It has been a bit more than 3 years since The Soulful Nib came to life. You have always read optimistic, motivating, and generally cheerful blog posts here. But not this one. This blog post is a reality check.
There have been a couple of blog posts here about health (read: physical health) which you can read here:
Look around you. You see tonnes of people who are extremely conscious about their health. They diligently work out regularly. Walking, jogging, running, yoga, and of late, Zumba and Pilates. You name it and you get it. In fact, the whole fitness industry is booming and at an all-time high. There are apps which you can download on your phone which give you access to a virtual fitness coach too!
While we are all getting fitter and stronger physically, don’t you think we are missing out on something here?
Mental Health. Yes. Mental Health.
In this age, everyone is in a rush to accomplish their goals. While it is great to be ambitious, we need to realise that we should not compromise our health at any cost. Again, not just physical health. But mental health as well.
Imagine this scenario. You’re achieving all that you had planned at break-neck speed. You have all the comforts and luxuries you dreamt of having. A fat paycheck, the best brands in your closet.
But one day, the whistle blows. You start feeling burned out, exhausted, irritable, snappy. You start losing interest in all the activities you previously enjoyed indulging in.
What went wrong here? Everything seems perfect!
Uh-huh! You completely forgot about one main aspect in your life that needed the most care. Your mental well-being.
We do all that’s possible to get in good shape physically. But we completely ignore our mind in all the hustle and bustle.
Our brain is a powerful machine. We ensure regular maintenance and care for all the appliances and electronics we use in our everyday lives. But we forget that the most important of it all too needs regular maintenance. Our mind.
And how can we do this?
Firstly, we should ingrain it in ourselves that it is okay to not work like a machine every single day. Acknowledge the fact that not every day is the same. You do not have to be productive each day. IT IS OKAY.
It is really strange why we think that we have to push ourselves to do so much work. We feel guilty when we take a day off, laze around and do absolutely nothing. Relaxing and unwinding is an art. Really.
Yes, we are busy people who lead busy lives. But is anything more important than your mental balance? Of what use are all the accomplishments when you only feel dread at the end of each day?
Ours is a society where no one bats an eyelid when we say you have aches and pains in your body. But, when it comes to having troubles with your mind, all you can hear are hushed whispers.
Anxiety, stress, depression and so many mental health issues have been on a rise of late. Are we doing something wrong? Or are we in a rat race to be nothing but the best?
There may be so many people around you who are battling their own minds. Some may even find the courage to tell that they’re struggling. Do NOT tell them that it’s just their imagination and overthinking. No, it isn’t. Anxiety can creep in without any notice, and without any reason. Do NOT label them as weak.
In fact, the people who are fighting these issues are the strongest of all.
What can we possibly do for our mental well-being?
Technology has given us so many amazing conveniences at our disposal. So why not make use of it?
There is this lovely app called Headspace. You can choose from a wide variety of meditations. The whole user interface is cheerful and instantly brings a smile across your face. This is not a sponsored post, by the way. 😄
If not every day, feed your soul with all that truly makes you happy and calms you down, every once in a while. Hobbies which take your mind off of all the stress. It could be as simple as taking a walk around the neighbourhood or listening to your favourite music. Or even bingeing on your favourite shows on Netflix! 😛
Self-care is heavily underrated in our society. We have been taught to always be giving and make sacrifices for others. Selflessness is revered whereas even a tiny bit of selfishness is looked down upon. Frankly speaking, we must be a bit more selfish at times. Especially when it comes to our peace of mind. It is okay to say no when you do not feel like attending an event or mingling with people.
It will be a hard time to re-condition ourselves to be a little less hard on ourselves. We need to learn to let go and take things easy.
But at the same time, we need to remember that we are social animals too. We were born to mingle with people. A great way to keep your mental health in check would be to talk more. Funny that I am saying this because I’m quite introverted and hesitate to share what’s on my mind. However, there is nothing more relieving than talking your heart out. We all have at least one person in our life with whom we can share all that’s bothering us without any hesitation. So, go find that person, it could be your parents, sibling, friends. Anyone. Nothing is more satisfying than talking about your worries and anxieties.
Long story short, we should remember that NOTHING is more important than our mental health. NOTHING. Not even your job. Work is important. But not at the cost of your peace. We do not gain any good by putting our mental health at stake.
We need to learn to relax and unwind. Give ourselves some “me-time.” And stop fretting about everything that is wrong in our life. Rather celebrate small wins. And when I say it this time, I truly mean it.
Until next time, stay blessed!
Image via Headspace