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They say, there’s no health without mental health. Mental health is the collective term for your psychological well-being. It comprises your self-esteem, the quality of your relationships, and your ability for emotion regulation and problem-solving. Even though anyone might have mental or emotional health difficulties, nowadays these issues are widespread. Due to this, managing your general well-being requires that you learn to control your emotions and deal with life’s problems. But sometimes this is easier said than done.
On World Health Day, Health Shots reached out to a few mental health experts to learn how they maintain their mental health issues.
Here are 9 experts who revealed how they maintain their mental health:
1. “Laughter bring me happiness and this keeps me going”
I am aware that one of my responsibilities as a doctor is to translate the thoughts, feelings, and actions of other people. Exercise, joy, and laughter make me happy. I try not to let thoughts of jealousy, fear, anger, sadness, or concern cloud my judgement when I interact with people on a daily basis because I don’t want to squander my body’s precious happy hormones on things that are not important. Else, I am a television and others have the remote, they press the button and my colour changes. I teach my patients too to respect their and others’ brains, says Dr Vasant Mundra, Consultant Psychiatry, PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, Mahim
2. “Meditation is at the heart of my daily routine to manage stress”
I spend a few hours each morning and evening performing meditative programs and mindfulness. These techniques have the power to unlock our innermost potentials and enhance our quality of life. My daily practice of introspection and visualisation is what actually boosts my productivity. When in doubt, I sit in silence to reconnect with my vision and this simple activity helps me discover with all the answers I seek from within. For anyone aiming to boost their mental health, I’d urge them to journal writing as a daily habit. If done properly, it can restore your emotional and cognitive functions and completely change your life, says Ishan Shivanand, a specialist in meditation, yoga of Immortals.
3. “Taking breaks from my work helps me recover”
I usually maintain my mental health by taking breaks from my work. It gives me space where I can vent out excessive emotional baggage. This balance is always required. I also try to settle down excessive emotions by doing other fruitful things such as meeting close ones, sparing time for self-care, and exploring new places. On daily basis, I love to spend time with my pets and plants, which give me a dose of positivity and emotional balance. Deep breathing relaxation and listening to soulful music are also a part of my routine to manage my stress levels, says Dr Shweta Sharma, Clinical Psychologist, Mansa Global Foundation for Mental Health.
Also, read: Why let stress ruin your day? 5 ways to relax your body and mind at work
4. “Staying physically fit enhances my mental well-being”
Mental and physical health go hand-in-hand, so it’s important to take charge of both. I try to squeeze in some amount of physical activity in the morning. A daily to-do list helps me stay organised and save time. I like to keep my professional and personal life separate which helps in reducing stress. Practicing mindfulness helps in increasing focus and productivity. I like to keep my views unbiased so that I am not judgmental and can make better decisions regarding self and others which leads to lesser stressful situations, Dr Sonal Anand, Psychiatrist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai.
5. “I live in present to avoid past or future related worries and fear”
As a doctor, I prioritize mental health by keeping myself rooted in the present. To do this, I use mindfulness techniques like mindful eating practice, five-sense exercises, and strict adherence to set routines whenever possible. Giving equal attention to my personal life, including spending time with family and friends, also helps me. Overall, I always strive to take ownership of my responsibilities and challenge myself to achieve higher levels of skills and proficiency in my work while also enjoying the process. All this has helped me develop a positive attitude and keep myself away from mental stress and anxiety, says Dr Kedar Tilwe, Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital Mulund and Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi – A Fortis Network Hospital.
6. “Indulging in self care is my priority”
My top priorities are treating myself well and valuing myself. Start by treating yourself with compassion and respect if you want others to treat you that way. Your mental health can be enhanced by taking care of your physical needs also. To keep my mind at ease, I make an effort to eat healthily, drink enough water, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep. In addition, spending time with good people and giving of my time and effort to charity benefits me, says Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali.
7. “Avoiding self-criticism and accepting the person I am helps to keep my mental health in check”
Healing of the healers is utmost important. Investing in self care daily for an hour by nurturing hobbies and tasks I love, helps to rejuvenate myself. Exercising, meditation and going for relaxation walks also acts as de-stressors. Being with friends and family and discussing my worries helps me feel relaxed and calm. Travelling rejuvenates the mind. Hence, I try to plan trips by taking a break from work. Above all, refraining from self-criticism and accepting the person I am and being happy in my space helps me improve my mental health, says Dr Rituparna Ghosh, Consultant, Psychology, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai.
8. “My pets helps me to unwind and feel relaxed”
As a therapist, it’s incredibly important to find ways to manage your own mental health as well. I have two wonderful pets – a dog and a cat. I always unwind after sessions by cuddling with them or playing with them. Taking care of my fur babies is very healing. Other than that, I also understand the importance of taking breaks. I love travelling and going for drives. I feel like when you travel you gain new perspectives and it’s the perfect way to take a break. I’ve also been seeking therapy for myself and my therapist has been helpful in working on my own mental health, says Richa Vashista, Chief Mental Health Expert, AtEase.
9. “Don’t be harsh on yourself”
Your best can look different each day. It took me years to accept this one thing, but when I did – It was a game-changer. As a high performance coach, I build growth mindset hacks. I love trying different ways, tools and routines that can bring out the best ability, creativity and talent from me. For some days, you can also try to journal your thoughts before starting your day, says Aditi Surana, high performance coach and mental fitness expert.