Mental health: we all have it so let’s talk about it!
On Mental Health Awareness Day, we put a call out on social media for young people to write about they have been managing to keep positive mental health over the lockdown. Former Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge competitor Basmah, age 19, shares some wisdom…
I do struggle with my mental health from time to time. My mental health plummeted as this year is extremely difficult for us all. I didn’t think I could get better, but I was wrong. My mental health has improved quite a lot and I would like to share what has helped me and continues to help me maintain good mental wellbeing.
Going on daily walks helps me clear my mind and getting a breath of fresh air (as fresh as we can get with the polluted London air) really improves my overall mood! During lockdown’s peak, the roads were empty, so it was refreshing to go on walks without the loud traffic. I liked going on walks with my family because it was a nice way for us to spend more time together without being cooped up at home all day. I continue to go on daily walks in the morning to get me ready for the day. Even with the noise of the traffic, walking sort of drowns it out as I clear my mind.
Speaking to others about how I feel makes me feel better. Opening up about what you go through also encourages others to open up too. We are never alone in what we go through, even though sometimes it feels like no one will ever understand. You’d be surprised at how many people go through similar (or sometimes the same) situations as you do. What makes it easier to get through is coming together to support each other and to grow through what we go through. Most people I speak to end up making me laugh, and in these moments, I realise that everything will be okay in the end as I have the power within me to overcome any obstacles in my way! I’ve done it before, and I can do it again!
Setting small goals for the day helps me stay motivated. The more structure I have to my day, the better I feel. I set tasks in manageable chucks because as soon as I accomplish them and tick them off my To Do list, I feel like I have already seized the day, or carpe diem if you will! Even if that is all I do in one day, I am still proud of myself. Small steps everyday really do matter to your overall growth!
Some days are more difficult to seize than other days, and that’s okay! Setbacks are normal and part of recovery because healing is not linear. I keep reminding myself that I have come this far, and I can go even further so I should not be hard on myself and instead, to give myself the credit I deserve!
Asking for help when you need it is one of the strongest things you can do. Getting help can come from online resources and websites or professional help like CBT, counselling, medication. It’s an important step in getting you to a place where you can flourish and be the best version of yourself!
Taking care of ourselves should be a top priority and self-care looks different from person to person. Do activities and hobbies that you enjoy because investing in yourself is productive.
My family are such incredible, extraordinary, and supportive people who constantly lift me to new heights. I will not be where I am now without them and I will forever be grateful for them. I cannot thank them enough.
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. The love, care, and time we put in to maintain our physical wellbeing should also be put in to maintain our mental wellbeing. And the more we talk about our mental health, the easier it is to overcome our struggles. You are loved, appreciated, and cared for. Keep going, you’ve got this!