No matter who you are or where you come from, it is vital that you keep your mental health in check. People from all walks of life, including caregivers who work in a hospital or similar facility or take care of a loved one, are at a high risk of mental instability. This is not something to be ashamed of. In fact, it is something you should embrace.
If you are willing to accept the fact that you are suffering from, or at the very least vulnerable to, having a mental breakdown, you are already ahead of the majority when it comes to fixing the issue. Many individuals, no matter how difficult their situation is, will often minimize the severity of the problem. Or worse, they will outright deny a problem even exists in the first place.
Why is this? Why do we refuse to accept that something is wrong? Why would we rather suffer when help is out there? Why do we tell ourselves that things will get better without taking steps towards making them better? Of course the answers to these questions varies from person to person but it is often very obvious.
In many cases, it is pride. We often take pride in our ability to handle any situation that comes our way. It shows that we are strong and independent, that we are more capable than others in controlling our own lives. Being able to say that we've handled something completely on our own can temporarily boost our ego and make us feel better about ourselves.
But is this the right answer? Should we struggle and fight our own battles without any outside help? Will we become stronger for it or simply delay the inevitable collapse of our mental health? This often leads to a downward spiral of not only our mental well being, but our physical, emotional, social, and financial status as well.
Maybe it's shame. We are embarrassed to admit when we have a problem. This is of course related to pride but having shame shows that you are at least aware that a problem exists even if you don't want to admit it to others. Pride can sometimes lead us to believe our own lies we tell ourselves in order to justify our perceived strength and independence.
In a sense, shame is a step in the right direction. Admitting to ourselves that we need help, but just not having the strength to act upon finding a solution is half the battle. But letting that shame dictate what we are willing to do about it still leaves us alone in the fight.
What we must realize is that we are not alone in our trials. In fact, quite the opposite. There are an ever increasing amount of people who are struggling just to get out of bed much less tackle all of the hardships of life. There should be no shame in admitting that we need help. In the end, finding the help we need will only make us stronger.
Maybe it's hope. Hope can often be a positive thing, but only in the right context. Holding on to hope that things will eventually get better, but refusing to take action to control your own destiny causes many people to end up in an endless cycle of suffering.
Things don't always get better on their own. We have to take action ourselves in order to get where we want to be in life including the general state of mind we want to have. Hope allows us to temporarily cope with the idea of hardships by allowing us to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But if we never move closer to that light, we will never reach it, even if it is just within our grasp.
So how do we take care of our mental health? We take action. We swallow our pride and accept that we need help. We throw away shame by realizing that we are not alone in our struggles. We stop depending on false hope that gives us a sense of peace in the moment, but does nothing to fix the problem at hand.
Action can come in many forms. We can do simple things like getting better sleep, meditating, praying, reading encouraging words, surround ourselves with positive people, or simply smiling more. Even if some of these things are impossible for you to do, I'm sure some of them are achievable if you really want change bad enough.
Another alternative would be traditional therapy. This may not be the easiest or the cheapest way to get help, but for many people, it is the most effective. Therapy from a licensed therapist has changed the lives of too many individuals to count which is why it is such a common practice.
But in my opinion, it isn't utilized enough. There are many individuals, including some of you reading this article, who haven't even tried counseling or have tried it for a short period of time and came to the abrupt conclusion that it simply isn't for you. Perhaps you simply just had the wrong approach.
Although therapy may not be right for everyone, there are countless people who need it but aren't getting it. In addition to the reasons already mentioned, this could be because of cost, time restraints, mobility restrictions, insurance coverage, lack of available counselors, etc. This unfortunate reality has caused many people to suffer in silence.
What many people don't know is that there is an alternative to traditional face to face counseling in an office. Online counseling has recently skyrocketed in the mental health space with sites such as Betterhelp. This method has rectified many of the seemingly impossible problems with traditional therapy sessions.
The overall cost is much more affordable than your average office visit, timing is a lot more flexible, the sessions can be done at home or anywhere else with an internet connection, and the number of available counselors are nothing short of staggering. This is truly a game changer for mental health and it is only going to get better from here.
Why not try online counseling and see for yourself? Click here to fill out a short survey to get started. This will help you find a therapist that is right for your specific needs. The initial sign up is free so you have nothing to lose. Get your mental health back on track and see how rewarding life can be.