I think it is safe to say that there has been some trying times lately.
Everything from social isolation, pandemics, economic hardships, and fear of the unknown to name a few. Imagine this, all on top of a perhaps already stressful environment or struggles in your everyday life – such as relationships, finances, traumatic events, and changes in life roles. Generally speaking, mental health is comprised of our psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It’s all about how we feel, think and act. Taking care of our mental health is vitally important because it can affect every aspect of our lives – everything from relationships with family and friends to our own productivity at either work or school. Our wellbeing can be diminished by a number of mental health conditions such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, substance use disorder and much more. These conditions vary widely in their severity, but at any level, they can have a negative impact on our lives. During the Covid-19 pandemic, mental health and mental illness have been brought to the forefront of our minds. The pandemic has drastically changed various aspects of our lives and has brought a great sense of fear, insecurity, and worry.
If you are close to someone with mental health concerns, or perhaps struggling with them yourself, do not be afraid to speak up! The first step is always to acknowledge and define the issue. The average person waits around 10 years before reaching out for help for mental health problems – this due to stigmas in society but also a feeling of shame to admit to have mental health problems. But it is absolutely normal to be having mental challenges such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or other symptoms.
We weren’t meant to do this life thing alone – there is always someone you could talk to, either its a professional, a family member or friend.
A person coping with mental health difficulties will usually need to make certain changes to their lifestyle to facilitate wellness. Such changes can include reducing alcohol intake, sleeping more, and change in diet. Some people may need to take time away from work or resolve issues with personal relationships that may be causing damage to their mental health. If you are struggling with conditions such as an anxiety or depression, you may benefit from different relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or mindfulness. Lastly, having a network that supports, whether it is a self-help group or close friends and family, can also be essential to recovery from mental illness.