October 9, 2021 3 Ways to Be Mindful for World Mental Health Day
In the past year and a half, there has been a lot of focus on mental health. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted people’s mental health and well-being. As today is World Mental Health Day we wanted to discuss three ways you can be more mindful about mental health … both to benefit yourself and those around you.
What is World Mental Health Day?
World Mental Health Day is a day to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and mobilize efforts in support of mental health. The 2021 edition will focus on “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality.” This is an opportunity to talk about the steps governments and leaders are taking to make quality mental health care available to all. And how we can come closer to reaching that goal. But beyond raising awareness, this day is also an opportunity to empower you to take better care of your mental health and that of the people you love.
#1: Ask twice when your friend says, “I’m fine!”
How many times have you said you were fine when really you weren’t? Opening up about our problems and sharing our feelings can be hard. Yet, sometimes just talking about what’s bothering us can really help. As we all work hard to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, you can take a proactive approach and “ask twice.” Here are three ways to help you get the conversation started:
- Listen: listening is often more important than talking. If you’ve noticed your friend or loved one is struggling, sometimes just saying things like “I’m here to listen when you’re ready” or “You don’t seem like yourself lately, is there anything going on?” can help get the conversation started. We will dive a bit deeper on this in point #2.
- Don’t try and fix it: often people just need to vent or offload. They don’t expect you to fix things but just need you to be there, as a supportive and caring friend. So show them you’ve got their back.
- Don’t dismiss their feelings: You may not fully understand what your friend is feeling but acknowledging that they’re going through a tough time can be helpful. Ask questions like “how can I help?” or “how can I support you through this?” Let them know that you’re there for them if they need you.
#2: Be an active listener
Being a good listener can go a long way. So when a friend or loved one needs to talk, listen carefully. Try not to interrupt until they are finished and encourage them to tell you how they are feeling. In addition, positive body language is also important. This can include comfortable eye contact and nodding your head to show you understand what they are saying. Active listening is a great practice to help people who are feeling stressed or down.
#3: Remember stress and mental health issues affect your body
Long-term or chronic stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues can take a serious toll on your body. Stress can cause headaches, migraines, body tension, lower back pain and much more. As our bodies and minds are connected, when you take good care of your body you also take good care of your mind. This means eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Additionally, having a good support system, spending time with friends, engaging in activities you enjoy can also be great stress relievers. However, for serious mental health concerns getting professional help from a doctor or counsellor is crucial.
Being mindful about your mental health is important as we navigate through these unprecedented times. Check in on friends, family, or neighbours who live alone and let them know you are there if they need you. And don’t forget to practise self-care as well. Stress and anxiety can take a real toll on your physical health so make sure you eat well, sleep properly, and exercise. And remember, to help relieve some of the physical symptoms caused by stress trust Magic Bag. Our therapeutic hot and cold compresses provide daily relief for muscle aches, back pain, headaches and more. Shop for your Magic Bag today!