May is the #mentalhealthawarenessmonth 🌿🌎. It offers an opportunity to spread awareness and increase the public understanding on the importance of mental health. This collective drive of Willingness to Help is a pure reflection of how beautiful and understanding our communities are.
Our jobs & personal lives can create stress and take a toll on the mind. We need to be sensitive to better understand our emotions. These include your family, friends, peers and most importantly, yourself. It may go unnoticed that there is a large possibility they might be suffering from alarming levels of stress, anxiety or depression. Thus we need to take initiative to break the stigma associated with suffering in silence.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, daily struggles & financial challenges have caused profound impacts on mental health and wellbeing. The situation aggravates as social isolation and uncertainty are changing the human dynamics both at home and at work. Hence, conditions like overthinking and mental instability have become more commonplace today. The National Alliance on Mental Illness surveyed that 1 in 5 adults over 18 and 1 in 6 youth aged 6 to 17 years are subjected to some form of mental illness.
More significantly, the screen-time an average person is exposed to has critically affected the way we interact, causing more holistic damage to the brain. The high frequency of social media and extended working hours are disrupting the normal sleep patterns, stress levels, and the ability to logically consume information. A study from Forrester showed that workers in information-heavy fields use 2 to 3 devices each workday on average. These threatening levels of screen time today is forcing the human brain to process five times as much information as someone their age would have 50 years ago. It takes a dramatic toll on mental health in the long run.
So, as May winds down and the weather grows warmer, do not forget to check-in and engage with your peers, creating a positive mindset that will help strike a perfect work-life balance. Learn their stories and empower them through intervention. After all, our bodies have a natural check and balance system that results in anxiety, stress or depression when disrupted. Whether it is you, a family member or your co-worker that might be struggling, listen to your emotions and be an ear to that of others. Conversing is the first step towards recovery. And for this reason, there are dedicated helplines and consultancy apps that can provide help.
Do not forget to take care of yourself as you are your best investment. It’s time to treat your mental health just as that of someone you love. Be it pre-pandemic or post-pandemic, your health is your best wealth!
Here are some tips to keep your mental wellbeing in check :
- Take a break 🕑 – Loosen up and breathe. Listen to your favourite music, take a stroll or even eat ice cream. Put your problems on pause and feel alive!
- Have a conversation 👫 – We cannot do anything in isolation. Talk to a trustworthy friend, a professional, or even a consultancy app. It’s a luxury to confide in someone. It promises a night of better sleep.
- Sleep better 😴 – Proper sleeping patterns regulate several systems and cleanse our brain. This results in improved memory, cognition & overall functionality.
- Journal it 📝 – A written record of all thoughts when you’re emotionally vulnerable can help you refer and reflect at a later date to derive a meaningful understanding.
- Be active 🏃♂️ – Physical exercise releases endorphins. These are feel-good neurotransmitters that bust stress and also keep you fit in shape. Start small.
- Meditate 😇 – This aligns your mind and body that helps to ground your thoughts. Meditation recentres your mind in place, acting as a long term stress-resilient.