By Apollo 24/7, Published on - 06 October 2021
Did you know?
Mental health can be described as the overall emotional and psychological well-being of an individual or group of individuals. Having good mental health has a positive impact on a person’s thinking, feelings, and behavior. It is an essential aspect of a happy and healthy life.
Occasionally, many of us experience occasional mental health concerns. However, when a mental health concern becomes chronic and starts affecting the ability to lead a normal life, it may be an indicator of an underlying mental disorder.
Every year, 10th October is celebrated as World Mental Health Day to raise awareness about mental illness and its effect on people’s lives worldwide. The day is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and was first celebrated in 1992. The theme for World Mental Health Day this year is “Mental health in an unequal world”. The theme was chosen to highlight the unequal access to mental health services which has grown even more during the pandemic.
According to the WFMH, around 75% to 95% of people with mental health disorders in low- and middle-income countries have no access to mental health services at all. Access to the services does not look better even in high-income countries due to the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illnesses.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of poor mental health are:
COVID-19 has brought about a dramatic change in our lives. Several of the following aspects of the ‘new normal’ are believed to have played a role in triggering the mental health crisis:
Align your focus on the positive things in life. Make a list of things you are thankful for. Try to maintain a sense of hope, avoid negative speculations, and accept changes as they take place.
Maintaining a regular schedule is important for good mental health. By sticking to a fixed schedule, you can infuse an element of predictability into your life. Predictability will make you feel more in control of things.
Regular exercise and physical activity are known to help reduce stress and improve mood. Focus on activities such as yoga, bodyweight training, dance, etc. that can be at home.
Consume a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Avoid intake of refined carbs, processed foods, and sweetened beverages. Avoid caffeinated beverages as they can aggravate stress and anxiety.
Maintain a sleeping pattern. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Smoking is known to increase the risk of lung disease. Since COVID-19 affects the lungs, smokers are at a greater risk of severe complications. Avoid intake of alcohol as it can adversely affect coping skills and mental health.
Reduce the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to the news on TV and social media. Constantly hearing news about the pandemic can heighten fears and anxiety. Only refer to reliable sources like MoHFW or Apollo 247 for the latest updates
Spare some time for yourself. Adopt habits that help reduce stress and anxiety. Deep breathing and meditation are some of the things that you can consider to calm your mind. You can also listen to soothing music or read a book to relax.
People who are struggling to cope with stress and anxiety or are experiencing symptoms of poor mental health should consult a specialist. Hoping for mental health problems to resolve on their own can lead to poor outcomes. Ask for help when you need it.
World Mental Health Day highlights the pressing need for paying attention to mental health amid the fight against the pandemic. As per the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (2017), around 20 crore Indians suffer from mental disorders. Out of these, around 80% do not get treatment for a long time, affecting livelihood opportunities and education. It is time the importance of mental health is realized and medical attention is sought if anyone undergoes emotional distress.
For any questions relating to mental health, consult a mental health expert.
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