Image courtesy of Blackdoctor.org

Originally published on Black doctor.org

From time to time, we all feel the blues. 

As we emerge from a global pandemic, a period that affected us all mentally and physically, it’s no wonder people are struggling. We were isolated and separated. Tensions were high. Fear was high. Although these feelings may be subsiding, their effects can certainly linger. 

And then there’s the economy! 

If you’re not feeling like yourself these days, you’re far from alone. Here are five reasons you may be struggling, and what you can do about them. 

1. Social Media Use

We live in a highly connected world, where people zip around on their smartphones juggling a million different tasks at once. While social media can be great for connecting and getting things done, it can also have the opposite effect. 

Research has shown that excessive time on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (now X), is linked to all kinds of psychological conditions. People become anxious, waiting for that notification or ping. They become depressed, comparing themselves to others who may appear to have a better life or a more positive outlook. 

If you find yourself scrolling endlessly or hooked on social media, take a breather. Dedicate one day per week to a ‘digital detox’ where you reduce or eliminate your technology use. Go to a park. Hang with friends. Read a book. Visit a museum, go to a game, or converse with others at a local event. 

You’d be amazed how much just a little time off social media – and tech in general – can improve your mood. 

2. Generalized Anxiety

“Generalized anxiety” refers to anxiety that does not have any specific cause. Let’s face it, the past few years haven’t been

easy on any of us. We went through something that the world has never seen.

Life got weird fast, and nobody knew quite what was going to happen. Although things have since improved, that general feeling of uneasiness persists for many people. 

One way to deal with this is through mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply a way to take in each moment, clear your mind, and not fight your thoughts or feelings. One way to embrace mindfulness is by starting your day with peace. 

Grab your cup of coffee and find a silent place, away from television, phones, computers, and other people. Observe the sun or some aspect of nature and focus on your breathing, each inhale and exhale. By beginning your morning in a calm state, the rest of your day can greatly improve!

3. Financial Struggle

Financial issues are one of the main factors of stress and anxiety, no matter who you are or what you do. If you find yourself cringing when you see grocery store prices, wondering what you can and can’t afford, you’re far from alone! 

To ease the burden – on your mind and pocket – you have several options. While looking for ways to make more money is one practical solution, you should also work on your psychological state. Turns out you can do both! 

You can do this by: 

  • Paying in cash (avoiding credit card debt)
  • Creating monthly budget categories (i.e., food, entertainment, rent/utilities, etc.) 
  • Shopping for bargain deals and using hand-me-downs
  • Planning low-cost or no-cost activities 
  • Avoiding coping with stress through drugs 

Although these things may be easier said than done, with a little practice, they’ll become second nature and you’ll learn to not only live on less, but savor everything you do have! 

4. Blue Light

Blue light is a type of visible light. While the sun is the biggest generator of it, not all blue light is good for you. Artificial sources of blue light, such as smartphones, tablets, and certain TVs can be bad for you if you’re exposed in excess. They can make your brain think it’s daytime, ruining your sleep schedule and affecting your health. 

Not to mention damage to your eyes! 

The simplest thing you can do is restrict your use to earlier in the day, cutting off exposure at least a couple of hours before bedtime. 

5. Isolation

The Pandemic made isolation commonplace, which is partly why rates of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression increased significantly. But that’s not all. Research shows that social interaction is great for happiness, health, and longevity, especially among the elderly.

So socialize! 

Call instead of text. Rather than talk to somebody on FaceTime, go see them in person. Get out in the 3D world, off the screens, and have a chat. Hug someone. Kiss your loved ones and tell them what they mean to you. 

Watch a movie together. Go out somewhere. Just be around people. 

With these simple steps, you can feel better about yourself, while making others feel better too. If you’re not feeling like you used to, you don’t have to do anything revolutionary. You just need to make a daily habit of doing the small things. 

Guaranteed, in due time you’ll be feeling happier, healthier, and wondering why you hadn’t done these things earlier!

#mentalhealth #physicalhealth #isolation #separation #tensions #fear #globalpandemic #blues #wellbeing

The Newsletter 05

Senior Editor, Digital Manager, Blogger, has been nominated for awards several times as Publisher and Author over the years. Has been with company for almost three years and is a current native St. Louisan.