World Mental Health Day 2020 is remarkably different from previous years but also the same. Different in that there is more stress, anxiety, and depression due to the world’s pandemic situation but the same because there are certain factors surrounding mental health that do not change.
READING TIME: 3 Mins.
Warning Signs Of Mental Illness
I could spout out statistics and figures but I am more interested in discussing the human element of mental health and how we can look after ourselves and look out for others.
Emotions are intense, anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, grief, and fear are being felt in varying degrees. Humans express these emotions with or without mental health issues, so how do we know if we or someone we know needs help?
It may not be easy to know but keep in mind the words “extreme”, “excessive” and “big changes” when trying to work out if help is needed.
Some general guidelines:
- A big change in eating (eating a lot or not eating at all).
- A big change in sleeping patterns (sleeping a lot or not sleeping at all).
- Excessive worrying and fear.
- Unable to focus and confused thinking.
- Excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
- Having a lot of physical aches and pains where there is no obvious reason for them.
- Having suicidal thoughts.
- Extreme changes in moods, ecstatically happy, and then extremely sad.
- Avoiding and not able to relate to other people.
- Strong feelings of irritability, anger, and annoyance that continue for long periods of time.
Remember though that sometimes, we can just feel annoyed, disappointed, or sad but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have mental health issues.
It’s important to listen mindfully and empathize with ourselves and others.
Self-Care Is Important For Mental Health
Prioritize your mental health by looking after yourself and practicing internal and external self-care.
Internal self-care is paying attention to how you feel, what your thoughts are, and the choices you are making. Practice mindfulness to stay present with yourself and others. Empathizing and genuinely connecting in a non-judgmental way can only be achieved by fully being present with others when they need us.
Journal your feeling and thoughts to organize them and get clarity on what is going on.
Pass on mindfulness strategies and journalling to others that may benefit from knowing.
Internal self-care is the most important but external self-care also plays a part:
- Light exercise and stretching.
- Eating plenty of nutritious food.
- Pampering ourselves with manicures, saunas, and massages.
- Good sleep hygiene.
- Keep hydrated – drink plenty of water.
- Take time to relax on your own and quieten your mind.
Share Your Stories
This is a short post to mark the day and remind you that you are not alone.
I had depression when I was younger and had to have time off work. My family, friends and work colleagues all supported me. I will always appreciate that.
I encourage you to share your story in the comments below with the aim that someone out there may feel better by reading it.
Mental health issues can affect anyone at any point in their life. I remember feeling guilty and my internal chatter would repeat things like, “You have no need to feel so depressed, you have friend, family and everything you need, blah, blah…”. Never feel guilt or shame if you are suffering. Yes, there is still a lot of misunderstanding about mental health but there is also a lot of support too.
Reach out for information and/or professional help if you or someone you know needs it. There is plenty of information on the internet. Try self-help OR get a professional diagnosis.
I have written previous posts about online therapy, anxiety and depression:
This post and website is for educational purposes only and NOT medical advice.
Save THE PIN above of a Globe to your Mental Wellness Board to check later and to be reminded of the tips.
The name of The Game is Experience so let us experience Connecting and Sharing.
Remember to share your story about mental health below.