By Zarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being and affects how we think, feel and act. Yet, there is a lot of stigma or societal disapproval attached to it where the society shames people who live with a mental illness or seek help for emotional distress such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or PTSD.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health especially on the health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone and those with pre-existing mental health conditions. According to the World Health Organization, there is a cause for optimism as the World Health Assembly in May 2021 witnessed governments from around the world recognising the need to scale up quality mental health services at all levels and some countries even found new ways of providing mental health care to their populations.
Doing her bit post Mental Health Day, Bollywood actor and fitness enthusiast Jacqueline Fernandez shared “things to stop doing to gain peace in life” and listed “habits that make anxiety worse”. The diva’s advice is exactly the mental health awareness and motivation we need this Monday.
Taking to her social media handle as we enter a new work week, Jacqueline shared snippets from SheRox, her fitness workout series that is influenced by her own training regime. The list on “things to stop doing to gain peace in life” read:
- Trying to fix people “AS AN ACT OF LOVE”.
- OVERCOMMITTING your time when you don’t have the energy.
- Holding onto the people who you’ve outgrown because of the “TIME INVESTED”.
- Waiting for external validation to boost your CONFIDENCE.
- Trying to change people who are COMMITTED to staying the same.
- ACCEPTING and EXCUSING TOXIC BEHAVIOUR because it was more comfortable than change.
- PRETENDING to be happy when you are hurting.
- ARGUING with people.
Next, Jacqueline shared awareness on “habits that make anxiety worse”. It read:
- Eating too much chocolate
- Not drinking enough water
- Staying up late
- Checking your phone every minute
- Not moving your body enough
- Eating processed food/skipping meals
- Drinking excessively
- Spending all day inside
According to WHO, fear, worry, and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, and at times when we are faced with uncertainty or the unknown. So it is normal and understandable that people are experiencing fear in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Faced with new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues, it is important that we look after our mental, as well as our physical health.