Mental health

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Brock Chisholm, the first director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), emphasized as early as 1954 that physical and mental health are closely linked. He stated: “without mental health there can be no true physical health”. The stigma around mental health and treatment has long existed all around the world. Still, people hesitate to seek help or even talk about it with their loved ones for fear of being judged and facing unnecessary backlash. Simple logic dictates that if we are hurt anywhere, we must seek treatment to get better. This applies to both our mental- and physical well-being. At Urban Care Clinic we think we cannot emphasize the awareness around this subject enough.

A happy life… That’s what we all wish each other. But ‘feeling happy’ or ‘being happy’: what exactly is that? We can explain it on three pillars:

Being yourself

  • What do you find important in your life?
  • What are you proud of?
  • What do you (still) want to achieve?
  • What motivates you?


Being well surrounded

  • Who do you find support from?
  • How can you mean something to others?
  • What are you grateful for?


Feeling good

  • What helps you to let go of your thoughts?
  • Aren’t you too hard on yourself sometimes?
  • What do you get energy from?


Out of balance and that is okay

Perfect happiness does not exist. Sometimes you’re out of balance and that’s okay. Sometimes there are stressful or emotional events, your flexibility is being tested and you have to find a way to deal with setbacks. Those small or larger stressful events or ‘stressors’ pile up and make you less comfortable and you feel less happy. But major setbacks or life changing events may have a huge impact on you and should be taken seriously.


You are not alone

First of all – you are not alone. Even though it can feel that way. Not many people like to talk about how lonely healing can feel. Maybe you can talk to your loved ones about it, but if you want to talk freely and privately about anything, maybe talking to Judi, psychotherapeutic counselor at Urban Care Clinic, could help you out. Keep in mind – if you sprain your ankle you go to a physiotherapist, why not talk to a psychotherapist when you are not feeling well mentally?


Gentle reminders

  1. You can be positive, happy and grateful and still have not so good, awful or off days. Yes, to thinking good thoughts, but also yes to acknowledging and feeling your feelings. You don’t have to pretend, and you do not have to be perfect.
  • Sometimes some perspective makes it feel a bit lighter, like: “90% of what you are stressing about right now won’t even matter a year from now.”
  • You don’t have to explain why you want what you want, do what you do, love what you love or need what you need. You are allowed to live a life some people might not understand.
  • Healthy human needs that don’t make you needy:
    • Consistent communication
    • Time to yourself
    • Support & understanding
    • Physical & emotional affection
    • Quality time & connection
    • Being appreciated


How to observe mental health:

1.         Take care of yourself

Life has numerous ups and downs. Some are solvable but others not so much. When your mental health acts up, seek the right treatment and make yourself better because, after all, life has much more to offer than just pain and suffering. Setting healthy boundaries and say no when necessary. How to say ‘no’ politely? Here are some suggestions:

  • “Unfortunately, I have too much to do today. I can help you another time.”
  • “I’m flattered by your offer, but no thank you.”
  • “That sounds fun, but I have a lot going on at home.”
  • “I’m not comfortable doing that task. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
  • “Now isn’t a good time for me. I’ll let you know if my schedule frees up.”
  • ” Sorry, I have already committed to something else. I hope you understand.”
  • “No, I won’t be able to fit that into my schedule this week.”
  • “I would love to join you, but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with work right now.”


2.         Take care of your loved ones

Check up on your friends and family. Many times, all people need is a shoulder to cry on and/or an ear to listen. Support and encourage them if they are being treated for any mental problems.

3.         Talk about mental health

One of the best ways is to openly talk about mental health with your peers. Try to listen with an open minded and do not judge. The more you talk about it, the more normalized it will become. This is one of the aims of Mental Health Awareness month as the stigma attached to mental health has led to countless delays in treatment AND research on the matter.

Anxiety

Although we are strong, we all feel anxious at times. While it is a feeling that makes us uncomfortable to say the least, the purpose of anxiety is not to make our life miserable but rather to communicate that something is off. Since it can’t tell us exactly what is off, it’s up to us to take the time to sit with the feeling, take into context and begin to decode. Once we understand we can begin to take the necessary steps to effectively soothe and re-calibrate. A helpful question could be: “If my anxiety could talk, what would it want me to know?” Maybe it wants you to know “you are not over it yet”, “this is new uncharted territory, tread lightly “or “the present situation feels like a painful experience from the past.” Please note: often, the messages that we receive are distorted. This may be due to a hypersensitive alert system, previously experienced trauma, embodiment techniques, medication or other healing modalities. Each mind/body system is unique.

Anxiety vs panic attacks

Not many tend to talk about it openly and freely, but many people are suffering from anxiety or panic attacks. Both panic attacks and anxiety attacks cause you to feel intense, overwhelming emotions. While these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re not the same thing. Both panic and anxiety attacks activate your nervous system to send you into fight-or-flight mode, causing physical and emotional symptoms. Their differences lie in what causes the attack.

More information can be found on the Urban Care Clinic Portal.

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