Let’s talk about the big M…
… mental health folks
I am no expert, but I learn everyday. I learn what it really means to take a step back and breath. I learn how important it is to take a self-care day. I learn how to deal with my wellbeing directly, rather than ignoring what it signals. I learn to nurture my mental health more and more with every day that passes.
This past weekend, I had faced my worst enemy – stress attack. Such instances were initially triggered since my second year of my undergraduate study during very pressuring time periods. As such, this is a period which is of a similar manner. But what was more noticeable this time around is how the attack’s intensity was growing with each passing time. It was then that I realized that treating my emotional health as ‘a dramatic reaction’ was no way to move forward.
Someone might ask why I might be sharing this on a public platform. Well, the answer is simple; mental health should be an everyday conversation. My blog may act as a reminder for any individual that feels alone in all this, might feel that the stay-at-home routine is never ending, might feel that the hours of the day should only be devoted towards work or otherwise it is wasted time, might feel unmotivated more often than not… for you I am here to share a few words of wisdom of how I try to nurture my wellness. Again, I need to repeat by saying that I am no expert on the matter as I am having a hard time adhering these myself. However, it does not hurt to share (I hope?).
- Finding an activity to unleash my potential otherwise; I was lucky enough to realize that baking has been an activity which (fortunately) forces me to focus on committing to a recipe’s execution and that only – it helps my brain take a break from any stressing thoughts I might be having.
- GO OUTSIDE; my mum’s quote of the year: ‘head out for that walk already’ – I know, it became the new norm advice, but for a good reason! It oxygenates that brain of mine that is locked up in the same four walls every single day. If I can, I grab a pal from my house bubble and get some exercise, some coffee, find a bench, have a good talk, and reeeaally let go for a moment.
- On the subject, talking it over with others; a mistake that I did initially is actually hiding in the bathroom whenever I was not feeling myself because I did not want to carry that weight on somebody else’s shoulder. Conversely, the people that actually cared did not mind, and even wanted to talk things through. Just uplifting that load of emotions was healing enough, let alone the fact that it was more common for others to experience the same as well. You support each other in the end!
- Remind self – there are more positives than negatives; I have been told by a good friend that a single, poor moment does not need to define your whole mindset. In a wise voice she would say ‘so next time I want you to take a breath and ask yourself: if I were to recall 5 positive events that occurred in that time period, does this 1 unfortunate moment nullify all of them?‘. And more often than not, this helps me reach a point of self-awareness.
- Dealing with deadlines realistically; it still is hard for me to accept that it is okay not to work, fully or at all, every single day. With the pandemic in hand, I found it more difficult to put a stop to my workhours, which evidently caused an even bigger headache, as well as bearing ‘writer’s block’. At the end of the day, the time I devote to take care of my emotional health in any of the above approaches would be far more productive than the time I anxiously stare at a blank document and confusingly read hundreds of research papers just so I can say ‘I worked today’.
For anyone reading this, I kindly ask you to respect my choice of subject and hope what you read might be even slightly useful.