The year 2020 came along with a lot of bad vibes, principally the Covid outbreak. This outbreak led to financial and economic downturns. Not only did the year have a bad effect on economies but it also adversely affected people’s mental health. 2021 however was a little breath of much needed fresh air. Although Covid is still in the air and lurking around as the Omicron variant, people are able to move and interact relatively freely. But, does this mean that mental health is also free from the shackles of anxiety and stress? 

What is mental health?

Mental health, according to the Oxford dictionary, is one’s emotional well-being. Especially with reference to one’s outlook on life, ability to cope with stress or the absence of a mental disorder.

According to Wikipedia, some early signs related to mental health problems are sleep irritation, lack of energy and thinking of harming yourself or others. How do you protect your mental health? How do you guard it against certain lasting and temporal effects?

Say no to overthinking

Overthinking is a form of worrying, and it’s like a drug. Once you start it, it’s easy to get addicted. It’s one of the ways people seek validation from others and most often than not, disappointment kicks in when expectations aren’t met. 

protecting your mental health

“See ehn, if you want peace of mind, just don’t overthink things,”Bukky, an online vendor says. “Problems will always occur, people will always disappoint. Don’t sweat it. The thing with overthinking is that you’d find yourself not just thinking about that particular problem but also about what could be, could have been and might be. It’s just not good for one’s health.”

Overthinking creeps in slowly while you perform activities and can even cause sleepless nights. Other effects of overthinking are; headaches, constant mental tiredness, and lack of focus.

Overthinking also affects communication with others and eventually results in poor mental health. Don’t be too shocked to know that avoiding overthinking just might be your saving grace.

Filter, filter and filter.

“We are what we consume”

Nowadays, content of different sorts streams into social media and the internet. Strangers make unsolicited comments on any post and negativities like body shaming, non-consensual acts and harassment are now being seen as the norm. 

protecting your mental health

Memes, the new pillars of cruise, are now in negative and positive forms. While some are funny, others are simply brazenly negative 

Becoming what you consume is easy and it mostly happens unconsciously. However, one way to avoid this and protect your mental health is to filter the content you see. Be mindful of what you let your mind wander on and do not hesitate to eliminate contents that tend to awaken negativity in you. 

Health is wealth. 

Nothing shocking here we know, because it should go without saying. Your physical health has a major impact on your mental health. It’s easy to slip into depression when you’re not physically fit and healthy. Hence, ensure to take care of your physical health and prevent common illnesses. 

protecting your mental health

Common ways to do this are; 

  • by drinking water regularly.
  • going for regular medical check-ups.
  • sleeping and resting properly.
  • and lastly, exercising regularly.

Conclusively, you should see a therapist when you need someone to talk to – especially when you’re overwhelmed. Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative is doing a good job at providing volunteer therapists to offer a few free sessions. Reach out whenever. 

Article written by Sola Tales.

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