Your mental health is an essential part of living and wellbeing. Giving it the attention and support it needs to thrive is something you should take seriously.
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic to our shores in March 2020 resulted in many of us feeling lonely, fearful and anxious. This was a natural reaction to a situation that had never happened before. Not only did people struggle with their emotional state, but many also struggled to make ends meet. These new stresses either sparked off mental health issues or added to an already existing condition.
A “positive” spin-off of the pandemic is the spotlight that has been placed on mental health. Even though most adults would agree that modern living has stresses that can make staying in good mental shape challenging, there is still some shame attached to needing help. Many people keep quiet about their mental health and prefer to work through their problems alone, even when that does not seem to be working for them.
“All adults have some level of stress, no matter their circumstances,” says psychologist Joy Mitchell. “There is this myth that you should be able to cope with everything life throws at you. This is simply not true. At some point, we all need help; it is nothing to be ashamed of,” she says.
What happens when you see a psychologist?
When the idea of getting professional help comes up, most people immediately say no and then shut down. That’s because most of us don’t know what “getting help” really means.
“There is a stigma with therapy because many people think it’s something that is reserved for ‘crazy’ people or people who are not fit to manage their lives. The reality is that therapy is mainly about getting to understand your feelings and the way you can change your behaviour. The root of that help is talking about what you’re feeling so that you can have a better view and understanding of it,” says Mitchell.
While you might say that people from the olden times never went to therapy, the reality is that they also needed help. Modern life has also removed a lot of the natural support systems that people used to help them solve their problems. “Getting help can also mean talking to a life coach, a priest or a trusted friend or family member. Sometimes even a stranger can help you have a breakthrough in terms of how you see things, helping you with how you manage stress and your emotions,” says Mitchell.
Winners ask for help
The fact remains that many of us have struggled or will struggle with our mental health at some point. It’s important to know that you are not alone and that help is available.
Life, like many sports, it’s a team effort. You can’t go very far if you think you need to be in control of everything at all times. “Even though the stigma is that asking for help is for the weak, the reality is that only strong people actually ask for help. If you want to live a healthy life, you need to be able to understand yourself and what you need. And when the time comes for you to admit that you need help, you need to be able to seek it,” Mitchell concludes.
While there are small things you can do to lift your mood, sometimes the solution isn’t as easy as taking a walk outside. You are the only person who can really tell if you need help, so open yourself up to getting the help you need so that you can live your best life.
Should you need more serious help, please consult an expert as soon as possible.