Sure by now, everyone knows a thing or two about mental health and indeed why it is necessary to take active steps to nurture or take care of their mental health.
While it may seem like an easy conversation, it almost always isn’t and this is why it is an ongoing conversation. Sadly, when people talk about their mental health these days, it often is just an excuse to get away with bad behavior (a conversation for another time) however, today on the blog we will be looking at what it means when we say mental health given the times that we find ourselves. More importantly, we will be looking at some real valid reasons why we need to prioritize our mental health this season.
What comes to mind when you hear the words Mental Health, I’ll go first, it’s really simple, it is the complete state of mind of a person, that is, the totality of a person’s physical, spiritual and emotional state of mind. So basically, when you’re asked about your mental health, you're being asked about your general wellbeing.
Now that you know this, how would you describe your mental health on a scale of 1-10? I have outlined a few pointers to help you answer this and It’s okay for you to take your time to assess how you’re feeling before you answer, no pressure;
- Do you feel motivated?
- What’s your current state of mind?
- How often do you feel the need to recharge yourself or gain clarity about situations?
- Are you happy, sad, or grumpy most of the time?
- Are you confused about things that seem pretty clear
- Do you feel like you need to take a break from life or people?
- How often do prioritize or acknowledge your feelings however valid or not?
Answering these questions truthfully will help put into perspective the current state of your mental health. Whatever be your answer, know that it’s okay to not be okay (P.S this is probably the most underrated piece of advice you will ever hear)
Oftentimes, as humans we expect only to feel good and understandably so because nobody likes to feel bad or gloat but I’m here to tell you that in fact, we cannot always be alright, things will not always work out the way we plan and even that is okay because how then do you intend to appreciate life for what it is? One of my favorite motivational quotes of all time happens to be the one that talks about nothing lasting forever because guess what nothing does! It is just what it is, feelings, situations, and even life itself is fleeting so no matter what you may be experiencing right now it will eventually pass.
The COVID pandemic is a practical example, although there is word of a new variant (OMICRON) the fear and utter discomfort the human race experienced in its wake can be seen to have declined owing to the time spent trying to come up with a vaccine while of course observing stipulated COVID rules for survival, now although it seemed as though most of us wouldn’t make it through one of the most depressing and deadliest pandemics of all time look who survived and is thriving, that’s right, You! Yes! you dear reader. This only proves that indeed nothing lasts forever, not the pandemic and certainly not whatever is causing you to worry and stress.
The festive season is officially here and while many will be having a good time so many others may experience a decline in their mental health for various reasons which could include peer pressure, lack of basic needs, unpaid debts, family to celebrate with, loss of loved ones, etc. If you happen to fall under any of these categories of people, first of all, you need to know that you will be fine and you’ll push through no matter how difficult your situation may be.
More importantly, I have curated some healthy ways for you to prioritize your mental health to get through this holiday season and we explore them in the paragraphs below;
No, You Don’t Have To Go Out Just Because;
The last thing you want to do knowing that you’re not feeling your best is to just up and leave when all you want and may need to do is take some time off to process your thoughts. A part of feeling or getting better requires you to admit or acknowledge that all is not well and then process what might have triggered what you’re feeling but how can you do this when at the slightest mention of some event or hang out you’re off.
Prioritize Your Physical Health;
The easiest way to mess with your mental health is to be careless with your physical health, it is why they are intertwined and can’t be separated. The reason why a lot of people think they are depressed is sometimes that they feel physically incapacitated due to an illness or condition which leaves them feeling helpless, so if you’re starting to feel funny, ill, or unhealthy, you might want to get that checked. Oh! and lest I forget, Get Your COVID Vaccination Shot already!
It’s Okay to Say NO;
Being a people pleaser more often than none means that you’re going to be mentally and emotionally spent, trust me. It is exhausting trying to please everyone, and even if you tried you don’t need to be told you can certainly not please everyone all of the time. So please say no when you mean to say No!
Spend Time with Only People Who Value Your Mental Health;
It is so often said to go where the love is but for some reason reverse mostly is the case as we tend to gravitate more to those who have a problem doing the barest minimum in terms of caring about our wellbeing. Spend as much time as you can with friends, family, and loved ones this season, you have no idea how much that can do for your mental health but I honestly wish that you find out.
Don’t Put Yourself Under the Pressure to Splurge On Items You Do Not Need;
The festive season is known to bring along with it a lot of financial pressure, the least you can do is not add to that pressure. So say you already came up with a list, take another look at it and rule out any and everything you do not need, remember that you are not in competition with anyone and January has 5weeks. Live within your means!
Try Engaging In Some Fun Outdoor/Indoor Activities;
A good way to enhance your mental health is to do things you love and this could simply mean engaging in some of your favorite fun activities which may include indoor or outdoor games, karaoke, going on fun adventures, etc.
Finally, allow yourself to experience the joy that Christmas brings, and do not let anything or anyone dim your light, you deserve everything good, and everything good will come with the right mindset. Here’s wishing you the very best of this festive season, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year in Advance!