The world feels like a very anxious place right now, full of fear and uncertainty. Seemingly, it would never end, which can ultimately take a huge toll on your mental health. The present lockdown due to Covid-19 has been an upsetting situation for everybody across the globe. The main psychological impact to date is the elevated rate of stress, anxiety, and depression. Population has strongly been affected due to which levels of loneliness, alcohol and drug abuse, self-harm and suicidal behaviour is also expected to rise.
Constant pressure from multiple sources around you, unforeseen situations, and bad physical and mental health can cause mental imbalances which can eventually affect your daily functioning. If prolonged, it may worsen and result in mental illness.
There could not be a better time to address your ‘under the carpet’ issues during this Mental Health Awareness Month – May!
“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.”- Eckhart Tolle
Mental health is integral to living a healthy and happy life. Your mental health encompasses your psychological, emotional and social well-being which reflects how you feel, think and behave each day. Being healthy emotionally, socially and psychologically can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work,school or care giving. Your mental health also contributes to your decision making process, how you cope with problems around and how you relate to others in your life. It plays an important part in the health of your relationships, and allows you to adapt to changes in your life and cope with adversity.
Despite knowing such positive outcomes of taking care of our own mental health, we try to escape from talking about it? But the question is WHY? Ever wondered why you do not talk about your mental health just like you talk about your physical health?
When I think of it, multiple reasons pop up in my mind and your reason could be one of them too. To mention the most recurrent reason, there comes a single word,
People are afraid of talking about their mental health. They may have a fear of being judged and made fun of. When you share your problems with them or reach out to a therapist, they might call you “crazy”, but it’s time when you realise that your mental health is more important than other people’s opinions.
WHAT A ROLLERCOASTER RIDE HAS IT BEEN FOR ME! I do not know where to begin from. The past year has been very challenging for me, trying to push myself immensely far. I have experienced troubled relationships, loss of close ones, confusion, anxiety reaching its peak and of course, internal shifts which made it very difficult for me to get over. I can still feel myself being in this several times, trying to figure out things, to turn pages and begin a new chapter. Maybe because I find a new ray of hope every single morning and that is what motivates me to take care of myself physically and mentally. It is not easy, not at all. It takes great amount of strength to bounce back. I am sharing this not only to show that these times do happen and are normal to be experienced, but most importantly to tell that they reflect how far you have come every single time.
Everyone’s story is different. Your story can be different from mine and others you interact with. You do not have to make everything look and feel perfect. It is important to accept the way you feel and let that thought settle in. Often, the desire to suppress it all can further aggravate the frustration.
If you are in a low right now, please do reach out to people you can trust.You may also visit a therapist if need be. Seeing a therapist is as normal as seeing a doctor for fever or cough. Know that your feelings are valid and are heard. Seek online help since it is almost impossible to step out during this lock down.
Acknowledging what is better for you and what you need, introspecting, tracking on your own goals and progress are few things that you can do on your part which can make a huge difference altogether.Remember, life has many chapters and you cannot skip any of them. You would enjoy reading some and some not. Some will bring joy; some will make you cry and there will be some which you would not want to read. But you must keep going. Stories would keep revolving. Enjoy reading.
There are steps you can take to improve your mental health every day. Small things like exercising, eating a balanced and healthy meal, taking a break when needed, remembering something you are grateful for and getting a good night’s sleep, can be helpful in boosting your emotional health.
To conclude on a lighter note, one should try to explore a safer space where she or he can unwind and blossom mental well-being.
Yashika is pursuing Bachelors in Applied Psychology from University of Delhi. She is passionate about her subject and shows great interest in educating young students.