10th October 2020 is World Mental Health Day with the theme ‘’Mental Health For All’, one that reminds all of us to take a step back and look at what’s important in our day to day lives, priorities that we work towards to, challenges that we face, our strengths and shortfalls – but most of all not forgetting to make sure that we are still taking care of ourselves and our mental health while wherever possible being a support to others that may need our help.
No matter how much we tell ourselves – I am mentally fit or I don’t have a mental health issue, I am sure you would agree with me that we all have times when we feel a bit down, perhaps emotional, over whelmed, stressed or find ourselves going into a cocoon.
Most often these feelings are temporary and is perfectly normal to have but one important thing that we all need to remember is, our Mental Health does not stay always the same, it is situational and changes based on our day to day life. The beauty though is that we as humans are resilient and can bounce back, sometimes it’s easier to do so while certain other times it takes longer depending on the situation and we need a little help along the way to understand where we need support and resources to help us get through these difficult times.
Going through COVID 19 has not been easy for all – with changes to a new way of living, getting into a routine of working from home whilst juggling family, childcare, home schooling and work in the same space, virtual fatigue, standing in our kitchens wondering, hmmm what’s for dinner today and racking our brains to come up with an idea to make it a little different from the previous one, being away from family and friends, making sure to not step on our partner’s toes (at least not every now and then), being a carer, having to deal with loss and grief, making sure that you don’t burn out with trying to do the best that you can and I’m sure there’s much more…
There is a certain stigma attached to the way we perceive Mental Health – being uncomfortable and not talking enough about it, but a lot is changing and we are seeing a much more openness to the fact that many go through mental health issues in some form or the other.
Here’s me sharing my little story. Very recently I had been through a difficult phase of loss and grief with my Dad’s passing, a few weeks in and I knew that I was not the person I used to be as was finding it hard to cope with the loss, I knew that if I did not do something about it and seek help I would find it very difficult to cope. So there I was seeking help from someone who was referred to me by a very supportive network that I had at the time and to my own benefit – the realisation, taking the necessary steps and talking about it has helped immensely.
I’m sure many of you too would have or are still coping with the challenges that the pandemic has brought in and managing our mental energy is not an easy task. But the first step you can take is to invest in yourself and your wellbeing that can in turn help you or even extend support to someone who needs it.
I am the kind that’s always on the look out for resources that can help me personally and share it with others too. I came across some really good resources that I feel could be beneficial for anyone. The below are all from LinkedIn and are available to access for free until 18th October or can also be accessed via LI learning, they have a 30-day free / cancel at any time subscription option. If you already have a LI premium account, you can access them for free anytime. Take a look
- Supporting Mental Health while working from Home
- Enhancing Resilience
- Avoiding Burnout
- Managing Emotions at Work (during WFH)
- Mindful Meditations for Work and Life
- Dealing with grief, loss and change
Some additional ways in which you can keep a good mental health check
- Talk about your feelings – Talk to a friend, your colleagues, your line manager / Head of Department or even with your HR department
- Make a note – if it helps, keep a diary with daily notes of how you’re feeling and what affirmative steps you take.
- Meditation and Mindfulness – There are many apps like Calm that you can use or even check out mindfulness sessions.
I hope you find this post and some of the resources useful, remember always that we all go through highs and lows but it’s healthy to know how your feeling and to express your feelings.