“Hey, it’s me… Do you not recognize me? I am you; I am your mind. Are you confused as to why I am talking to you now? It is because I have something to say… Something important to both you and me. You see, we are inseparable. We have stuck together through it all, the happiness, the pain, the trauma, the accomplishments, every single thing. Sometimes, the bad things outweighed the good. But we survived through it all. But now, I am tired… I need help. You need help. We cannot do this on our own, and it is okay to want some help. It is okay to be selfish and to put our health and well-being first. Because we still have a long way to go, we still have the world to conquer. And for that, we need to be at our best. Take care of me… take care of yourself. And remember, you are not alone.”
Imagine that our mind is writing a letter to us. What will it be like? Will it beg for us to take better care of it, or will it be grateful for how well we treat it? Whatever it may be, the moral of this story is us and our mental health. Every year, World Mental Health Day is celebrated on the 10th of October to promote taking care of ourselves. It has been more than 18 months since the pandemic began, and it has caused a significant disruption in everyone’s life. Even during the World Health Assembly in May 2021, governments worldwide have acknowledged the need to improve the mental health services provided.
But what can you do about it? Here are some ways to keep your mental health in check –
Get a good amount of sleep. It might be hard, with the vast workload you might have, but this is one of the essential steps for maintaining your mental health and your physical health. Besides, a well-rested person is said to be much more efficient.
Take care of your body. Drink plenty of water, and do not skip out on fruits and vegetables. It might be hard to note your diet when you are busy, but take those 5 minutes of the day to decide that you will eat healthily. To have a healthy mind, you should first have a healthy body.
Occasionally, take a day off for yourself. That day, be selfish and focus on yourself. Get in some exercise, or meditate. Take some time to introspect your life. Finish that book you started, spend time with people that make you happy. And stay away from work. For one day, forget your responsibilities, and be like a free bird. Do the things that make you happy.
Introspect and understand when you need help. Having a therapist is still taboo in India, but this is about you, so get ready to break all the taboos and seek help. Stop thinking that what you are going through is not a big enough problem and that you can get through it on your own. There are no big or small problems—everybody’s experience is unique. Find yourself a good therapist and give yourself a little bit of assistance to get through this.
This might sound selfish, but it is imperative. Always put yourself first. Even in airplanes, the crew asks us to put our oxygen masks first before helping anyone else in case of a crisis. This is the same for life as well. Help yourself first; save yourself before saving anyone else. It might be challenging, but only when you are at your best can you give your best for someone else.
As rightly said by Albus Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Take this day to turn on the light and find your happiness and your best self. And remember…. you are not alone.