Since it was mental health awareness day on October 10th we wanted to talk a freely about the importance of mental health Each year they pick a different topic and this year it was about suicide prevention! Mental health awareness month takes place every year during the month of May. For us, as physicians this has become a very serious situation in the healthcare setting because doctors are committing suicide due to their struggles from physician burn out, to financial burden, to genuine unhappiness with life. So we thought what better way to spread awareness than to talk a little bit about mental health in general and how important it is. We wanted to discuss the importance of protecting your mental health, spread awareness, and help those in need.
So moving along, this topic encompasses a variety of situations including people who just need a little R&R but also expands to those suffering from various conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, among others. To reiterate this is merely meant to shed some light on mental health in general and not on any particular condition for today.
It’s so amazing that a day like this was created because it helps people see the importance of how this affects all of us and also make us all more aware! You even see how some celebrities talk about how they suffer with a variety of issues when it comes to their well being but you may not see it by the lives they portray on social media. If you guys follow Bella Hadid she wrote an entire post about it right after her birthday and honestly it was a beautiful representation to make you understand that you are not alone. Even more so, no amount of money or fame can solve these issues and in some cases may even amplify them.
I know some of you may be thinking that it should be something that is spoken about more and that one day should not be a defining moment but at least it’s a start. We live in a world where people are genuinely suffering and do not seek any help. Additionally, they may or may not have an underlying issue going on. This is largely impart of the world we currently live in as our society is consumed by these false ideals we are all trying to attain. For example, the social media realm continues to portray these illusions of reality that we all strive for! We all want nicer clothes, a better body, a beautiful face, or a cooler car. All of this leads us into a spiral that is beyond just your motivation to make money and make changes but into this tumultuous relationship with your mind. You try to reach all of these domains and in doing so begin to lose your true self.
But we do have a question to ask here. Do you believe this is something that has been an ongoing struggle? Like why is this happening now? Honestly, we believe this was always a problem it’s just that now we live in a time (see above reference for social media) where we can know what goes on everywhere and at all times. This access we have to the rest of the world is both a gift and a curse but we have to learn to balance it or these situations will continue to worsen.
Anyways, enough about the things we already know let’s delve into our tips on how to protect your well being because trust us, we have also been there! Even now, we have days where we’re like why don’t we have this or that, or I’d like to do this and tweak that. Thinking about things is normal that’s life and that’s how you grow but it’s about learning to not let certain things consume you.
We can get personal really quick because we also worry about the future, about where this brand will take us about financial freedom and being over the fact that our parents were taking care of us. We all suffer from similar things to a certain extent but some of us get caught in a deeper web. So getting straight into it...
Secret Tip #1: Just breathe! This can’t be a truer statement and literally is our motto for everything. But really, sometimes all you need is to take a quick mental break where you relax and take a deep breath or ten. We always think, “Oh we will go to the gym and relax” but in reality our thoughts at the gym are consumed about things we have to do. The point is, you need to find the time to think about nothing at all or think positive “happy” thoughts. Whether this takes place on your couch, at a meditation class, the gym or in the corner of your office during your thirty minute lunch break. Find the time and take that deep breath so you can unwind.
Secret Tip #2: You’re not alone. A lot of people feel like they are the only ones suffering. This may be especially true for introverts who don’t really share how they feel. So they may not get the chance to find out how you feel either. We know everyone says this, but it’s true. We all are going through something just not everyone knows about it. Be open and talk to someone! Whether it’s your friend, therapist, school psychologist, family member or even your physician reach out and have that conversation. Talking to someone is a big deal and it really does help to know when you’re not alone.
Secret Tip #3: Avoid numbing the pain. Unfortunately, we as human beings tend to find an outlet that is not necessarily good for you. For example, some will turn to tobacco, drugs, unhealthy eating habits to try and numb the pain. Instead of talking it out, we will try to hide from our feelings and create these destructive patterns. In the long term, these will only make you feel worse and you will continue to spiral out of control. It can lead you down a path where you feel you can never return to who or where you once were. So, before you go down this route try the next tip.
Secret Tip #4: Find an outlet. And not the one people used above. Is there something you like? May it be drawing, writing, talking, singing, playing basketball or even video games? Use those things you enjoy as a way to let off steam. We all have different things that we enjoy and that can calm us down. Don’t be shy to utilize it, that’s what makes you strong when you know what you need to get you through these tough times.
Secret Tip #5: Treat your body and your mind well. It really is so important to have a healthy lifestyle to some extent. We all break things here and there. Like, we can always go for a bag of flamin hot cheetos or today I ended up eating a bunch of fries. These things may make you feel good in that moment but like crap, thereafter. Overall though, eating a well balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising, getting your beauty sleep (you know how much we love that) and taking care of yourself has a major impact on your mental health. So why not get your body and mind to align together. It will help you improve your brain function, make you feel good, and promote your overall well being.
With all of this information we want you all to know that we are all tired and we all get stressed out, even overworked at times but these measures we discussed above help us stay afloat. When we really need the break we tend to let go, which is why for us a weekend off or vacations are cherished moments because it’s the only time we can really get back to our true selves and unwind!
Don’t forget on the other aspect of things that you can be the one to offer a helping hand for other people who may be going through something. Whether you personally went through an issue or not, you can look for red flag signs in other individuals. For example, if someone social is suddenly withdrawn, if you see people hurting or upset, if they are noticeably missing, IG they appear unwell or under the influence in inappropriate settings. Sometimes it’s hard to notice any of these symptoms or anything all all and they may very well not have any red flags that are obvious on the surface. But talking with your colleagues and letting your intuition guide you will allow you to help those around you as well as, protect their mental health. It also helps you to know that you are helping others that are need.
For a good list of resources please visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-HelpLine/Top-HelpLine-Resources and is separated based on various individual needs. You can also check out www.mentalhealth.gov for resources and educational information about different mental health topics.
Just remember you can and should always find someone to reach out to if you feel uncomfortable or even if you just need someone to talk to. Like we mentioned earlier, it can be your friend, family member, school faculty, physician, even us! We’re all here for each other even if it sometimes feels like that’s not the case. So let’s make this world a better place for all of us!
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Disclaimer: The Content on our podcast/website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.