Defeat Depression on World Mental Health Day!

Written By Hajra Khatoon, Health Story

10th October is World Mental Health Day. The day raises awareness and promotes open discussion about mental illnesses and related problems. We’ve talked about mental health quite a few times - Brain ageing, Depression (the theme for this year's Mental Health Day), Truths about Mental Health and Brain Exercises. But this time we get down to the fundamentals of mental peace.

WHO claims that India is the depression capital of the world - a statistic that psychiatrists in India don’t agree to. However, in our country, the statistics are disturbing - suicide rates are high, the elderly are clearly depressed and people are falling under a lot of stress.

So we get down to the basics of depression and its causes, i.e. deterring mental health. Maintaining a good mental health means having a sense of well being, being able to function well in everyday life and feeling confident about yourself and your actions. It means to strike a balance in every aspect of your life.

Now it is tough but we touch upon the basics of improving and maintaining your mental health:

  • CONNECT, CONNECT, CONNECT

    There is a world outside Facebook, Twitter and the ‘World Wide Web’. Real life connections make much more sense and will help you in many ways. Put a little effort and time into relationships that matter and reach out to people. Not only does it make verbal communication enjoyable, it helps you in building stronger relationships and a support system.

    You wouldn’t want that you have 5 people attending your funeral when you actually had 2000 facebook friends, right?

  • Heard and said a thousand times : TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

    The most under-rated of the most important things to health care. A lot of us ignore minor pains and aches and wait for it to get the better of us. Go for regular health check ups and make sure you take care of your bodily health which in turn keeps mental problems at bay. Nourish your body and your mind well.

  • TAKE A BREAK

    When was the last time you took time away for just yourself? Not just a vacation but kept time away from the daily grind. Break the routine. Do something that you enjoy - read a book, go for a quiet dinner, listen to music. Make sure you have a vacation once in a while to break the monotony and give your mind some rest.

    Take a day off in lieu of the mental health day!

  • PRIORITIZE

    Figure out what needs to be done now and what can be put off for later. This is what we call creative-procrastination (Yes! we are human beings and we procrastinate no matter what). Just train yourself to delay the least important tasks while finish the most important ones the first thing. Also, too much of multitasking can make it quite confusing. Not only will it take a toll on your physical well being, it might create a lot of undue stress.

  • MONEY MATTERS

    Keep your financial issues at bay. Sort out and keep it clear. Spend only as much as you can afford. Indulge only when you can, not because you want to. Stay away from debts as far as possible. They are good now, but suck in the long term!

  • REACH OUT AND ASK

    You are no Superman. You will have problems. Someone else might be able to help. There is nothing wrong in it. Ask for help when you need it. You will be surprised by the amount of help people have to offer. This is again when the support system comes into picture.

  • BE FIT, EXERCISE

    Probably another reason to get up and running! But yes, physical well being is closely related to mental well being. Not only does activity release hormones that help in balancing mood levels but exercise also helps in keeping fit and keeping various illnesses away. Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be hitting the gym. It could be vacuuming, gardening, taking your dog out for a walk, cycling with your friends, going for a swim. Just be active.

  • VOLUNTEER

    There is nothing like helping others in need. Not only does it give you a sense of fulfillment but it gives meaning to your being and living. Reach out, help someone in need, donate your old stuff, donate a book, help your neighbor, just about anything that will make a difference to others’ lives. Remember? “The Self-less Act of Redemption”.

  • BOREDOM AT BAY

    Don’t let monotony settle in. It tires the brain and makes it a devil’s workshop! Keep yourself involved and make sure your “brain” is on activity mode. Solve puzzles, work on your vocabulary, learn a language, challenge yourself, try the crosswords.

  • ALCOHOL, CIGARETTES, DRUGS

    The ads say it right. They make it tough for you. Try to keep your alcohol intake to a minimum and cut down on smoking as soon as possible.

  • SLEEP WELL

    If you haven’t taken your required rest for the day, then go ahead and do it. A sleep recharges your batteries, makes the mind fresh and makes you much more productive. And yes, it helps reduce weight too!

Here’s to a good mental health for a much more satisfying, meaningful and a healthier lifestyle. It doesn’t require much effort - just a little discipline and a little care and it will go a long run in making life much more easier and fun always!

What are you doing to keep your body and mind healthy?

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