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Important Mental Health questions to ask yourself

The pandemic hedged people inside their homes for the last two years and everyone had to adjust to drastic changes in a short span of time. The prolonged uncertainty caused due to pandemic has caused a disruption in our social fabric.

In 2019, nearly a billion people were already struggling with poor mental health. Followed by COVID-19 in 2020, which further escalated the issue of poor mental health within communities around the globe. Depression and anxiety went up by more than 25% in the first year of the pandemic itself.

The numbers are growing, yet the majority of the population is hesitant when it comes to seeking help for mental well-being. Isolation, a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy and irregular eating, change in daily routine, home-schooling of children, increased screen time and lack of physical activity surely affect our physical health but also have a significant effect on our mental health. 

However, over the years the term mental health has become a familiar phrase. More and more people are becoming aware of their own mental health and its importance in every person's life.

Mental Health Awareness month

October is Mental Health Awareness month. It's a great time to recognize the importance of our mental health and learn more about what we can do to keep it healthy. You can help by asking yourself some questions about your mental health.

1. Physically and mentally, how am I feeling today?
Mental well-being and physical health are interconnected. Stress, anxiety and depression; these mental health problems have a way of manifesting physically in the form of fatigue, chronic headaches, heartburn, nausea, difficulty in sleeping etc. We often tend to neglect these signs as just physical exhaustion. Check-in on your mental health, and observe the physical signs of your mental well-being. Practice meditation or deep breathing techniques to ease your stress. If you are unable to analyse and assess the situation a quick consultation with the doctor is recommended.

2. What’s been weighing me down lately?
We are often aware of physical stress but do not take a moment to evaluate the reason behind what is weighing us down. It could be anything, your work, family, friends, financial issues, poor health or even a combination of multiple issues. The first step towards finding a solution is to identify what the problem is.  Notice what triggers you. Maintain a journal to keep a track of your mood and identify your stressors.

If you are unable to identify what is causing you stress or negative feelings, talk to a therapist or a psychiatrist.

3. Am I taking care of my body’s basic needs?
It is very common to ignore the obvious. We consume food every day, but is it providing the nutrition that our body needs? Check how balanced your diet is. Does it include all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for an active healthy body?

Are you getting enough exercise on a regular basis? In our busy schedule, exercise is the first thing we tend to skip. However, your mental and physical well-being is interlinked. Get moving every day, start with a brisk walk. It is a simple yet effective way to stay healthy.

A good 7 to 8-hour sleep is important for a healthy mind and body. Your body rejuvenates and repairs itself while you are asleep. Notice your sleep pattern. Having trouble sleeping could be a sign of depression and inadequate sleep can lead to chronic health problems.

4. What can I do to bring myself joy?
With busy schedules, it is difficult to set time aside for yourself. But uninterrupted me-time is crucial to unwind and unplug. Your me-time can include activities that bring you joy, such as writing a gratitude journal, weekend getaway trips, spending time with your pet, reading a book, cooking or even taking a 10-15 minute stroll in the park.

Doing things that bring you joy can help you relieve stress, and improve your overall mood and patience level. So, set aside time for yourself, even if it is for 15 mins every day to improve your mental health.

Improve your mental health

Maintaining your mental health is vital to a successful life and career. In order to keep at bay any negative thoughts or feelings, it's crucial you actively practise self-care. You may find asking yourself questions about your mental health strange or daunting at first, but we hope this article will help ease some of those fears.

Your mental health is important. Be kind to your mind. Learn more about how you can improve your mental health here.