Why is it so Important to Care for your Mental Health?

Covid-19 has affected all of us. It has hit us right where it hurts- financially and emotionally! The lockdown in India, due to the ongoing pandemic, was imposed in the mid of March may have ended but the terror and the aftermath continues to haunt us leaving us with more serious issues.

Most of us have lost our jobs, suffered salary cuts, dropped out of schools and colleges, relocated (since we could not afford to leave our parents or loved ones alone in a situation like this), and/or, unfortunately, lost somebody close to us. We most definitely have become financially unstable and we are all talking about it- the falling GDP, the crashing stock markets, and the failing businesses. But there is something we are not talking about- Mental Health!

So, Why is it important to talk about your Mental Health and take care of it?

An average person processes between 60000 to 80000 thoughts a day which is about 55 – 60 a minute out of which 95 percent of the thoughts are repetitive, from the day before. With so much compulsive cognition going on, mental health becomes a matter of great importance more so during the times of crisis. Have you had days when you feel happy without a reason and you feel absolutely invincible, do those experiences happen in your mind & emotion or outside? Imagine if you could have a life where you could feel like that every day, what kind of a life would that be!! It is possible but only if you are committed to your mental well-being. The quality of our life experience is determined by the emotions we keep and our thoughts are the trigger to emotion.

Mental Health can be as easy as eating and as complicated as solving a puzzle. And all forms of it have an effect on you. If you are not happy from within, no matter what Korean cleansing morning rituals you follow or no matter how many dogs you have to keep your mind occupied, you will always feel internally damaged and/or incomplete. Not a single thing or a person will be able to fill that void unless you express how you feel and do something about it.

For school-going children, it can be challenging to be stuck at home not being able to go outside and play with their friends. It can make them anxious and may even make them (unconsciously) feel lonely and abandoned.

For teenagers and college-going youngsters, expanding or identifying with their social circle is a way to make themselves feel wanted and accomplished. This helps them not only build on their social skills but also prepares them to face the real world and comprehend their own realities.

Couples and parents struggling to meet their family expectations have either lost their jobs or are facing financial drainage. Re-allocating wealth, assets, and properties can also be emotionally draining since the real-estate markets and re-sale values have run remarkably low. A few parents have had to draw their children out of their schools and colleges considering they are facing financial cuts leaving them anxious about their child's future which they think they might have ruined.

Fresh Graduates and Professionals have been facing similar dilemmas. Skepticism and job uncertainty have made them emotionally stressed. Lack of jobs has also put the youth of the nation, as a whole, in a state of depression- resulting them in feeling incompetent and helpless.

Aspiring Artists and Talent-Producing Industries (actors, models, painters, etcetera) have also been majorly affected since no exhibitions showcasing their talents have been shut down. This has left them aghast and some, out of work. There have also been a few reports of suicide attempts by talented artists doing the rounds.

Doctors, Healthcare Workers, Researchers, and Essential Workers are burdened with round-the-clock duties leaving no time for them to recuperate. The lack of time for recuperation has left most of them with disturbed sleep patterns causing emotional drainage and anxiety.

Here, there is a constant mention of stress, anxiety, and depression playing a major role in suicide attempts and/or ruined relationship equations within the household. To overcome these setbacks, we need to open up and express ourselves to whosoever we feel comfortable with or wherever we wish to express.

We need to give ourselves and the people around us the space we need. We need to figure out what is affecting us. If we do, we need a medium to release it. Talk to a mental health expert or to your friends and/or family.

Caring for your own Mental Health not only helps you figure your own self out but also helps in the process of healing of your body, mind, and soul. If your internal self is complacent, you can tackle your predicaments with a clear mind. Because right now, you need a "clear mind" to find new ways to re-establish yourself. Only a lucid and healthy mind will help you re-plan your next move.

In India, an unusually large number of people falsely see mental health problems as something we should be able to “snap out of”. Men, especially, rather often bottle up their feelings than seek help. Caring for your mental health is not gender-specific or age-specific. Like a hair-cut, mental health is essential for everyone's well-being and self-esteem. Mental health can be improved with determination, dedication and passion but without compassion and acceptance one cannot find success on this journey.

Acceptance is the first step to change, you need to accept that mental health is an indispensable part of our well being and you need to work towards it. Compassion is the second step compassion towards the self as there would be multiple slip ups succumbing to your old patterns, you have to have a strong sense kindness and compassion towards yourself. Treat your inner child with utmost care and let him fail. It is a process, an experiment and there are only successes if you look at this as a fulfilling experiment. 95% of our thoughts are repetitive. It is like a circular trap, thus difficult to make a strong lasting change, as the whirlpool of your thoughts which trigger emotion, which in turn trigger action and ultimately your reality, is a tricky space to be in. But you can take charge.

The most effective tools amongst the countless evolved types of practices that you can do is the 60:5 breathing. The task is simple, every 60 minutes your have to do a deep powerful breathing for 5 minutes unless you are an anxious person then you must do it for 10. Put a reminder on your phone or your watch, inhale at a count of 5 and while you do do give command to your mind RELAX, hold for a count of 10 and exhale at a count of 10, gradually increase your count to. Don’t do this mechanically use the power of your emotion, emotion had the ability to magnify your experience, the more intense the emotion the more deep the experience shall be.

This is one of the simplest yet effective breathing methods that can take you out of your compulsive thought loops. Remember Mind commands as body follows.

During this all menacing pandemic, staying joyful and peaceful shall be your biggest accomplishment. Seek professional help if need be but take action towards your inner well being. The process starts with acceptance of the fact that your mental is of the highest importance. And, caring for your Mental Health IS IMPORTANT!

Tags assigned to this article:
COVID-19 Mental Health


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