In my class on Monday we discussed the topic of mental health. This has been a subject that has been highlighted more recently due to covid19 and the lockdown. Being at home more and not being stimulated so much by external influences can give rise to issues such as anxiety, worry and even depression.
From my own experience I have worked from home for nearly ten years and I have also been a mum for two years which has required me to be at home more too. This has given me the opportunity to some extent to deal with certain internal issues which have affected my mental wellbeing. There have often been moments where I have woken up in the morning and struggled to face the day which might actually be an issue which we all face at some point in our lives.
I think we all have a duty in some way to take care of our mental health just as we take care of our physical health. Often mental health issues can go unnoticed or we suppress how we are feeling and instead go out into the world wearing a smile and ‘pretending’ everything is ok. But there may be some days where you just don’t feel good. And maybe you don’t know why and maybe there is a struggle to get up and face the world or perhaps there has been a trauma, a loss, a life change etc. Or perhaps there is just an underlying feeling that something doesn’t feel right. Perhaps this feeling may go on for a few days or even months or even longer.
There are many different factors that can affect our mental health and I just wanted to raise awareness for this subject because I don’t believe that it is a condition that should be shamed, tucked away or hidden. I think if we can all discuss mental health as openly as we discuss physical health it will lead to greater overall wellbeing for all of us. That is not to say we label ourselves as having ‘mental health issues’ as we don’t label ourselves as having ‘physical health issues’ even though we all at some point will need to do address our physical health.
In my class and here on my blog I often share a variety of ways that I care for my wellbeing and often these practices can help with our mental wellness too. Yoga and meditation are obviously the number one practice I would recommend for greater wellness. The intrinsic link between our mind and body is so important and when we practice yoga and meditation together we are able to see ourselves as a full entity consisting of the body, mind and even the heart and soul.
As well as yoga and meditation I often talk about journaling, being in nature and other self-care practices which help us to understand ourselves, our emotions and thoughts. Self-care can be an empowering process however there may also be times when you need to reach out for help. Counsellors, therapists and even speaking to your GP can all guide you to comprehend and understand what you might be feeling and they can offer you the right course of action to getting back to a place of happiness and contentment.
Finally I want to mention Brene Brown who is an author and research professor. In her Ted Talk, ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ her therapist referred to her breakdown as a spiritual awakening. This really resonated with me because during difficult times there is often a deeper Divine message and intervention that is occurring. This allows us to move to a space of greater strength and to live a life that is complete, whole and full. This requires us to trust what we are experiencing and to move through it knowing that when we have embraced the dark the light will flow through again.