Hello everyone, my name is Ayusha Bhajanka and I am a Mental Health Advocate. 

The long-lasting Coronavirus Pandemic has gotten the better of each one of us by now as World enters the 10th month of being hit by the virus, here is an article published by myself on How you can break away from the monotony and take care of your mental health during the pandemic.

Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. In all it’s the simplicity it means ‘being able to feel emotionally at peace’.

We have always been taught to tirelessly run and keep up with the World’s chaos. So, much so that more often than not we ended up ignoring the chaos within. For most of us, the endless quest of doing better, scoring higher, earning more, has helped us ignore the existence of our emotional baggage, because we did not have the time to sit and feel what we were feeling. We created a dump yard of ‘It’s not the right time,’ in our subconscious where we dumped the breakups, failures, traumas, and everything else labeled *negative*.

The Covid19 pandemic left all of us with too much time for introspection. The dump yard is bothering us now more than ever because we do not have other things to keep us engaged. The solution begins with *acceptance;* “To be able to apply a band-aid, you’ve got to acknowledge that you’re hurt.”

A large part of mental health struggle is feeling *worthless* and the lockdown has decreased the opportunities for us to feel productive significantly, hence following a basic routine in addition to other things can help. A few things you can include in your daily routine are:

  • Exercising; your physical health and emotional wellbeing are directly related.
  • Incorporating intentional movement; walking, dancing, mopping the floor, anything at all.
  • Eating healthy snacks; you eat good, you feel good.
  • Drinking lots of water; if you’re an Indian your mother has emphasized this enough, and most often mothers do know the best.
  • Intentionally talking to friends and distanced family members on video calls; seeing new faces can help break the monotony.
  • Limiting social media engagement; it’s a myth that people are socially distant during these times, we are connected to the world now more than we ever were. And with all the negative news available at our disposal, it is important to choose what information do we want to feed our brains.
  • Engaging in household activities; make your bed, do the dishes, water the plants, do things that can give you a sense of purpose.

Another challenge faced by the best of us is being unable to get rid of negative thoughts. Why? What? How? When? These are the words that cause anxiousness, a feeling that is a result of constant worry and has gained a lot of significance in the past four months. Certain alterations in how we address and challenge our negative thoughts can help us break the cycle.

  • Firstly, try to change how you perceive the situation.

“99% of the harm is caused in our head, by us and our thoughts. 1% of the harm is caused by reality; what actually happens and the outcome. Most of the time the problem isn't the problem. The way we think about the problem is.” I read this somewhere and I cannot emphasize it enough.

  • Secondly, to help you perceive a difficult situation better, ask yourself questions that can help you challenge your thoughts. For example: Is this a possibility or a certainty? What’s the worse that can logically happen? Am I 100% sure that ____ will happen? What would I tell a friend who had this thought? Is this a hassle or a horror?
  • If none of that works, just try seeing if the situation is under your control or not; whether you can do something to make things easier or not. If the answer is YES, do what you have to; one step at a time. If the answer is NO, accept, let go and move on.

Mental health wellness is not a task or an additional investment, it is you in your wholeness and how you choose to take little steps each day for yourself. Know that you deserve to live and you deserve to be happy and that really it’s important to remember this on days when might not want to believe it. 

“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” 

-Timber Hawkeye

If you know you’re more than just feeling ‘low’ or ‘worried’, please seek help. You don't have to suffer alone, there are people listening to you. Available for help. And you must reach out, Because YOU MATTER.

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