How to keep your Mental Health in Check
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
Hello, friends! We meet again. It's been a week since we last spoke, how have you been? Staying inside and washing those hands I hope. What an interesting year 2020 has turned out to be. Kinda makes me wish I could rewind to another year sometimes if I'm being honest, but what difference would it really make? At some point we would all (provided we lived to see it) have to deal with 2020 anyway, so let's try to stay strong.
When I think of 2020 in comparison to previous years, the optimist in me tries to convince herself that somehow the calm we endured previously, was preparing us for the whirlwind we're now experiencing. I won't debate how true this statement is, however I for one, have learnt a lot in the past, that I have now channeled to get me safely through 2020.
If you have ever taken a Physical Education course or any other course that teaches about keeping healthy, I'm sure you've heard that to be well, health wise, you have to be 'fit' physically, mentally and emotionally. If I have ever doubted this belief before, rest assured that I have now come to my senses, and recognize how truthful this statement actually is. Now, not to downplay your emotional and physical well-being, but with all that is taking place in the world today, I feel the need to single out, Mental Health.
Simply put, Mental Health speaks to our psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel or act and often dictates how we handle stress, relate to others and make decisions. Despite all of this, I know many of us do not take our mental health as seriously as we should. Especially, those of us who grew up in families that downplayed the effects that poor mental health can have on an individual. Regardless, I'm not here to cast judgement, my aim is to bring awareness to the importance of good mental health in the creation of a healthy and wholesome individual.
Over the past couple of weeks, at the order of my country's government, I have been self - isolating, in wake of trying to avoid becoming a victim of the deadly Corona virus. During this time, I have sought to pursue many activities to keep my brain occupied, one of which is reading. Over the past week, at the encouragement of @bookofcinz on Instagram, I read the book Queenie by Candice Carty - Williams. Now, I don't want to ruin it for you, in case any of you decide to go read this book, but amongst other things this book speaks about mental health in a very personal way; the issues one may face if they become a victim of any mental health illness and the hurdles they may have to overcome if it becomes necessary for them to seek professional help.
Having read this book as well as being very familiar with persons who suffer from various mental health illnesses, I stand from a position of knowledge when I say, possessing good or bad mental health can become a defining personality trait. For example, people who suffer from mental health illnesses are often either very reserved or very talkative. Depending on what illness they suffer from they may engage in self destructive tendencies or are very quick to anger (this is generally in the case of individuals who suffer from Depression).
I don't profess in anyway to be a Doctor of any kind but here's my two cents on mental health. We take for granted the things that serve to improve our mental health like going outside, interacting with friends or even getting a good night's sleep. I'm sure this is a realization many of us have come to, having been asked to stay inside for our own good. Instead of allowing yourself to become disheartened because of all the things you would like to do but can't for whatever reason (like going to parties or restaurants with friends), try to remain positive. Focus on all the things you can do, like catch up on some much needed sleep, read a book, watch a movie (find something, anything) to keep your brain occupied while you self-isolate.
For those who may suffer silently with any form of mental health illness, now is the time to try as best as possible to work on yourselves. It won't be easy, but good things rarely are. If you don't currently suffer from any mental health illnesses, let's try to keep it that way. Believe me I know how hard self - isolation and social distancing can be, especially if you are a naturally extroverted and adventurous person. The lonely days and nights (if you live alone) may just come pretty close to driving you insane, but as long as you get creative and find ways to occupy your brain, you may come out of this experience, a better version of yourself than when it first started.
So, I have already mentioned a few things you can do to keep your brain occupied while we all self - isolate, but if you're still uncertain here's a list:
1. Read a Novel - I'm sure you know what areas your interests lie in, so find something to read that you know you will definitely enjoy, especially if you aren't much of a reader.
2. Write a Story, Song or Poem - We are all uniquely blessed with our own talents, why not use this to create a piece you can be proud of. You never know if the piece you create may be worth publishing.
3. Choreograph a Dance Routine - Remember how much you use to enjoy dancing? well now's your time to shine.
4. Learn a new Skill - You know that thing you always said you would do if you ever had some spare time? There's no time like the present.
5. Build an App - If you are more on the technologically inclined side, why not challenge yourself to create something that hasn't been done before.
I could go on and on about activities you can do to occupy your brain but, I think you get the point. While we try not to die from insanity or boredom, let's not forget to wash those hands with soap and water and keep our hands from touching our faces.
As always thank you for reading. If you haven't already, go follow us on Instagram @survivingyour20somethings. Don't forget to like, share, comment and subscribe. See you guys next week!!!