I understand what you are growing through. I can feel it in my own body. I know it gets so hard sometimes that it is difficult to even breathe.
I wonder why mental health is a stigma vs physical health is of crucial importance. Why would our parents not teach us to maintain mental health just like our physical health?
My argument is that mental health is at the very core of the troubled times we are living in. Look at the world around you — suffering from poverty, climate conditions, water scarcity, etc. How did we come so far? Is it not because people leading us, suffer from mental health issues and cannot make the right decisions?
Sometimes I sit and wonder if all the best brains lived to make this world a better place — where would we be today?
Mental health disorders are not only troublesome but can also prove to be fatal. And these are not small problems — that is what I hear people say. People with “bigger” problems too have mental health issues and hence they suffer. So, what can we do? In this blog, I want to share a few tips that help me. Although it truly depends on what condition(s) you suffer and what you are going through.
In my previous blogs, I explained how I came to realize that I have Trichotillomania, Excoriation, and Dermatophagia since childhood. So, gang members, join me in raising the veil.
1. Get yourself diagnosed. I keep repeating this in every blog. Google is not a doctor and certainly does not know what you are feeling. It gives you a response based on certain algorithms, and I am certain you want more than that. Please visit a reputable and experienced psychiatrist who can directly point out your disorders.
2. Let the feelings come to you. Do not run away. I made this mistake in the past and never let myself confront my feelings. Today, whenever I feel heavy, I just sit down and talk to myself! I put everything across the table and then reason with myself if what I am feeling is worth the stress.
3. Add meditation to your daily routine. Honestly, I never believed this will help, but it does. And there is no rocket science in meditating — do not make it technical. Just sit, relax, and focus on one object that you see. It is okay that you will not be able to do this for more than 30 seconds on your first day, even the first week, but eventually, you will be able to train your brain to follow you and not otherwise. Linking my favorite guided meditation video — but you do not have to do the full 15 mins daily. Even 2 mins are good to start with.
4. Improve your diet and water intake. Yes, it works. I have experimented with this on myself. The days I indulge in sugar are the days I am most depressed. Not because I feel guilty but because sugar sucks all the energy that I might otherwise have. Then again, the days I drink ample water I feel so fresh. Just make small changes. Do not book a nutritionist appointment right away (although it is not a bad idea) but take small and sustainable steps.
5. Remove digital distractions. This is so crucial. Based on my life experience, removing digital distractions enables you to become mentally strong. Remember, when your brain is not watching a movie, replying to a text message, or listening to a podcast or a song, that time your brain will have the potential to listen to you. So, utilize it. My understanding is that watching videos, movies, texting is making you procrastinate and will further damage your mental health. So be on guard and enable the best in your environment.
6. Read ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma. I know you are not in a state to read. But you just came this far. If you can read my blog, the book itself is manageable. And trust me — the book is helpful. Why? Because it is the only book, I found to date, to have included very tactical and practical tips for maintaining a healthy mental balance keeping in mind our daily hush rush routine. Bonus point — each chapter has a summary of all the tips that you can just click a picture and keep on your phone if you want.
No, there will be no perfect time. It is today and now that you can start. You will not be able to do everything in one day and even if you do, the habit will not be sustainable. Start slow — one step at a time — one day at a time. All my tips are generic, and you can find that everyone talks about the same thing. It is because there is no secret recipe. This is what it is, and you will have to struggle to make it right for yourself. Remember, what does not kill you will only make you stronger.
What you are feeling is temporary and you will be free and happy.