Even if you don't have COVID 19-- or know someone who has it-- these times are stressful for anyone. On a normal day, managing mental health is difficult. But as the days blur and the news offers no good news, it's even harder to focus on keeping a positive mindset.
That's why CanPlan is providing 5 FREE and new pdf downloads to help you stay both physically and mentally healthy. These include: CanPlan Starter Pack, Deep Questions Game, Anxiety Tracker, COVID-19 Wellness Tracker, and Sleep Tracker.
Here is a brief description about them all, as well as my experiences with them, as the CanPlan intern.
CanPlan Starter Pack:
The CanPlan starter pack (pdf and physical journal) is the simpler version of the CanPlan journal. It has all the same features, but it is a bit less intimidating when you are just getting started. The pages you fill out can later be transferred into the journal if you wish.
I haven’t used the starter pack, but I have been using the journal for the last few months. Instead of using it for physical health purposes, I have been using it for my mental health.
It helps me reflect on my days and months, rather than just letting them fly by. Using this planner has helped me process why I had a good or bad day—and how my mindset made it better or worse.
Additionally, this planner helped reveal to me a stress ‘trigger’ in my life, which I have used to help calm myself down. Sometimes, once you know why something is getting to you so much, it’s a lot easier to tell yourself to breathe and then refocus.
Here are more reasons why journaling can benefit your mental health: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
The anxiety download is a four- part set. There is the general ‘things I’m anxious about’ page, an anxiety quiz, a ‘deep dive’ sheet that helps you process a stressful situation, and a meditation walk-through.
This is filled with interesting anxiety information, and eases you in to the concept of journaling your stress.
The quiz gets you thinking about how anxious you truly are. I think as humans we are so quick to say ‘I’m fine’, and ‘I’m normal’. But right now, anxiety is the new normal.
And even before the pandemic, 1 in 5 Americans (18 percent!) had some form of an anxiety disorder.
So, if you score high on this quiz, it really doesn't make you all that out-of-the-norm. What it does make you is more informed.
If you get a 36 or more, it says you might have some form of anxiety. I took this quiz and I got a 36 exactly. I know I have struggled with anxiety in the past, but I had called myself perfectly after that.
But then I took this quiz, and I realized how much stress is on me now. It has caused me to again qualify as having some form of anxiety. And that gives me peace, surprisingly. It means I know more about what is going on with me, and I can begin to heal.
So, take this quiz. You could learn some much- needed information about your mental health.
This page helps you process everything about a stressful or ‘anxiety triggering’ experience you recently went through. It’s great for placing your thoughts back into reality as opposed to anxious fantasies of what the other person might have thought, what could have happened, or what might happen because of it. It helps you step back and look at the situation for what it is.
This is a very thorough explanation on how to focus on your breathing and calm your mind. It’s to focus on the moment, pushing out all anxious thoughts in order to clear your head.
Deep Questions Game:
This is a little exercise to do with another person, especially your quarantine buddies. It involves questions ranging from the silly to the deep, as well as ‘action cards’ that might include ‘stare into each other’s eyes for a minute’.
I called up my friend and took to my Instagram followers and found some interesting things.
Question: “When this is all over, what moment from this experience will you remember most?”
My friend’s answer: “I think there’s a lot. I will remember the realization that I took my senior year for granted. I’m really going to miss everyone—as well as the stage of life.”
This got me thinking. When we are isolated, we forget about ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ or the Kardashians or whoever you will. We forget about the clothes and all the fads. When we’re alone long enough, we start to realize how much we truly appreciate our friends and family (and how often we take time with them for granted).
Question: What’s the first thing you plan on doing once the quarantine is over?
Answer(S): “Seeing my boyfriend and friends”, “Hang out with friends!!”, “See my sisters”, “giving all my friends hugs”, “eat out with friends” and…“hugging the homies”.
The list went on for longer, but you get the point. I learned a lot about my friends that I miss dearly through this exercise, and I think it’s a great excuse to call one up and connect with them!
Better yet, if there’s someone in your household, this is a great activity to learn more about each other while trying out a new quarantine activity.
This tracker was designed to help people monitor any symptoms of COVID-19 at home, however it can also help people who just want to stay accountable over their health, whether they are experiencing symptoms yet or not. Staying proactive is key to remaining sane in quarantine, so having this tracker can be really useful for anyone who has felt a loss of control over their health.
It helps to track both your physical and emotional well-being:
Physical wellness: Symptoms, medicine, temperature.
Emotional wellness: People I have seen and places I’ve visited, favorite part of the day.
Then at the bottom, there is an overall day rating from good to bad.
This is helpful for people who want to isolate the ‘wellness’ feature from the journal. If you are just interested in jotting down how you are from day- to- day, or want to list medications/ symptoms you had, then this would be a straightforward alternative for you.
It might also be helpful to go along with the planner—having the wellness sheet makes all your information/reflections easier to view.
You ever been tired the entire day, but you didn’t know why? You think you got enough sleep, but… did you? When did you go to bed again?
When you are intentional about counting the hours you slept and keep track of it— it’s much easier to know why you are tired (or not!)
Maybe you got a great amount of sleep the night before; it was 8 hours. That's the recommended dose, right? True, but not everyone thrives on 8 hours. Some people need more—or do completely fine on less. By keeping track of how much you slept/ how much energy you had the following day could reveal to you how much sleep you actually need.
Here's more information here: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-needs-get-the-sleep-you-need.htm
Additionally, this may reveal to you other causes that make you tired. Maybe you got plenty of sleep, but the problem is that you hit coffee lows in the afternoon, or you just started on a new treatment or medication that has a side- effect of drowsiness.
You can also use it to see what makes your rest better. Maybe exercising or warm milk before bed shows a trend of helping you fall asleep faster.
So, that is all for the descriptions/ reviews of the 5 new and free products. Let us know what you plan on sampling in the comments below!
Best wishes and blessings,