Mental health and self-care With the world in an uproar, it is quite easy to start focusing solely on physical well-being. We wash our hands; we wear masks, sanitize around every corner, but what about your mental health? Levels of anxiety, isolation, fear, uncertainty, and emotional distress have become higher and higher as the world struggles to find a pandemic solution. The world’s mental health picture is very bleak—with over 800 000 people a year dying from suicide. This gloomy picture necessitates that we ensure that mental health is prioritised now more than ever before.1 World Mental Health day is 10 October 2020 and the theme is “mental health for all”. Why don’t you start with yourself? There are certain signs and symptoms associated with poor mental health, and one must be aware of them for treatment to be sought as soon as possible:
If you are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, it may be a good idea to see your GP to have a check-up and check-in.
It is essential to practice ‘self-care’.
Sleep (or lack thereof) affects you both physically and emotionally. It’s easy to get into a bad sleeping pattern, but luckily, there are ways to remedy this. Sleep hygiene will be your most important factor. Think about your nightly routine—it is mostly what sets your body up to go to sleep. Cutting off screen-time an hour before bed is essential as the blue light from electronics keeps your brain from shutting itself off for the night. Black-out curtains will also help you not awaken too early from the morning sunshine.
Self-care isn’t always easy. Maybe you have a very demanding job, children, or both. We are also increasingly getting tied up in technology when we should be looking after ourselves. Of course, there is also the guilt factor…guilt about taking time for yourself. But for you to be healthy and happy, you have to take some time for yourself. Getting started with self-care can be challenging, but it becomes as important as any other measures you take to ensure health as we progress further into the pandemic.