The world is becoming ever so demanding, its no wonder many of us feel so much stress. We may have experienced some sense of anxiety occasioned by the pressures of modern living. Especially in areas of financial and job insecurities.
While stress in small doses may be necessary to keep a healthy balance, too much stress may cause anxiety, depression and mental illness.
According to a report in the Annals of Nigerian Medicine in 2016, an estimated 20%–30% of our population are believed to suffer from mental disorders.This is a very significant number considering Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million. Unfortunately, the attention given to mental health disorders in Nigeria is at best, fleeting. The level of awareness of the Nigerian public on mental health issues is also understandably poor, and the misconceptions regarding mental health have continued to flourish.
Amy McDonald, founder of HeadTorch, UK has been working to demystify mental health. She believes that Mental health is just like physical health and it fluctuates. There are five elements to maintaining wellbeing – connect, be active, keep learning, take notice and give.
She proposes the following hacks for busting stress
A creative lunch Whether you’re at work or home having a change of scene is as important as eating your sarnie. Be creative and you will be far more effective in the afternoon. Meeting friends, colleagues, exercising, going to see an exhibition are great ways to regain energy, focus and effectiveness.
2. Keep Talking
Chat to someone you trust if you’re feeling anxious or low. Know you are not alone and people want to support you. Mental health, like your physical health, varies and sometimes you’re not going to feel great – that is normal. It’s also important to remember this is temporary.
3. Avoid or reduce coffee, booze and fags
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and will increase, rather than cut, your level of stress. Alcohol is a depressant in large quantities and a stimulant in smaller amounts. So start reaching for the water and herbal teas.
4. Change your daily routine
Take a new route and how you reach your destination. Try walking, cycling and jogging and notice the people, sights and sounds of people around you.
5. Random act of kindness
Bring a smile to someone else’s face. You’ll be amazed how good giving makes you feel.
6. Learn something new
This can be anything from playing a new board game, changing a bicycle tyre to a new language. Your sense of accomplishment will be an instant pick-me-up.
7. Laugh and share funny tales
Enjoy yourself. We all feel better after a good chuckle.
8. List key points
This will help for work meetings or in your personal life. They will help you stay focused.
9. Sing or shout loudly
Expressing yourself or even having your own kitchen disco will help lift you.
10. Be active
Even if you don’t feel like it, go for a walk, swim, do yoga – whatever is right for you. Don’t stay stationary as you’ll feel the walls closing in.
TAKE A BREAK