Top 10 ways to keep your mountain mind healthy
Trust us, we get it. Staying at home is tough. Especially for those of us that find our energy in the outdoors, in travel, and in sharing our mountains. We miss the days of powder stashes hidden in the trees, mile long shot-skis and just catching good vibes on Main Street. But we know we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. Our community is strong and resilient, and we’ll be deep in The Breck Effect together again soon.
This pandemic and the unknowns around it are stressful, and everyone responds to uncertainty uniquely. What we are all experiencing challenges us every day, and can take a toll on each of us and our mental health. Now more than ever, it’s more important to keep ourselves healthy so we can be there for our friends, family and community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has so many great resources for how we can take care of ourselves and our communities. Here are a few more tips that have helped us maintain a healthy mind, body, and outlook during these difficult times. We hope they give you a boost, inspire you to stay strong, or pass along some positive vibes:
1. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
Nutrition is about more than vitamins (and T-bar bloodies) —it also includes fiber and healthy fats. Learn simple ways to eat healthier, so you can feel good at home and be ready to get after it all.
Our advice is to balance what you consume – don’t go deep on the cheetos and forget about the veggies. Eat small meals often. And, especially for those that are at altitude, stay hydrated.
Local’s tip – Support local businesses when you can. Check out this list of restaurants that are offering healthy takeout options in Summit County.
2. Get plenty of sleep
Even if first tracks aren’t on the menu, it’s important to get your body in a rhythm.
Early bird gets… the goods? Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends (gasp, we know). Establishing a circadian rhythm to sleep patterns will help to keep you feeling balanced and structured.
It’s also an added bonus to make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and to remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from your bedroom. Think Netflix and chill, but minus the Netflix part.
3. Stay active & recreate responsibly
You can share in positive energy even if you’re home. Try yoga to give your body movement and a good stretch, or utilize online (or app-based) workout programs for even easier body groovin’.
If you can safely socially distance outside, go for a walk or bike ride. Something as simple as just sitting outside in the sun will do wonders for your mood and mental health. It’s almost like soaking in the rays on the chairlift… almost….
Local’s tip – Recreate responsibly and close to home with this guidance from our local doctors.
4. Make time to unwind
We’re all about work hard, play hard, and recharge. And if you’re working from home, it can be difficult to separate work time from personal time. Setting personal boundaries for yourself will help you separate the work from the relax. Set a time to be completely device-free and relax by reading a book, meditating, or going for a walk. Mental breaks are the new hot chocolate breaks that the world needs right now.
Local’s Tip – Prioritize your well-being and give yoga a try. Local favorites like Meta Yoga is offering virtual classes with new content regularly shared.
5. Connect with others
When it comes to connecting with friends, not even a global pandemic can get in our way. Just because we’re physically distant, doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected—and we certainly haven’t given up happy hour. Now is a great time to re-connect with old friends, new friends, friends you’ve been meaning to call back or grab a drink with, or friends that are always your go-to. This could be as simple a phone call or leveraging tech for virtual happy hours and game nights.
Fun Zoom backgrounds are a bonus! Grab a photo from our website or our Facebook page for your next background. #TheBreckEffect gone digital. Reaching out to others for social connection not only has personal benefits but can help you brighten someone else’s day, too!
6. Talk to a professional
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental health issues and/or substance use disorders. SAMHSA’s number is 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Locals Tip – Find local resources through Mind Springs Health.
7. Maintain a routine
Rise and grind! Routine helps train your brain to manage anxiety and keeps your inner ticking calm during this seemingly out of control time.
Local’s Tip: Try glancing at the Ten Mile Range each day, if you can. Make a habit of appreciating our local landscape, even if just for a few moments. Have you seen our backyard?
8. Set boundaries for your news consumption
Having the pandemic as the main news story each day keeps it front of mind to readers and viewers. Talk about information burnout. Every once in a while, change the channel, browse a different website or skip picking up the newspaper one day. Your mind will appreciate the break.
Fun Tip – Check out Some Good News, a new channel by John Krasinski that’s certainly keeping our spirits up.
9. Stay present
Life can seem overwhelming if we let ourselves think too far ahead or go down Alice’s rabbit hole of possible scenarios of the future. Take each day as it comes at you. See #3-5 for ideas to keep yourself focused on today, and be in the present.
10. Be accountable
Sure, all of these ideas are great, but we all know it’s easy to make a plan and a bit harder to stick to it. Set goals for yourself and share those with a friend or family member so they can hold you accountable.