In the UK, this week is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Week, 18-24 May 2020. It is good to celebrate the awareness of this week as we seek to understand the importance of our mental well being.
Every one of us face stress and low moments from time to time and it is ok. If need to, take a break, a breather and just rest. If feelings / mood persists for more than 2 weeks (usually), find someone trustworthy and someone you feel comfortable with to talk and process you thoughts and feelings. 2 weeks is the minimum for one to be in a mild state of depression and this is usually accompanied with the lack of activity, unable to function as a normal person - taking care of their hygiene, and doing things they once enjoyed. Being aware of this is helpful for yourself and those around you so you'd know when to seek for help.
Being mentally healthy doesn't mean that you don't have a mental health problem. If you are in good mental health / emotional well being, you can:
make the most of your potential,
cope with life and
be fully engaged in your community, with your family and friends.
So how can you help yourself to keep well of your mental health?
Talk to someone trustworthy to process your thoughts and feelings
Have a support group or create one. Ensure that confidentiality, trust, boundaries and some ground rules are in place when you begin the group. This helps to not assume anything and keeps the group organised.
Keep active, physically - light stretches, running, yoga, brisk walking etc
Eat well- think healthy, fresh and nutritious. Lessen the sugary and salty snacks.
Drink well- hydrate yourself well. Drink warm water to start the day well, and watch the intake of caffeine each day - not just watch but cut down;)
Take a break to rest.
Journal - writing your thoughts down helps to de-clutter the mind; and sometimes to help visualize your goals and intentions.
Do something you are good at and enjoy - baking, cooking, quilting, gardening, writing, etc
Accept who you are and care for yourself - start catching those negative thoughts and ask if they are true. Be proud of who you are. "“Being happy with who I am now means I enjoy living in the moment.”
Caring for others helps to shift our thought from ourselves, to be kind towards others. Friends are really important, helping and supporting each other is a two way street, supporting them uplifts our spirit too.
Taking care of a pet is good for one's well being as well. There is something about the un-conditional love of a pet and they often amuse us too!
That saying, I hope you keep well and continue practicing kindness and compassion with yourself and towards others.