A year and a half of being locked up at home, unable to leave freely. A year and a half of learning to be alone, without physical contact and socialize. A year and a half of feeling strong emotions: loneliness, sadness, anxiety, panic, worry. But above all, a year and a half full of reflections, learnings and experiences that will always be carried in the heart.
Human beings are social beings, we are used to making a number of daily interactions to feel good and be happy, and we need others to feel motivation, affection and trust. The pandemic came to turn our lives upside down and stay. Because not only did it represent a disease like any other, but it represented an interruption in social and relational processes, and with it, a strong impact on our mental health.
Today October 10 is World Mental Health Day and we would like to share some important statistics and information with you. Read on to discover some thoughts on this important topic and find ways to deal with mental health in a healthy way for your well-being.
What is mental health?
Mental health is a state of emotional, mental and social well-being. And it has to do with everything that is related to our mind: emotions, feelings, and affects our integral way of acting: both thinking and feeling, as well as the way we relate, work and make decisions.
Mental health as priority
Unfortunately, mental health remains a taboo subject in the middle of 2021, as it is not given the necessary importance. Various factors such as culture and society have created an erroneous vision of mental health, where it is perceived as a state of mental weakness of which we must be ashamed, since it is normal not to suffer any type of mental disorder.
But reality is not like that. The field of mental health is immensely broad, and it is not black and white, you don't have it or not have it, absolutely all of us are affected in a negative way at some point in our lives and we will find different stages of mental health. Family problems, difficult days at work, world events, it is absolutely normal to have periods of depression and sadness. The key lies in learning to deal with what we feel so that this does not get worsen.
Mental health during pandemic
Unfortunately, during the pandemic, the mental health of many citizens has worsened due to all the external stressful circumstances that are being experienced. Grief processes, economic crises, uncertainty, all this has led to a joint increase in mental health problems. Statistics indicate that suicidal thoughts have increased up to 15% universally, as well as stress and anxiety; and the people most affected are young adults and people with unfavorable economic situations. Something so common deserves that we do something about it ...
How to raise awareness about mental health?
It is a fact that the social construction of mental health is erroneous, since it is not seen as a responsibility of a collective nature but of an individual nature. However, we live in one community and everything we build affects the other.
Education: The basis of everything
It is necessary to change the way in which it is taught (if it is taught) to feel and control emotions in a healthy way, as well as express them and know their severity. Most people with mental illness are not treated for not knowing how to detect them. And most of the affectations could be avoided with an early detection.
First, we can learn to detect our problems and be more aware of them. For this, it is important to take care of our health in a comprehensive way. Do a daily check-up, just as you would physically, of how you feel mentally. Ask yourself questions like How do I feel today? Why did this make me feel bad? What I can do to feel better? What is the best way to deal with this situation?
Being able to determine the type of difficulties and the correct way to face them can be a great factor in the appearance or not of some emotional or psychological disorder. So find your way to free yourself, there are many: writing, swimming, running, listening to music, talking to someone, going to therapy, seeing new places. Think about which one helps you clear your mind and remove all that you carry within without being negatively affected.
Second, we must foster a culture of empathy, and create safe spaces where all people can talk about whatever they feel in order to seek the necessary help and comfort. So, let those around you know that they can count on you for what they need, and that you will not judge them when they tell you what they are going through. Do it the same as you would like someone to be for you in your worst moments. Asking how are you? and saying "you can count on me" cost nothing and can make all the difference.
To sum up
So, mental health is creating a safe, aware and empathetic environment. It is being able to ask for help and not feel stigmata. It is to receive spaces for help and listening. It is having the tools and resources necessary to receive treatment. It is putting as a priority what makes us enjoy life and function. It is to eliminate the concept of "normality" because there are different realities and points of view of living.
And you, how do you take care of your mental health? What do you do to support your loved ones when they are in trouble?
Mental health is everyone's problem. So we invite you to put into practice what you read in this blog and spread awareness about this important issue. And remember: mental health DOES matter.