In an era of dealing with daily life problems, and a pandemic like COVID, being mentally healthy helps you win the game. First celebrated on October 10, 1992, World Health Day sheds light on various mental health issues and the need to support or help people with mental health issues who need help.
Every year, the day is celebrated with a significant theme. This year's theme being: "Mental Health for All, Greater Investment – Greater Access."
The WHO's World Health Report of 2001 says that around 450 million people live with a mental disorder. The ongoing-pandemic has had the worst impact ever on mental health. Starting from issues like the fear of losing a job, or catching the deadly virus, or the fear of staying away from one's family and the loved ones, the list of issues that has adversely impacted our mental state goes on. To sum it up, the current pandemic has just left us mentally weak.
Speaking to The Sentinel Assam, Kolkata-based psychologist, Orihana Ojah Hatkhowa said, "Mental and physical well-being goes hand-in-hand. We cannot just give importance to our physical health, ignoring the mental health. Both of these together make a human being complete and healthy".
According to Orihana, physical exercises are very important as it increases one's blood circulation and makes a human being feel better mentally too. She said, "Deep breathing is one of the most simple, easy and best exercise to take care of one's mental health. It helps us relax our entire body, both, mentally as well as physically. "
And here's what you need to eat in case you are feeling low and depressed, "A quick mood booster for anyone feeling low, is chocolates. Although it's not very healthy, one should always carry some since it is an instant and complete mood booster," says Orihana, emphasising the importance of food for our mental health. One should indulge in eating vegetables, lots of greens, fruits, and home-cooked meals. "Eat right, exercise, breathe right, think positive. Your mind can make or mar you. As the old saying goes -- a healthy mind resides in a healthy body," Orihana said.
When asked about what to do during these stressful times, Orihana said, "This is the perfect time to learn more about our own self; the time to introspect." She also added that one can utilise these times by doing something they have always wanted to do, but could not. Or one can even learn a new skill. However, one thing that one should avoid is listening to too many COVID related news or any such depressing news as it could trigger bouts of anxiety and stress.
"A person should never feel lonely in this journey, as we all are together in it," said Orihana on why it is important for people to keep communicating and not feel alone.
She also emphasized the need for professional help. "People hesitate to come to the professionals. But everyone should understand that just like calling a physician when one has a stomach ache, it is equally important to call up a mental health professional when they are not feeling okay".
Today, on world mental health day, the Kolkata-based psychologist requests everyone to nurture the emotion we have in ourselves, called patience. "It will lead us to live a more self-controlled life," she said.
Let us all strive to live a mentally healthy life, taking care of our own mental state as well as our near and dear ones. The times are tough. Let us not shy away from reaching out for professional help in case we are not feeling happy and feeling low for a long time. Eat right, exercise, breathe right, think positive is what the mental health experts say.
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