Sunday, January 29, 2023 | Rajab 6, 1444 H
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No health without mental health

October 10th marked the World Mental Health Day. A day designated by the World Health Organization to raise awareness about mental health and its importance in our lives.

The theme this year is ensuring mental health and well-being for all becomes a global priority, but it starts with prioritising once own mental health.

Covid-19 pandemic led to many people experiencing loneliness and isolation.

Many people lost their jobs due to the closure and the financial impact of the pandemic.

This became another source of stress leading to an increase in the number of people experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

As we head towards winter we hear news about a possible increase in the risk of Covid cases rising up.

Such news makes us feel apprehensive and concerned about going back to the same situation we experienced during Covid. However, knowing that most of us have received the vaccine and that at present Covid symptoms are similar to the flu we often get during winter time makes us feel reassured.

In general, psychologists suggest a few tips to maintain a positive mental health.

The first step is to stay connected with other people, be it face-to-face or virtually, you should not suffer alone in silence.

Some people feel that talking to others about their emotions may burden the person listening or they worry that others will think of them as weak and attention seekers while in fact sharing with others is likely to reduce your distress.

Knowing that there is a caring person who would listen to you and not judge you can be therapeutic in itself.

Sometimes you only need to be acknowledged by others and your feelings to be validated.

The next tip is to keep physically active.

We all know that physical activities help your body release happiness hormones that balance your mood and help you cope with daily stress.

Recent studies show that regular exercise is not only good for your heart, but also good for your brain and can help in preventing the onset of memory problems like Alzheimer’s disease.

The third tip is practicing mindfulness which means living in the moment.

Most of us feel distracted all the time with our brains drifting in recalling the past or fantasising about the future.

There are several techniques that can help us practice mindfulness ranging from breathing exercises to meditation and yoga which understandably may not be for everyone to find the type of mindfulness that is suitable and keep it up.

The fourth tip is learning a new skill be it a new language or a craft or a new hobby that you always wanted to practice but never had the time.

It can be as simple as learning to paint or playing musical instruments, or even gardening.

Finally, giving to others is a source of happiness that is often neglected or limited to donating money to charities which does not have to be the only way.

You can share your knowledge with others by volunteering to teach something you are good at or helping in cleaning beaches or building houses for the poor.

Everyone agrees with your skills and physical abilities.

Volunteering would also connect you with others who have similar interests which then widens your social network.

Finally, remember that all the tips mentioned above need perseverance and well-power as it’s easy to slip down to sitting alone feeling miserable and turning to bad habits to work out your frustration.

Stay positive and remember that you are not alone.

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