Today, we will be exploring our mental health.
Strange? Maybe not so, because our mental health is crucial part of our wellbeing to making informed decisions. It is most often at this point in the year, a lot of people begin to feel moody. For some, it is nearly impossible to enjoy the season or the people around them, and even when everything feels on the up and up, they find no joy in their activities and all that is going on around them.
A lot of this is attributed to financial stressors, problematic family issues that never seems to have an end or painful reminders of traumatic events or loss of loved ones. For some people, organizing, planning and getting everything done for the holidays can be quite overwhelming and can send them down the rabbit hole.
Regardless of what impacts on your mood at this time, know that you owe it to yourself to guard your mental health well. Here are some tips that can help you out during this season:
- Keep to your Routine – we all get into routine living especially in a city like Lagos. Even with the lock down, with the holidays coming, the first things to be disrupted will be our daily routine. Routines may include – diet, exercise, social lifestyle, work schedule, sleeping routine, attending to family and family needs etc. but have we noticed that with all the winding down for the year, these routines begin to change. We get more frantic, worry more for not meeting our financial needs, pressure from work, expectations of family, surviving the holidays with relatives are all things that can impair on the regular routines we have built. This change may manifest in ways that are totally unhealthy to us.
We suggest that you worry less, ensure that you sleep well, exercise as much as possible, eat right and try to take one day at a time as it comes.
- Get in Tune with Your Emotions – Stop bottling things up. Discard the idea of suppressing your feelings or not having to acknowledge them. It is the wrong coping mechanism. It will most definitely not make you feel any better.
We suggest that you acknowledge your feelings of the moment, not necessarily to dwell in them. Take the time to remind yourself that the feeling is only for a moment and not permanent. Regardless of the tension and pressure you may feel, speak to someone if you are lucky to have that around you, If not, look for the joy points and embrace them. Take a moment to step outside the intensity of all that emotions and just breathe!
- Pause, Stop! – Do you know that saying about ‘finding your own way to recharge so you can recharge others?’ We disregard this so many times, especially women who are primary caregivers. They worry about everyone else, what to get the kids, what to cook, care for spouse0event to have, what to send… Just an endless litany of what everyone else wants. What about you? Do you not think you deserve to take a pause?
We recommend taking the time to enjoy the moments, finding your own ‘alone’ time, doing something fun and beautiful for yourself and finding something that recharges your emotional self. This will not only help you recharge, it will make you better company for others!
- Perfection; Let’s Try Realistic Expectations – What shall it profit a person to build castles in the air only to be reminded that, it is all a fantasy. We envisage perfection and often get sucked in a disappointment cocoon we have managed to wrap around ourselves.
What we recommend is this: focus on the important, keep a gratitude journal, find joy in the seemingly silly things and keep in mind that it is not about the decorations, or perfect house or perfectly behaved kids, but in the memories you are building with your loved ones.
- Setting & Maintaining Boundaries – Having and maintaining boundaries does not make you a bad person! Saying NO does not make you a wicked person. Stop letting people suck you into a hole so 8 feet below ground. It is okay to sacrifice sometimes, but do not be the one sacrificing always for your loved ones because you cannot say NO to them. Your own needs, health and well-being are equally as important.
Here is what we think: set your boundaries and let your loved ones or those around you know. Step away from situations that not only stress you but drain and make you feel under pressure. At every point in time, your mental health is key to your very survival.
- Taking your physical health more seriously: In recent times there has been cases of sudden deaths, cardiac arrests etc, it all seems like the life expectancy has dropped drastically. Take time to go for medical check-ups. Acknowledge it when your body is exhausted and needs that “so much needed” rest. Do not push yourself beyond your boundaries. Remember, you are not that young guy or lady that can stretch yourself beyond your limits. A lot has changed around us. Take that needed rest, it would also help your mental health.
Conclusively, while it may be tempting to go overboard during the festive season, try to be moderate in everything you do. From indulging in Christmas treats to your financial decisions, or social interactions or even your emotional state… you do not want to have a ‘high’ over the holidays only to ‘crash’ badly after the holidays.
Don’t forget to follow us on all our social channels and do check all the financial tips we have been bringing your way. There is so much more from where all that came from.