Most of us would have felt low, irritable or overtly anxious at some point in our lives. Mood swings, inability to concentrate, feeling teary or isolated – these are all so common around us. These symptoms of mental health could range from mild, moderate or severe, but are often temporary. You are all good till the time you can handle it all well, coming back to normal. Anything beyond a point of no return raises alarm. Timely acknowledgement, right support and strong willpower helps us towards recovery and continue enjoying our journey of life.
“Wish there was an app to connect us better to our own minds”.
We are so busy in making our lives that we tend to ignore ways in which our body tries to send messages for inner imbalances. We rather engage ourselves in distracting activities, alcohol, drugs and at extremes, self-destructive behavior. It’s a vicious cascade of events – bottling up our issues hoping that they would resolve or we will get used to them, giving up on goals because they are ‘not too easy’ to achieve, adjusting to failures and eventually ending it all to depression and suicidal thoughts.
Beginning from the basics!
From the school days, we all have recited one quote – a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. ‘Healthy Body’ got so much focus that we almost forgot about ‘healthy mind’. Studies have shown that our emotional state of mind directly impacts our physical fitness.
To reiterate the significance of mental health, “World Mental Health Day” is observed on 10 October every year, to raise awareness of mental health issues”. It provides us with an open platform to discuss about the work being done to ensure mental well-being, and explore opportunities to do better. And the goal of this year’s World Mental Health Day campaign is increased investment in mental health.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is a lot more than the mere absence of mental disorders. It is a quintessential part of our overall health, influences how we think, feel and act in our lives. It determines our responses to daily challenges, maintaining relationships and handling stress. A good mental health does not mean that you don’t experience emotional issues. We are all struggling to combat stress at various levels in our lives, leading to mental imbalances and emotional instabilities. A strong mental health simply enables us get a smoother bounce back from stress, making us resilient and stronger.
The situation has worsened ever since Covid-19 struck. We have made considerable adaptations for our survival to get accustomed to the pandemic lifestyle. Social distancing, online classes, work-from-home, increased hygiene practices – all are our coping mechanisms. Our daily routines have changed, with so much of conscious efforts being put on healthy living. Pat yourself! Amazing work done by to protect yourself physically. But hold on – what have we done for our mental health?
Emotional drainage due to constant anxiety and fear of contacting the virus, worried about a friend detected positive, or even worse, tackling the grief of losing a near-one. The macro-effects of pandemic on economy are felt by us – layoffs, salary-cuts, bad business revenues, even shutdowns, eventually increasing the stress levels for any working-class family.
Boosting Mental Health
It has become an established fact that mental fitness is as important as physical health. And the need for mental health awareness has increased substantially.
Practicing healthy mental habits is the easiest way for good health. Being kind to yourself is the first step. Be focused, flexible and stable – in both good and bad times. Take the fear of unknown as an opportunity to gain information. Give yourself time to adapt to new situations.
- Building up a stress baggage would only harm you. Talk it out – whatever is on your mind!
- Practice meditation or yoga – whatever works best for you.
- Regular physical activity – exercise or gym or cycling – is good for both brain and body.
- Identify early warning signs of how your body reacts to stress. Make conscious efforts to become more resilient and elevate your mood.
- Eat healthy and Sleep healthy – quality food and sleep in adequate proportions are a no-compromise elements.
- Ask for help – whenever the mind demands. Over-stretching the elastic ends up breaking it.
“Communication is the solution for every problem”
We all wish to be Happy – ever-smiling, stress-free and content with life. ‘Keep calm and Smile’ may be a reality for many; but for some, it could be a safeguarding mask, hiding the darkness of anxiety, fear and sadness. They may try to be a part of us, pretending to be happy while struggling deep inside. ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’ aptly fits here. Be available even when they are shying to ask for assistance. Look for signs of discomfort. Always take time to hear their whispers. Empathize and support – that is all they need. Be a PathFinder for them towards a sorted life.