Caring for your mental health is just as important as treating your physical wellbeing. The way you see yourself and the emotions you experience in day-to-day situations are reflected in the relationships you keep in your professional and personal circles. Mental health is not just a diagnosis, rather a condition that needs to be cared for and supervised like any other physical health issue. To help draw awareness to the importance of mental health issues in everyday life, Toronto based iTribe Social Inc. decided to create a multi-video Mental Health Awareness Campaign that highlights mental health from an abstract perspective.
iTribeSocial Inc. is a marketing and consulting solutions start-up that has been gaining traction due to their captivating media and innovative campaign concepts. Their latest social campaign won them 6 awards in the 2019 Muse Creative Competition, beating out hundreds of applications from 42 countries. Their pieces include: The Therapy Session (Silver winner- Fitness and Platinum winner- Social Video category) focusing on alternative coping methods through physical activity, The Creative Process (Platinum winner- Budget Below $3000 and Non-profit) looking at creative expression through the eyes of someone dealing with mania or other impulsive disorders and The Daily Grind (Platinum winner Non-profit and Gold winner Social Video) their final piece which explores underlying mental health issues in the workplace.
You should always seek professional help and speak to the people around you if you know or suspect that your emotional and/or mental wellbeing is suffering. As demonstrated in iTribe Social Inc’s videos, mental illness is unique to each person and can manifest itself and be managed in a variety of ways. There is no magic solution. In addition to overall long-term care and attention, here are some tips for those moments in between which can contribute to maintaining your overall mental health:
1. Positive language
Multiple studies around mental wellness recommend using positive language. This not only refers to how you speak about yourself to others, but privately when you are reflecting inwards as well. Try and recognize when you begin to use negative language around your self view and make a conscious effort to stop yourself and either focus your attention elsewhere or make positive changes to your inner monolog to avoid the downward spiral of doubt and anxiety.
2. Intentional gratitude
Practising intentional daily gratitude can be difficult when struggling with mental health issues. Often people feel overwhelmed or clouded by thoughts that make it difficult for them to calm their minds and focus on other elements of their lives that may be positive. One small step you can take is to keep a journal and write down things you are grateful for when you genuinely feel happy. This exercise can be therapeutic in getting you to slow down and reflect on how you are feeling and serve as a positive reminder for you when you may be struggling to do so.
3. Incorporate Exercise
Exercise releases the stress relieving and mood enhancing hormones endorphins. These help you to fight negative feelings of anxiety and depression which is why exercise is often recommended for physical as well as mental health. Try incorporating exercise in your daily routine. If this is something new for you, start slowly adding in 10 minutes a day. Some people find slower more concentrated activities like yoga are beneficial where as others prefer high impact physical sports. Experiment with different workouts to see what types of movements, classes and paces prove most beneficial for you.
4. Change your diet
In many situations mental and physical health go hand in hand. Physical illness can lead to some serious mental health issues and vice-versa. Some mental health issues such as depression can be caused (in part) by unbalanced hormone levels, which can be aided by introducing or removing different foods from your diet. It is extremely important to do your research and consult a professional before adding any supplements to your diet in an attempt to balance your own hormones. However you can start by adjusting your eating habits to make sure you are eating the right amounts of healthy food.
5.Take time for yourself
The conversation around mental health especially in schools and in the workplace have become more common and accepted in modern society. Although there is still a long way to go in ensuring that mental health is held to the same importance as physical health (especially in the work place) across the board, it is important that we as individuals recognize this for ourselves and continue to push the conversation and ask for the time off when we need it. Pushing yourself beyond your breaking point or suppressing your natural inclination to step away from a job or project will only add to your existing issues in the long run. Surround yourself with people in your personal and professional life who understand the importance of maintaining mental wellness and seek the proper channels for help when you feel your concerns are not being heard.
5. Change your sleeping patterns
Poor sleep is often linked to physical and mental health problems and can contribute to the unhealthy cycle of your overall issues. Just as food and physical activity play a role in your mental well being sleep is a major contributing factor which should be monitored and regulated whenever possible. Ensuring that your mind gets the rest it needs to slow down, consolidate memories and process information will have a huge impact in you ability to take on the challenges of tomorrow.
Mental health issues are not as easy to recognize as physical alignments. It takes years of learning to listen to your body and analysing your own patterns and emotion before you are able to understand the health issues you dealing with. As this is such a growing issue in today’s society it is important that we are persistent in keeping conversations around mental health not only relevant, but open to different understandings of what this might mean for each individual.