QL shares five tips to safeguard your mental health in 2022
We are in the third year of the pandemic and it definitely hasn’t been easy on everyone, physically and emotionally. While we are all constantly on the lookout for our physical health, it is our emotional well-being that needs to be cared for also. Staying at home for prolonged periods during the lockdown, recovering from Covid-19, worrying about loved ones, feeling unproductive, etc., are just some of the things that weigh down on our minds and it is completely normal to feel this way. We really need to take more conscious efforts to safeguard our mental health.
Experts say that emotional health must be given priority during the pandemic. In Qatar, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) launched a mental health hotline last year as a part of their “Are you OK?” campaign. Anyone feeling anxious, low, or depressed can simply call up the helpline at 16000 between 7 am–3 pm and speak to a team of mental health professionals. The service is free and confidential consultation is provided from Saturday to Thursday.
Apart from this, you can ensure better emotional well-being by also following simple changes in your routine and doing this on a daily basis. We spoke to Chereen Shurafa, mental health counselor, certified coach, advice columnist, and author of Sensitive: Reflections for the Empathetic Soul, and she shared her top five tips for ensuring good mental health.
Here are five things you can do to take steps towards bettering your emotional well-being:
Pause and reflect
Sometimes, everything that happens in a day can be too much to take in. So, take a mindful pause once every few hours throughout the day. Chereen recommends deep breathing exercises and following it up with a reflection on how you’re feeling.
Reflect if you are feeling frustrated or nervous and why you feel this way. Calm yourself by breathing in and out slowly and try to get through the moment calmly. This ensures you have more clarity and are able to respond mindfully all day.
While it is certainly not possible to plan each minute of the day, Chereen says it is helpful if you set intentions for the day. Plan a rough outline of your day and think ahead to what you’d live to achieve. Even if you intend to meditate or get some tasks done, planning ahead gives you the ability to start the day with an open mind.
Change your perspective
When you find yourself overwhelmed with a situation or a feeling, it helps to look at it from a different perspective. Analyzing it and trying to rationalize it from a fresh perception will help you to overcome negative thoughts about the situation and work towards a satisfactory, if not positive result.
Connect with others
We are all social beings (yes, even introverts!) So forming connections with other people really goes a long way. Whether you meet and talk to someone in person, or talk on the phone or online—it will make you feel good and improve your ability to empathize.
You can reach out to an online friend, old friends, family members, or just to someone you really admire and share how you feel at the moment. Feel free to also listen to them and help out if you can. This makes you feel supported, loved, and understood too.
Chereen says an important aspect of emotional wellness is being grateful and content with what you have. Take time out each day to sit and write down all the things you are grateful for.
Whether it is showing gratitude for our physical health, your loved ones, your current accomplishments or simply being happy or safe, gratitude journaling helps you to be content and satisfied.
Making a consistent effort in doing all these things mindfully can certainly help in alleviating stress and anxiety caused by the current uncertain situation. There are several other things you can do to improve your emotional well-being and it might differ from person to person. While talking to someone certainly helps, Chereen recommends seeking help from a certified professional if these feelings persist and you still feel confused after doing all these things.
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