World Mental Health Day is observed globally on 10th of October. According to a report by the World Health Organization, India is the sixth most depressed country. Suicides rates are steep, especially when it comes to Indian women. Millennials in India reportedly admit to having greater stress levels than ever before. In scenarios like these, it is no surprise that plenty of young people are now looking at not only mental illness but mental health as a whole.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health is defined by WHO as a “state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” Keeping such a definition in mind, today’s millennials are working to not only avoid mental illnesses, but also stay mentally and emotionally healthy.
“When I was in the depths of a depressive cycle, volunteering at a blood donation drive in my college really helped me feel better about myself. Mental illnesses make you feel worthless. Helping other people out mitigates some of that worthlessness.”
A good, stable mental health is quite like maintaining one’s physical health – it is not just the absence of disease, but overall fitness. Productivity, relaxation, and participation in the community all contribute greatly to a stable mental condition. Young people today have decided to pay more attention to their mental health and actively work towards better mental health. On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, let’s look at some ways millennials are taking care of their mental health:
Self-care is probably the biggest buzzword going around on social media lately. The idea of relaxing and unwinding after a long day with a hot bath and a glittering face-mask has appealed to most people. Self-care, in and of itself, first started as revolutionary practice. Especially for women, it was therapeutic to finally think about their own wants, instead of everyone else’s.
“I like to end each day with a warm shower. Then, I spend at least an hour before bed unwinding. For me, that means no screens. I usually meditate or plan the next day in my journal.” says Priti Sarkar, a school-teacher in her 30s.
However, several millennials also feel that the trend of self-care has become just that – a trend. Oli Chatterjee, a 22-year-old postgraduate student at Delhi’s Miranda House, believes that “Self-care shouldn’t be an excuse. Treating yourself, having fun and relaxing are great – but they’re not the only way to feel good. Excessive amounts of self-care can definitely be harmful. I like to balance my work and self-care.”
Organisation And Planning
If good mental health is your goal, you probably want to avoid anxiety. Anxiety is the most common mental illness after depression, especially among millennials. “Planning ahead is the best way to take care of not only my anxiety but also feel secured overall,” says Prachi Singh, a 19-year-old undergraduate student of St. Xavier’s. “Simple things, like planning my outfit the night before, and writing down to-do lists help immensely. If I know what’s on my agenda, I can be productive even when I don’t feel like it.”
“Routine is very important. Having to wake up and go to a certain class forces me to have a routine, which doesn’t allow my mind to wander. It may feel forceful, but routines always help to have some grip over everything that’s happening.”
“We are living in difficult times, struggling with insecurities in almost all arenas of life.” says Charvi Kathuria, a 24-year-old social media manager at a media agency. “Catching up with friends frequently and being around children” is how she likes to take care of her mental health.
Staying surrounded by the community is a helpful reminder that we’re still part of a larger society, with a larger purpose. Talking to friends and family helps to not feel as alone as mental illnesses might make us believe we are.
“I like to end each day with a warm shower. Then, I spend at least an hour before bed unwinding. For me, that means no screens. I usually meditate or plan the next day in my journal.”
Contributing to the community is also an excellent way of staying connected, grounded and feeling productive. “When I was in the depths of a depressive cycle, volunteering at a blood donation drive in my college really helped me feel better about myself. Mental illnesses make you feel worthless. Helping other people out mitigates some of that worthlessness.” says Ayushi Sarkar, a 20-year-old student.
On World Mental Health Day, 2019, it’s important to sit back and ask ourselves whether we’re paying our mental health the attention it deserves. Mental health is as important as physical health and it’s time to change our attitudes about it, follow in the footsteps of these millennials, and take steps to help ourselves.
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Image Credit: www.healthnettpo.org
Prapti is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv