Do the world a favour, Put yourself, your physical and mental health and general well-being—FIRST
Mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to the community.”
Mental health is one of the most neglected areas of public health. Approximately one billion people are living with a mental disorder, three million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every forty seconds by suicide. 2020 has seen an astronomical rise in cases of anxiety, depression worldwide, billions of people around the world have been mentally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a huge cause for concern.
I now ask each of you reading this article,
Stop! Look! Listen for signs to avoid the burnout.
Warning Signs of Mental Illness
Sleep: Experiencing insomnia or dramatic sleep change
Appetite: Loss or appetite changes
Decline in personal care: bathing, dress, unruly hair
Mood changes: Rapid or dramatic shifts in emotions or depressed feelings.
Withdrawal: Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
Snippy with your spouse, friends, and co-workers.
Heart palpitations or a racing pulse.
Bouts of the common cold or flu more often than otherwise.
If you are experiencing any of the above in mild to moderate doses
Here’s what you should do as a call to action for yourself, you will avoid the burnout.
The never ending jugalbandi of “I say” “you say”
I say: Be Selfish
You say: This does not sound right. We are taught to give to others as much as we can.
I say: Our teachers often fail to mention that we should give equally to ourselves, lest you end up too weak to be there for anyone else.
You say: I feel guilty about not waking up to an alarm clock and having my day structured.
I say: Get your rest. So long as you are responsible and not playing truant to work or heading towards being a bum, treat yourself to lazy days. Have a nice, relaxing bath, stroll in the park instead of your routine jog or lie in bed—without your cell phone.
You say: There are days when I lie in bed or sit in a couch and just stare into space.
I say: Distract Yourself, if you’re just going to lie in bed to do the fret-and-spin, switch to watching a season of your favourite soap or Mamma Mia is a great option too.
You say: My problem has always been saying “NO” to anybody, often at the cost of myself.
I say: Dissociate
You may feel bad about seeing less of that needy friend, but save yourself. Some people will not quit even after you are drained to empty. It may be enough to assert stronger boundaries, but you can also replace that insatiable person with someone who makes you laugh or an outright healer. Get rid of those energy vampires.
You say: Is it okay to “Take a timeout from your job, friends or even social media?
I say: Absolutely, do not wait till the burnout, do it routinely for yourself through life, start at a young age. Whether you go on an actual vacation or simply refuse to leave your home for a week and call it a sabbatical. Not everyone can afford a literal timeout from a job, but if you can, please take one. It may be that simple.
I say: You go the extra mile because you can — until you can’t. Set boundaries and find a way to let people know that you are not setting a precedent when you give more of yourself than they expect.
You say: It’s high time I stood up for myself and learned to draw the line. Lower the bar!
You say: When should I reach out for help?
I say: You may be independent. You may not wish to be a burden. You may, in fact, be able to survive on your own, but we all need other people to thrive. There is no way around this one. Tell someone—your partner, a friend, a spiritual advisor or a therapist when you are struggling to get by.
Expectations are the death of people.
Less is more.
Work smart, not hard.
Give an inch, they’ll take a mile.
These are all true,
So take a break. Physically remove yourself from any sources of stress that may lead you to a state of burnout.
The theme for World Mental Health Day 10th October 2020
‘Mental Health for All: Greater Investment – Greater Access’
In the words of Dr. Ingrid Daniels President of the World Federation for Mental Health “It is nearly 30 years since the first World Mental Health Day was launched by the World Federation for Mental Health, during that time, we have seen an increasing openness to talk about mental health in many countries of the world. But now we must turn words into actions. We need to see concerted efforts being made to build mental health systems that are appropriate and relevant for today’s – and tomorrow’s – world.