Maintaining Sound Mental Health, Now And In The future

A sound and healthy mind over a period of time will lead to natural success and potential happiness.

It is often said that your mind is your greatest asset and can turn out to be your greatest enemy. It is a no-brainer that the biggest lifestyle ailment going forward in our lives is going to be poor mental health. The current environment with working professionals being perennially locked up at home, increasing pressures at work and potential job losses, financial insufficiency and relentless peer pressure can disturb the mental health of the fittest of people. This article looks at simple hacks to maintain a sound mental health and survive a brutal corporate career over the next few years. 

Be frugal in your 20s, reasonable in your 30s and stay financially independent for life

The single biggest source of day-to-day mental worry is often linked to financial insufficiency. Being prudent about one’s finances, no matter how small the base, can go a long way in keeping mental demons at bay. In difficult times like these, exotic instruments (e.g. bitcoins) and bulk expenditures like real estate should be completely avoided. Most future investments and existing portfolio should be kept in safer debt instruments. As much as possible, loans should be paid out early and credit card debt should be avoided at all costs. It is never a prudent idea to maintain a lifestyle based on external debt. It is sensible to roll back on discretionary purchases - the extra dress, the luxury bag or hosting the best house party. 

In addition, clearing the financial clutter will also help significantly. It is preferable to stay minimalist with finances by possessing 1-2 credit cards, 1 main bank account and investments in 3-4 mutual funds overall. In fact, leaving the expensive big city and staying with your family in a more economical Tier 2 city for the next 6 - 9 months can be a very sensible idea. 

A fit body can overcome the perils of a wandering unhealthy mind

Biologically, the single biggest lever to maintain sound mental health is to strive for a healthy body. A fixed daily routine can keep an idle mind potentially turning into a devil’s workshop at bay. A fixed sleeping time, an hour of physical exercise in the morning and home cooked food can help in keeping your body fit and healthy. In addition, it is always sensible to reduce alcohol consumption and smoking and watching your waistline and food habits during these chaotic times. After all, there is a direct correlation between obesity and poor mental health. If it makes you feel any better, you can measure your daily fitness parameters and set realistic goals. 

Be selfish and invest in yourself, every day of your life

This is a point that cannot be emphasised enough. Irrespective how your career is going, on a scale from astonishing to depressing, it is a mistake not to invest in yourself every day of your life. Simple habits like reading the business newspaper everyday without fail will go a long way in building a robust knowledge repository. In addition, targeting to read one new book every month or finishing a new course online can go a long way in making you attractive to your existing or your new employer. Also, it doesn’t harm to tell the rest of the world on social media about your newly found interests and consequently maintaining a strong professional network. 

Relationships evolve over time, don’t be afraid to let go and evolve 

Maintaining relationships can turn out to be a massive source of emotional stress and agony with snide remarks, accusations, peer pressures or unfulfilled quality human interactions. Relationships, personal or professional, although seeming fine on the surface can have toxic layers underneath and like most things in life, they should be constantly evaluated. It is perfectly natural to move on from old associations and embrace new ones to eliminate toxicity or negative influences. 

This is also applicable for office bosses who try to play one colleague repeatedly against another to create a sense of insecurity. It is best to avoid such traps and be kind and friendly with the other person to make up for the boss’ foul play. Finally, there will always be associations who will only ask you for help and term you selfish if you ever miss one of their requests. It is best to avoid such people. 

Some associations are like a favourite jacket of yours, you have to move on if you think it has run its course and is doing more harm than good. 

Always prepare for worst case and be careful about identifying your self worth

One of my professors had advised me to always prepare for the worst case. If you train your mind to prepare for the worst case - a potential job loss, a shift in residence, a degree at a lesser preferred educational institution, you can come to terms with a future setback much easier. It also forces you to think of alternate options - do something else, go back home, get another degree, pick up an alternate profession, start your own firm or look for another job. It is also advisable to not get too attached to your job and identifying your self worth with your LinkedIn profile. After all, things do go wrong on the professional front and can be devastating mentally if an individual’s source of self worth is derived from his or her LinkedIn profile. In fact, it is never too late to succeed in life or make a come back.  

Life is after all lived over 75 years and not over 75 days!  

In conclusion, following the above simple hacks can go a long way in reducing everyday misery in life and building sound mental health. A sound and healthy mind over a period of time will lead to natural success and potential happiness.

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