relief, but will do you way more harm than good, and can even make things worse.

Consider what you can do

Stay home
Photo courtesy of Joyce G on Unsplash

One thing that I like to do when I'm feeling stressed out is to sit down and think of what I can realistically do about the situation. Could I come up with a plan to make it go as smoothly as possible, and make it easier on myself? Is it possible for me to find a way to fix the situation? Is there anything that I can do about it? Seriously, take the time to sit down and answer these questions honestly. If you do realize that there is something that you can do, come up with an action plan. But if you can't think of anything that you can do, that's 100% okay. As a matter of fact, sometimes, the less you do, the better. Some things in life are completely out of our control, and it's essential to realize and accept this fact. Although, the fact that there's little to nothing that you can do can seem even more stressful, try to think of it this way; it's not up to you to fix it, and/or you're doing all that you can. I know that this is much easier said than done, but if you have little to no control over a situation, you shouldn't overstress about it.

Tune out from the negativity

Have hope always
Photo courtesy of Debby Hudson on Unsplash

It's easy for me to get sucked into negativity, way too easy. I don't even want to know how many hours I've spent scrolling through Twitter, reading countless tweets and news articles on whatever happens to be going on in the world that day. For some reason, I can't seem to help but stress myself out even further by needing to know all the details of every event that catches my attention. Sure, in some situations, it's crucial to stay informed, be alert, and know of any precautions you should take. Ignorance isn't always bliss! But do you really need to know every detail of what's going on? Or stay updated up to this very second? Probably not. Through much of March and early-April of this year, I was checking the stats on COVID-19 daily, stressing myself every day as the numbers kept growing. I was starting to become a bit too pessimistic, and I had to follow my own advice to remain optimistic; I had to learn when to turn off the news.

Seriously, you don't need to stay on top of every situation or know every detail about it, especially if it's causing you distress. As a matter of fact, in some cases, it may be better to try to tune it out entirely and spare yourself from unnecessary information. I've found this to be particularly true after a breakup or after any type of falling out with someone you're close with. Seriously, don't check up on your ex on social media after a breakup to see what they're up to or to look for answers. Seriously, just don't. I know this is another thing that's easier said than done. But seriously, try to unplug from the negativity as much as you can, at least for a little while. Give yourself a mental break.

Focus on things that make you happy

Gratitude journal for finding happiness
Photo courtesy of Uby Yanes on Unsplash

I know it can be hard when you're stressed out, or when you're dealing with a lot of emotional turmoil, but try to focus on some of the things that make you happy. Whether it's your hobbies, your pets, the people that you care about, your favorite TV show, funny memes, or whatever else, try to focus on these things. Perhaps you may find it helpful to make a list of the things that make you happy and keep it for whenever you're feeling down and need a little pick-me-up. If you're into bullet journaling, this could actually be a fun spread to add to your bullet journal! Or, if you're feeling extra creative, you could make a collage of the things that make you happy to hang on your wall. Then, whenever you're feeling down, and need a reminder of the things that make you happy, take a look at it and focus on those things. Do the things that you love, call or text the people that make you happy, spend some extra time with your fur babies, watch your favorite shows, wear your favorite outfit. Just try to focus on things that make you happy.

Keep up with healthy habits

Doing yoga to stay healthy
Photo courtesy of Elly Fairytail on Pexels

When I start to get stressed out or upset, I find that it can be easy to start dropping good habits in exchange for their inferior counterparts, which often makes me feel even worse. Not only will I feel terrible for allowing bad habits to creep back in, but the habits themselves will make me feel awful. I'll often either not be getting enough sleep, or I'll be oversleeping. A lot of the time, I'll even find myself skipping meals, mindlessly indulging on junk food later in the day, and not drinking nearly enough water. I'll isolate myself from the world and find myself feeling alone. And I'll fall into a whole bunch of other nasty habits that end up making me feel even crappier. So that being said, I need to try to stick to my daily routine as much as I can, even when I'm stressed. Actually, I need to stick to my routine even more so when I'm stressed out or not doing as well emotionally.

Of course, it's okay to take it easy on yourself when you're not in the best place mentally, it's actually necessary, but you should try to stick to your routine as much as possible. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, but not oversleeping. Make sure you're staying hydrated and that you're eating as well as you can. Get some movement in, or at least stretch your muscles. Keep up with healthy habits that genuinely make you feel good, and avoid slipping into bad habits. I know this is much easier said than done when you're not feeling your best, and all you want to do is hide under the blankets, but you'll feel better if you try to push through and stick to healthy habits as much as you can.

Practice self-care

Self-care with coffee and a book at home
Photo courtesy of Thalia Ruiz on Unsplash

Taking a moment to practice self-care isn't selfish, it's essential, especially when you're stressed or distressed in any way. Seriously, show yourself a little bit of love, and don't feel weird or guilty about it. Do something extra special for yourself, do something that makes you happy, give yourself a break. If you need a day to just wrap up in a blanket and watch Netflix, give yourself permission to do that.  Give yourself a home spa day and allow yourself to take an extra-long bubble bath. Treat yourself to your favorite meal if you can. Do things that uplift you. On that note, keep in mind that self-love isn't just about kicking back and relaxing. It's also about taking care of yourself and doing things that you know are good for you, even when you don't want to do them. Self-care is about going easy on yourself but also doing what's best for you.

Hard and stressful times are a part of life, and it's safe to say that we all go through it to some degree at some point in our lives. Right now, I think it's safe to say that nearly everyone is going through it in one way or another. Uncertainty can be a scary thing. Suddenly having your life flipped upside down is stressful. Knowing you're basically powerless over any situation can be upsetting. It can be enough to make you want to just lay in bed and cry. And you know what? It's okay not to be okay. It's okay if you need a moment to cry, it's okay if you need to scream, it's okay if you need to lock yourself in your room and go on an all caps rant filled with profanity. As I said before, you should acknowledge and release those emotions. Just don't stay down forever. Take care of yourself and your mental health, okay? You'll get through this, even if it's hard right now.

What are some of the things that you like to do to take care of your mental health during stressful times? Do you have any healthy coping mechanisms that help you when you're distressed? I would love to hear how you deal with negative emotions, and what you do to help calm yourself down when you're stressed.

Caring For Your Mental Health During Stressful Times
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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  1. I love this post Kat! It helped me keep my spirits up! :D
    Thank you for creating this post. Please stay safe x


    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this post Mari! Times are very stressful, but it's best to keep your spirits up as much as you can! I hope you stay safe and healthy as well!


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