Steps to Mental Health Care

For workers to care for their mental health, we must take steps towards Self-Love & Self-Care. Understand that we will not be able to love and care for those who matter if we cannot care for ourselves. Therefore steps towards maintaining ourselves at our best are essential and even more crucial at present, as I will list below.

1) Acceptance
Life is full of pitfalls and challenges, and therefore we must be realistic and brace ourselves to accept that situations and circumstances are not always within our control. Accept the fact mentally, emotionally, and physically that we cannot foresee what is ahead at certain times. Accepting this will allow our subconscious to acknowledge that sometimes what we can do may be limited despite our best efforts. Be content that we have committed and have given and done our best in all that we do so that we will not have to look back with regrets. At times, the best that we can do is take one step at a time and go with the flow. Resist controlling what we cannot and trust the process.

2) Be Efficient and Productive
Obtain complete instructions and detailed information before embarking on an assignment to prevent the inconvenience of re-producing or doing unnecessary additional tasks, which are counter-productive, time-wasting and stress-inducing. Offer assistance to colleagues who need help and always be receptive and cooperative when working as a team.

3) Boundaries
Always be conscious and aware of the extent of our abilities. Recognizing and knowing when we can no longer proceed to take on more responsibilities and duties is crucial. It is better to know that we have reached our capacity limit to produce quality work than to try to impress or please others resulting in a less than satisfactory one which will only undermine our position, esteem and morale.  Knowing when to say “NO” and “ENOUGH” is very necessary.

4) Ask for Help
Be humble enough to ask for help when we need support, whether at work or in our matters. Be aware that we cannot always do everything on our own. Practice humility of knowing that, at times, we do not know everything, and we need others to assist and lighten our burdens. Accepting and receiving help can ease the stress and tension in our being and keep us grounded in reality. There are various free and paid resources or organizations that can render specialized assistance we might need. Alternatively, get in touch with family, relatives or friends who can assist. There is always someone who can help and advise. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE, and THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY OUT TO ALL PROBLEMS.

4) Complete and Enough Rest
In a pandemic situation, almost all of us, especially frontline workers, may have to work staggered hours or work from home. The impact of this can throw us off balance, and to get to stay home during such times is not helping us maintain sanity. Try our best to finish off what we need to get done within working hours so that we do not stay late in the office. Get home on time to spend quality time with our family and have ample rest. When working from home, we should endeavor to strictly adhere to working times and avoid work after hours bearing in mind the convenience of having work or the office within the home environment. Ensure that we give our mind, body and soul complete nutrition and take enough rest to start a new day with focus and quality.

5) Make Time for Your Favourite Pastime
While work is about taking responsibility for the tasks we have in hand despite how we feel about them, making time for our pastimes on our rest days is an even more significant challenge. Activities that we enjoy doing divert our focus and attention from the mundane. Some examples would be volunteering or doing charity work, watching movies, listening to our favorite music or songs, reading or even working out physically to relax and make us feel good and happy. Healthy, positive and enjoyable activities provide emotional fulfillment and refill us spiritually. When we are not emotionally depleted, we will be more motivated to handle challenges calmly and confidently. We will be more at peace and not easily triggered by situations or people. Not being emotionally fulfilled easily triggers feelings of frustrations, despair, anger and lack from within.

6) You Matter
Know that we matter, and our feelings are always valid. Do not deny or invalidate our thoughts, emotions, and problems because we want to make things easy or comfortable. Be honest about our issues. We are all not the same, and we are all not subjected to the same upbringing, education and life experiences. Knowing this allows us to embrace the uniqueness of our identity, individuality and authenticity. Get in touch with trusted friends, colleagues or workplace personnel to discuss or talk about our problems. Suppression happens when there is no expression, and when we suppress, we store unwanted or harmful energy into our beings. Face our problems and deal with them. Find healthy channels to express our opinions and emotions positively. One way would be to release or communicate through confiding in a friend or a person we can trust for moral support, or expressing creatively through journaling, writing, or art projects like drawing or painting, thus enhancing our creativity and spirituality.

7) People Who Matter
Keep in touch with those who matter to us. Being in touch enhances bonds and connectivity that ensure moral support both mentally and emotionally. When we form and bond relations, we know that we are not alone, especially during times when most of us are in so much need of genuine and trusted support to maintain our peace and sanity. Connecting keeps us updated about those who are important to us and allows us the opportunity to render assistance or any means of support in their times of need and vice versa. Keeping our sense of empathy and consideration for others in check is vital if we want to be spiritually healthy. Be the kind of person that we want others to be for us. Especially in struggling times, we need to be approachable, kind and compassionate to others and ourselves. What goes around comes around, and we will always get back what we give out, if not even more. Always observe and be conscious of those who may need our help but may be too shy or embarrassed to ask. Maintain our sense of equilibrium and be aware of the need to show kindness, care, and compassion to ourselves too.

8) Be positive and Have Faith
There will be times when we need to accept changes and adapt to new conditions. We will be required to move out of our comfort zones and do the very things we fear to do. When we cannot walk the path ahead by sight, walk it by faith. Explore relevant resources and be objective in making our choices. Be honest and sincere and make decisions with integrity. Be positive, believe in ourselves and believe that there is a higher power in the Universe that is working behind the scenes and making things happen for us despite however things may seem. There is always a blessing behind every adversity and a silver lining behind every dark cloud. We will embrace opportunities, overcome challenges ahead and reap the fruits of our labor for as long as we keep doing what is right. Then, the only thing left for us to do is NEVER TO GIVE UP!

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