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LIFESTYLE & WELL BEING

Some dos and don’ts that you must follow to take care of your mental health

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Nov 03, 2022 10:00 PM

Read Time: 3 minute



In a welcome change, mental health has come to be recognised as an important aspect of one's overall well-being over the years. While experts acknowledge that there is still a long way to go, they recognise and appreciate the small changes that have occurred. However, it is equally important on this journey to recognise and understand the warning signs and to seek help when necessary, for yourself or those around you. As a result, we contacted Shweta Puri, a counselling psychologist, who advised us on some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when caring for one's mental health.

Do's

1. Take good care of your body as mental health is linked to your physical health.

It is essential to exercise daily, practise good sleep hygiene, and consume anti-inflammatory foods to keep your body nourished and in good shape so that it can produce the appropriate amounts of cortisol (the stress hormone) and dopamine (the happy hormone).

2. Be your own best friend and be kind to yourself in the midst of a difficult situation.
We are often good friends to others, but we are extremely harsh and critical of ourselves. Remember, we are all human and will make mistakes; this is how we learn and grow.

3. Connect with others. Remember, a man is a social animal and we have evolved to be a part of society. Ensure you are connected to friends and family, even pets and plants.

During the pandemic, we all realized the value of having support from family and friends, as well as staying connected with one another. So do it. However, focus on the quality of people rather than the quantity — be with those who see you for who you are.

4. Talk about your feelings and provide others a safe space to talk about theirs as well.
However, don’t try to give advice to people who are having severe mental health issues — always urge them to go to a professional.

5. Journal your thoughts on a daily basis.

We used to keep a "Dear Diary" as kids to help us cope with bad days and enjoy the good ones; the same exercise can be beneficial now. Journaling your thoughts freely and openly is an excellent way to download and dismiss ideas as needed. It is an efficient method for keeping us in touch with the present moment and less cognitively fused to the past.

Don'ts

1. Invalidate the feelings of others by telling them things like ‘snap out of it’ when they are stressed or depressed.

The truth is, we can never fully understand or know what a person is feeling. However, we can be there for them while they are feeling those things, and try to guide them to seek professional help, or even just do their favourite self-care activities with them. We can’t always take away the darkness in a person’s world but we can sit with them in the dark.

2. Assign mental health as a gender specific illness.

Men are just as much prone to mental health battles as women.

3. Stigmatise the use of medications for mental illness.

Don't believe the myth that mental health medications make you dull and sluggish. Just as you would not question the use of blood pressure and diabetes medications, please allow professionals to assess the need, duration, and dosage of medications.

4. Use mental illness terms casually.

You do not have ‘OCD’ if you like things to be neat, you are not ‘anorexic’ if you don’t eat as much on a certain day. Also don’t use words like lunatic and psychotic casually.

5. Belittle a person who is struggling with their mental health and deny them equal opportunities in the world.

They can participate equally in all aspects of life. They are not less than. They are not insane. Be accommodating, understanding, and compassionate. Help them be the best version of themselves, encourage them to seek professional help, and be gentle with them. You may never fully comprehend the gravity of a person's battle, but you can avoid adding to their load and making it heavier.

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