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In 1948 the World Health Organisation(WHO) was founded. Of its principles, the first is:
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Yet, even today, many people struggle to achieve balanced health. For those lucky enough to have physical and even social health, mental health is often lacking. Despite mental health issues affecting 1 in 4 people (25% of the population of the world), it remains a taboo and stigmatized subject in society. 350 million people in the world suffer from depression. These people are not odd “crazy” strangers, they are often amongst your closest family members, colleagues, and friends. So common are mental health challenges, that there’s absolutely no reason why it is not viewed as a normal, regular, yet managable condition.
Whilst some of these affected will need the help of specialists in order to function and maintain their mental health, we can all take basic steps to look after ourselves. Just as we invest in a healthy diet, gym memberships etc to maintain our physique and physical wellness, we can do similar things for our mental health. Both share exercise, diet and sleep in common.
When our physical health suffers we often feel the effect quite quickly in the form of tiredness, or even pain. With mental health, the signs can often be rather more subtle. For that reason, it is important that we frequently “check in with ourselves“. Daily self-monitoring and reaction to the changes we observe can be beneficial and helps with the identification of changes to our mental health. When changes are detected, or even before, we can learn numerous coping techniques to assist with the most common challenges such as depression and anxiety.
When we notice changes in our mental health that can’t simply be addressed by refocusing our thoughts or implementing healthy coping techniques then there is an abundance of help available in the form of psychotherapists, counsellors, peer support groups or even talking to family, colleagues, and friends.
Aspire Counselling is here to help when you need to talk or learn how to understand how you feel. Psychotherapist and Counsellor Maria Luedeke specializes in empowering individuals, families, couples and teams in the corporate workplaces to achieve their goals and live fulfilled lives.
You can find out more or book an appointment with Maria at Aspire Counselling by visiting https://aspirecounselling.net or by going directly to our online appointment booking page.
Recently, my husband severely injured his right hand, requiring emergency surgery and a stay in the hospital. This was stressful on many different levels: emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. I had to find friends to watch our kids, arrange follow-ups with doctors, and learn how to care for my husband who would have difficulty caring for himself for a while. It was overwhelming, to say the least.
Coping with the trauma of the event itself was something completely different. I’d observed my husband’s mutilated hand, and witnessed his agony, which was very troubling. Once I realized how bad the injury was, I had to go completely into crisis mode. That expends a lot of my extra energy and I ended up sobbing uncontrollably several times that difficult day.
With my recent Type I Bipolar diagnosis, I know that I have to stay away from stress as much as possible. But what happens when the stress comes to me? What happens when the unthinkable occurs? How does one with Bipolar Disorder cope with those events?
I’m certainly no expert in this area, but I found a few things that really helped me stabilize myself when I felt like the ominous string of sudden responsibilities would envelop me. I hope you find them helpful, as well
1. Setting healthy boundaries. I started with backing off of all unimportant projects that were unrelated to the event, making sure I wrote them down to get to at a later date.
2. Rearranging priorities. This is when I really had to divide the necessary from the unnecessary. I started from the source of the trauma and worked my way out, noting the most important people that needed my care first.
3. Taking personal time. It’s important for me to continue to listen to what my body needs in order to stay balanced. I had to do my best to keep from continuously ignoring my own needs for those of someone else.
4. Staying organized. If you need to manage an unprecedented schedule, you’ll want to be as organized as possible. It’s harder to do when you’re in the middle of a crisis, so I like to stick to easy ways of keeping a schedule, like using a planner or my phone’s calendar app.
5. Getting enough rest. I can’t emphasize this one enough. Sleep can be paramount to coping well within difficult situations, and each day is going to bring something different. I planned for chaos, and stuck to my sleep schedule as best I could, and it made such a difference.
6. Asking for help. Reaching out only improved my situation. I had to call on my close friends and family members to help me cope and manage added responsibilities. It was a huge relief.
7. Talking to a therapist. My therapist helped me stay on track and reminded me that I needed to cut myself slack during that challenging situation. It also was really nice to have someone outside the situation to talk to about my struggles with the event.
It can be difficult to balance, and extra stress can cause all kinds of problems with your mind and body, poor judgment, to depression and irritability.
But don’t worry! You will get through this. With mindful planning, it’s possible to survive traumatic events without losing your entire ability to cope.
This article appeared on www.bhope.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MELANIE MCKINNON
Melanie McKinnon is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She’s a blogger for The Huffington Post and has written for several notable websites, such as Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, and The Mighty. Diagnosed with Type I Bipolar Disorder in July of 2015, she spends her time balancing her moods and responsibilities at work, as a writer and barre fitness instructor, and at home, with her spouse and three children. Her favorite things include meditation, Diet Pepsi, Arizona, and football. Through her writing, she hopes to encourage and inspire anyone fighting a daily battle. Read more from Melanie on her blog: MelanieMeditates.com.