Author: Sharika Sanjay, Awareness Officer
‘HOPE’ the 4 lettered magician which ignites action/reaction of an individual is the cape to every superhero within us. During this pandemic, the entire world has come together with this “HOPE” of a better tomorrow. However, in all the steps taken to keep one’s physical health intact, some have failed to engage in keeping the mental health intact. Mental health is a very tricky area, especially when combined with HOPE.
Before we shudder this statement as un-relatable or outrageous one, let’s together understand what mental health is and why is it tricky. Mentalhealth.gov explains mental health as the state when an individual’s emotional, physiological and social state is well or healthy. According to ‘Our world in data’ 792 million individuals suffered from mental health disorders in 2017. With the current scenario of the COVID 19, these numbers might be skyrocketing. With stress, mundane routines and just the testing situation one is in today, mental health can be completely wrecked. Even the sanest individual right now can feel helpless and vary about the uncertainty this world is going to experience. The first thing one should do is that, remind oneself that a zillion other humans are in it too. Hence accept that one needs to look after making their mental health a priority as much as their physical wellbeing.
Now, we all remember “Not does charity begin at home, Everything starts at HOME!”. So here are a few things to add to your routine at home which will promote acknowledging mental health and slowly adapting ways to improve it.
- Have conversations with family and friends about the importance of mental health.
- Introduce ‘emotional vocabulary’ to describe one’s mental state. Yes, describing how you feel is not enough with good, fine, bad, etc. Educate yourself and others. Indulge in making this into games that help people around you express better.
- Emphasize on individuals build ‘strength’ when they express and not bottle up. Throw the importance of building ‘strength’ by dealing with internal and external conflicts with dialogue.
- Practice appreciation over criticism, encouragement over no discouragement, freedom through various forms of expression over disregarding statement like “I am not feeling so good” as a casual statement.
- Emphasize on happiness and respect for oneself through healthy practices and not critiquing self-image.
- Involve in any form of physical activity and sunlight exposure as these two factors directly impact mental wellness.
As per WHO, about half of the mental health disorders begin before the age of 14. Hence, as a reader, if you can help a child from such horrendous disorders then change the way you look at parenting or mentoring. Give them positive comments on their talents, their efforts, abilities, and kindness. Focus on their wellness on the whole by connecting it with mental health and not numerical representations like weight, height or size.
With these inclusions, one can be mentally healthy and create an environment where mental health disorders reduce. Doing this will help spend better time not only during this Pandemic but build a better and more conscious tomorrow. Reinstating HOPE to a practical and more realistic world.