Addressing mental health involves taking a comprehensive approach that encompasses both individual and societal actions. An individual approach involves taking steps to promote your own personal wellbeing. A societal approach discloses the practice of recognizing that battling mental health is not just individual concerns, but that it also affects everyone.
Becoming a supporting and inclusive member of a community contributes to the practice of this exercise.
How to take an individual approach
Recognize your symptoms. If you are showing signs of depression, anxiety, or any form of substance abuse, it is critical to seek help immediately. It is not advisable to self-diagnose without consulting a doctor.
Practicing self care involves taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Engaging in activities that should bring you joy is beneficial, such as, relaxing with a warm bath, practicing yoga, and even getting a massage is a great way to bring self care to your physical state. Make sure to take steps toward eating healthier and getting exercise, even if it is just walking to school or cleaning the house. Get your body moving!
Challenging your brain with new hobbies, skills, or reading can bring inner calmness to your mind.
Take care of your social self-care by connecting with others and building healthy relationships. Attempt to maintain your peace by selecting friends who bring you joy and do not trigger stress or feelings of self-doubt.
Take care of your emotions by journaling, mindfulness, or even speaking to a professional about what’s plaguing your mind. Writing down your feelings onto a piece of paper can be calming.
How to take a societal approach
Help increase awareness of mental health through education and various ways of informing the public. Start a club, tell your friends, share articles about it, any way you can use your voice to advocate for awareness.
Establishing inclusive and supportive environments where everyone can share their struggles with mental health is favorable.
Address the roots and determinants of mental health to reduce discrepancy and make it a safer place to share. Recognize factors that include poverty, trauma, oppression, and other forms of discrimination.
Advocate for policy changes. If there is something you are dissatisfied with, don’t hesitate to take action to change it. Support the organizations that share awareness about the topic.
Speak up when you hear incorrect or stigmatizing comments. Kindly correct them and encourage them to be open minded to the topic.
Overall, self-care is a mixture between individual and societal approaches to maintain physical, mental, social and emotional health. It's important to practice these when times get tough. Remember that no stress or pain is forever and with time comes healing. There are many ways to deal with stress and it's important to practice self-care to improve your overall well-being.