Saturday, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day. On this day, awareness is raised throughout the world about how important it is for everyone, no matter who they are and where they are from, to take care of their mental health. We often hear people talk about emotional, physical, and spiritual health; however, mental health is just as crucial for one’s total well-being, too, and it needs to be addressed as so.
COVID-19 alone has made the end of last year and all of 2020 top of mind for many throughout the world. Every day, there is a story about COVID-19 this or that, its impact on the planet, and how many people have it or have died from it. News reports one day states to do this, and the next day or week, it may say to do something completely different, causing people to become confused about what not to do or do and how to stay safe, and so on and so forth. COVID-19 has brought so much mental exhaustion and anxiety due to its uncertainty and perplexing information from various sources. It has been destroying the well-being of so many lives throughout the entire ordeal and it continues to do so every day. Many people are trying so hard to keep their sanity, stay calm and keep the faith, but deep down inside, they are breaking down worried about if they do get COVID-19, how to avoid passing it along to their loved ones, how to prevent it, and how to stay healthy during these difficult times. It is an arduous situation with very limited answers and that alone is enough to drive anyone out of their mind senseless.
8 Ways to Nurture Your Mental Health
1. Take a mental health day from work/school/stressful environments/situations.
a. At least once a quarter, take a day off of work to focus on doing nothing but taking care of you. Not just spiritually, physically, and emotionally but mentally too. This day shall be used to help you destress, relax, and evaluate certain situations in your life.
2. Journal or write about what you are grateful for:
a. When times get rough, consider taking out a journal or a notebook and write about five or more things that you are grateful for. This activity will draw some sort of joy to the situation that may have you feeling down. The goal is to release stress via your writing and regularly see the good occurring in your life. Having your focus more on the positive vs. the bad and negative can inspire a new normal.
3. Get Social
a. Whether you use social media or not. This year has been a lonely one for so many, but being able to engage with people online or in-person a recommended distance is a way to help nurture your mental health. Some people just make you feel good when you engage in a conversation with them or are in their presence, so find time to get around them and receive some of their good vibes. This will help in taking your mind off of your situations.
4. Help Others
a. The easiest way to help your mental health is to get out of your own head. You can do this by changing your focus; stop thinking about you and your situation, and focusing on someone else and what is going on in their lives. When helping others, one does have no time but to focus on them and not worry about what was going on in their life. Sometimes after helping others, one can often forget about what was bothering them or making them feel down in the first place. Taking the mind of yourself, in itself, a great stress reliever and may make you an encourager to another individual.
5. Get out in Nature
a. Being still and quiet in nature does wonders to the mind. It calms it and also helps to put certain circumstances into perspective. Whether you are hiking, walking, running jogging, floating on water, you name it, you will surely feel different all over after spending time in nature. You will notice more clarity in areas that you weren't clear before definitely less stress and peace.
6. Sleep Well
a. Getting ample rest helps one think more clearly as well as to remain calm even during a storm. When one is relaxed, blood pressure tends to remain is lower. Make it your priority to get in bed a decent time every night so that you can feel confident, refreshed, and vibrant in the morning.
7. Avoid the News
a. The News that the media outlets put out are often so damaging to the psyche and can destroy your mental health. It is best to keep abreast of what is going on by reading it online or in the paper and then closing the page(s) and move on to something else more optimistic. Once one gets pulled in by the televised news appeal, it is really hard to turn it off, making for a difficult night of sleep and possibly a stressful day filled with anxiety from what has been heard and seen. It is important to live an uplifting life surrounded by encouraging people, it really is food for the soul.
8. Seek Professional Help
a. Man is not meant to walk through life alone, so if all else fails and you feel or have been told that your mental health is deteriorating, immediately seek professional help. You can get that from a mental health expert such as a psychologist, Clinical Clinician, Psychiatrist, Nurse, Social Worker, and the likes. Do not be ashamed to ASK for help. Remember, there is always someone out there willing to be there for you during your time of need; it may just be a stranger. Ask, seek, and you shall find all that you need to improve your mental health situation. You do not have to go at life alone for there is always someone able and willing to help.
No matter what you do today, this month, or for the rest of your life, remember to always look after your mental health. Your mental health is a significant part of your entire well-being and needs some looking after just like the emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects do too.
Types of Mental Health Professionals