I want this blog to be about health as well as mental illnesses so I want to talk to you about taking care of your mental health. I was quite ignorant before I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety issues. I didn’t really take notice of “mental health”, I’d ignored it, thinking it would never apply to me. What I was not aware of was that it applies to everyone, if you have a brain, your mental health matters.
We all know it is important to take care of our bodies. We try to consume as much water as possible, wash our hands daily and wear seatbelts in cars. Taking care of things like these maintain our physical health, but what about our mental health? Our brains are not only part of our body, they are an extremely important part of our body. They control the movements and retain information, they also house emotions and that’s where mental health comes in.
My lacking ability to control my emotions was one of my first indicators that my mental health was suffering. General stress and University work was building up and instead of dealing with it I would lock it away and cry when I was alone. I’d think I was doing well as I was getting my work finished on time, but the tiniest of things would make me angry or burst into tears. My overpowering emotions were starting to interfere with my day-to-day life; I was shutting people out, holding back tears in lectures and having panic attacks at night. I was exhausted both mentally and physically and that’s when I asked for help.
Since being diagnosed, I have learnt a few key points about taking care of my mental health:
- Telling yourself “things will be ok, there is no reason to cry” does help, but only to an extent, if we are struggling we need professional help.
- All emotions, whether pleasant or unpleasant are normal to feel.
- Hiding or ignoring emotions doesn’t help. They will slowly build up until we can’t take it anymore.
- We can change the way we deal with our feelings in a healthy way, it just takes some time.
This is a huge, varied topic and this blog will explore it much more, but I just wanted to express how important mental health is. Balance is so important, if we’ve had a bad day we need to make sure we give ourselves a reason to smile. Talking about why we’re angry will help put that anger to rest. A lot of things we do without thinking are ways in which we balance our emotions.
Although you can’t see mental health, this does not mean we should not try to take care of it like we do our physical health. Don’t be ignorant to it like I once was and please take care of your mental health.
*This blog is assuming people reading this have a brain, any zombies present please ignore.