Taking care of our mental health has never been so important. I have always believed that paying attention to our feelings, connecting them to thoughts and experiences leads to a better mental and physical health. This year has been unprecedented and I am witnessing clients and friends struggle with anxiety, depression, acceptance and transitioning life more than ever before.
Life as most of us know it has shifted dramatically this year. Some have accepted this reality and have made changes to adjust and settle in. The rest who feel that accepting the reality of things is more of a challenge are feeling stuck, unmotivated and sad.
Personally, I feel lucky because I have experienced several dramatic transitions in my life, have gone through various political regimes and have lived in a few different societies and cultures. All this has made me be more grounded, less materialistic and able to navigate life successfully. At times though when I didn't feel like I had much of a safety net, I experienced feeling hopeless, anxious about the future and scared about the uncertainty of life.
So, throughout my life, I have been cultivating several techniques that have helped me stay hopeful, optimistic and can still enjoy life no matter the circumstances.
Having hope and believing that life will unfold somehow whether or not I get anxious about controlling every aspect of it. Acknowledging and accepting that controlling every aspect of our life is not possible, doesn't somehow seem to come naturally to humans.
Practicing gratitude and feeling lucky about the things I already have that make small moments feel so important and allow me to live life to the fullest. I find that when people think about the things they don't have or would like to have, it leaves them feeling empty, upset, hopeless and awful about themselves and their abilities.
Last but not least at all, practicing mindfulness and staying in the moment has been the catalyst in reducing anxiety and intentionally paying attention to feelings without judgement. I spend a lot of time with my clients enforcing the idea of acknowledging their feelings whether they make sense of not and not being judgmental about them.
So, on this day reach out to a mental health professional and get some support, have your feelings heard and validated because you are not alone. We are in this together and we are all experiencing the shift in different degrees. Make mental health your priority!