Undeniably, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected our mental health in different ways. We have gone through a number of challenges since the pandemic began.

May is Mental Health Awareness month and USA Today has offered a few ways you to take care of your psychological health.

The news outlet suggests having a self-care spa day, which is an effective way to make yourself feel better mentally as well as physically. You can pamper yourself with a facial, manicure, pedicure, or by using your favorite skincare and beauty products.

USA Today advises to take yourself on a date. You cannot go out and eat at your favorite restaurant but you can still have a special day for yourself by going to a picnic nearby or even your backyard. With this, you can connect to nature and enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures.

“If a cozy day in is just what you need, cuddle up with an exciting new book. Looking for ideas? You can check out our recent round-up of five books not to miss,” advises USA Today.

More importantly, the news outlet recommends practicing meditation because it helps calm your mind. You can even use dedicated meditation apps on your smartphones, such as Headspace and Simple Habit. Plus, meditation relieves stress.

Referring to nurse practitioner Donna Cardillo’s book, USA Today suggests writing a love letter to yourself this year. Cardillo writes, “Start with an endearing salutation, praise and recognize your life and value and sign it with affection.”

Several studies have found that journaling could be one of the best ways to improve your physical as well as mental health. You can start writing a journal by expressing gratitude regularly, which can make you feel happier.

Lindsey Vickers, Staff Writer at Reviewed, who writes about sleep and lifestyle started gratitude journaling by writing down things she was thankful for every night.

“Nothing changed my sleep—and overall mood—as much as gratitude journaling,” writes Vickers, who is a journalist. “It took a week or so for me to see any effect, but after that, the difference was practically palpable,” she adds. “I was happier as I dozed off, stayed asleep longer, and experienced fewer nightly interruptions.”