I am going to assume you think about taking a walk, going to the gym, your diet and so forth, but it often doesn’t occur to people to speak about their mental health. Why? We have this notion that anything health related is just physical, and something that other people would notice, like how much you eat or exercise.
Here is a question for you, ‘how are you doing?’ Think about it. It’s hard thinking about an honest answer to that question, right? This is because you assume that I just want to hear that you’re fine. Well, I’m here to tell you that I am genuinely asking you how are you REALLY doing.
When I talk about mental health I am not talking about mental illnesses, just a simple how have you been coping. Mental health does not just refer to a persons’ emotional and psychological health, but rather to a state of wellbeing that helps meet societies demands.
As a student myself, it is vital for me to notice when I am not doing okay, and most importantly, being honest with myself about wellbeing, and not feel chastised, by what social media may be telling me.
It often takes me a while to actually realise that I am not coping, and that is often the truth with most of us. We just want to push through whatever we are feeling without acknowledging our feelings. We all can agree that 2020 has been a LOT, and honestly, our psyche is feeling the brunt of it. One thing I have noticed is that nothing is ever accomplished by ignoring a situation and that we ought to have a more open conversation about our mental health.
It doesn’t matter if this conversation is with yourself, or your loved one, it needs to be had. The more honest conversations we start having, the more we will start focussing on our mental health just as much as our physical health.
Many of us can agree that some days are a lot harder than others, and they get the best of us. The feelings of being overwhelmed can take over our daily lives. Advocate for yourself and take it easy when you feel like the world is leaning on you. Pay attention to your wellbeing and do not overdo it. So, how are you really doing?
You are a priority, make your mental health a priority as well!
By Tlholohelo Khabuke Lekoro, MA in Strategic Marketing student