In the last nearly 15 months, our lives took a turn, and our routines changed completely. Many have found themselves struggling with their mental health and finding a balance between their work life and personal life. These individuals have turned to mental health experts, writers, bloggers, and advocates to find solace in the darkest times. Neurodiverse advocate Alicia Trautwein is one of those voices people have listened to for advice. She has found ways in which to help her readers navigate their mental health challenges through the pandemic.
Alicia Trautwein is a mother of four, blogger, and Autism and Neurodiverse advocate. After receiving her and her children’s diagnoses, she did thorough research to find information, advice, and similar experiences online. However, she did not find enough written about women with Autism and Neurodiverse families. For that reason, she took matters into her own hands and started her blog, The Mom Kind, to share her experience, advice, tips, and information.
A couple of months ago, when the pandemic was still going strong, and people continued to quarantine, Trautwein decided it would be helpful to talk about the different challenges people may face regarding their mental health. She explains, “from a mental health perspective, the pandemic has been a trigger for many people dealing with mental health challenges. More people in society are now struggling with heightened anxiety, despair, and complicated feelings of grief. As such, healthy coping mechanisms are essential in this season.”
Based on her knowledge and experience, this is what Alicia Trautwein advised her readers to do in order to navigate mental health challenges through the pandemic:
- Maintaining Social Contact: We are constantly told how important it is to take time for yourself to recharge after social interactions. However, it is just as essential to incorporate social contact into our daily lives. Trautwein says, “staying in touch with close friends and family also creates a sense of community even though you may be physically separated. Each of you would have a support system to tap into on the days when you feel overwhelmed. The presence of loved ones, albeit online, offers much needed emotional reassurance.”
- Work-Life Balance: Working from home can lead to limits becoming blurry. You feel the need to be online, constantly trying to solve any work issues that may arise. But it is crucial to have time for yourself and your interests. This blogger advises, “Make an effort to plan your workday and set timelines for different activities, including rest and recreation. You will find that you are more productive when you take the time to replenish your mind and body.”
- Online Therapy: Seeking out the help of a mental health professional can be extremely helpful to navigate these difficult times. Many therapists have closed the doors to their practices but opened a window through their computers. “Online sessions are less intrusive, and you can easily make time for them. Some therapists are also offering subsidized sessions to promote mental health wellness during these trying times.”
- Self-Care: Taking care of your persona is probably the best thing you can do to alleviate your mental health. “Self-care can take on many forms,” says Trautwein. “There is no one general prescription. It could be that you need to sleep more, eat better, or get back into a hobby you enjoy. Mental self-care can also be avoiding media content that you find too upsetting or interactions that deplete you. In essence, take on what you feel would improve your wellness.”
Although taking care of your mental health can be extremely challenging during a pandemic, it is possible. Neurodiverse advocate Alicia Trautwein’s guide is a great resource to keep handy when times get tough. Her advice comes from personal experience and years of research, so any individuals struggling with their mental health can find solace.