We are now entering 2022 a new year loaded with growing uncertainty, our mental health and sense of well-being and basic wits are being tried again. It’s OK and quite normal to start the year unsure about how to claim your mental wellbeing or by just simply owning up to the fact that you are not in the best place still. One good thing that has come out of these last two years with the pandemic is that Mental Awareness is no longer a subdued topic. The world has opened up global conversations about how to provide more widespread and culturally relevant mental health support for all people of all ages. What is especially concerning is growing concerns over the emerging youth mental health crisis in the world.
To start with, it’s very important to normalize discussions about mental health with the young, and old alike. and to share how crucial just as physical health is to also have a focus on gaining positive mental health. Only a sound mind can lead you to a sound body. Mental health usually encompasses emotional, social and psychological well-being. With the pandemic still raging now more than ever, it’s essential to normalize discussions about mental health.
Here are 8 simple steps you can take to improve your mental well-being.
STEP 1: Be Easy On Yourself
You might often find it difficult to be compassionate for yourself. You live a busy life and try to reach every goal you set. Be it, getting all A’s in your exams or getting the job you really want, you always put yourself through the mill. Try to be a little nice to yourself, take small steps, and set realistic goals. If you fail, try again and be proud about hanging on to your aspirations.
STEP 2: Find Your Community And Build Connections With People You Love
It is scientifically proven that you need social interaction for a healthy mind. Building healthy relationships with friends and peers who motivate you to become a more positive person is very important. The right circle of community can understand and support you, and help you feel worthy and loved. Here are a few ways you can start connecting with your tribe:
- Take out some time each day to spend with your family. If you don’t have one then try visiting the neighbors next door. Give them a call, share a conversation or simply invite them over a casual dinner.
- Share your thoughts with people you love and trust. Blow off some steam with them, seek advice and good counsel and mindfully exercise some of that counsel if you think it will work for you.
- Arrange a small get-together with your friends once in a while, if you are working touch base with your friends once every two weeks over a cup of coffee or find time to go shopping, watch a movie, or have a nice day out with them.
- Keep a check on your family and friends. If they’re sick, pay them a visit. Be there for people who need you.
- Send a message to a friend you haven’t interacted with in a while.
STEP 3: Practice Gratitude
One very simple and easy step to feeling happy is practicing gratitude. Genuinely expressing appreciation for something you find good helps to elevate your emotional well-being. You should not only be grateful to others but also to yourself. Be thankful for the life you have and compliment yourself for the little things you do each day. You will start feeling a shift in your overall well being.
STEP 4: Explore New Skills
You can never truly know if you love playing the guitar unless you try it. Exploring new skills and techniques can bring great opportunities, and is very therapeutic in it’s own way. Try investing your time in something new and fun that comes nearest to your interest. This will help unravel great potentials in you and keep you busy, away from negativity.
STEP 5: Take Good Care Of Yourself.
Self-care and attention are vital for a healthy mind. Try to build this happy and healthy relationship with yourself. Start by doing a quick mental health assessment check. Observe your mood at different times of the day, check your energy levels and your sleep cycle. Once you have some awareness of your mental state then make a light action plan to incorporate quick and easy ways to improve mental health. Practice some daily activities in each area and do things you love. Try to enjoy a cup of coffee with that book that’s been collecting dust on your side table. Take an afternoon nap. Get some D with outdoor stroll and catch some ray of the early morning sun. Take a few minutes to meditate daily, take a walk in fresh air and adopt good productive habits and watch the magical improvement in your mental health.
Step 6: Seek Some Therapy Or Reach Out
Sometimes you can practice all the self care hacks out there and still not feel that great in that case try to seek professional therapy or help. If you can’t afford professional therapy services, you can look for support and other options in your community. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your workplace, school or place of worship such as the jamaat khana or church to seek a session with your religious leader. You can be surprised with what a spiritual session can do for your soul and well being.
STEP 7: Be Generous
As much as it is important to care for yourself, it is also necessary to look out for others. Participating in social welfare activities can help you boost your self-esteem and confidence. Give charity to the needy. Helping others in their hard times brings a great sense of achievement and can make you feel good about yourself, like very few other selfless acts out there.
Ever bought small token gifts for friends and family without the need of an occasion? A small notebook, a slice of cake or cup of coffee can add cheer to anyone's day and can really help reduce their and your mental stress.
STEP 8: Stay Positive And Hopeful
Yes we conclude with an oft -cited advice but as cliche as it sounds but being hopeful remains as one of the most powerful tools to stay in a good headspace. Try to look at the brighter side of any picture. No matter how hard your situation is, believe in yourself. We all have the strength to make through most difficult journeys ourselves. Take every failure as a lesson, learn from it and always try to be hopeful for good things to come, and remember to raise your hand and seek help without shame or doubt. We are all in this together.