"This is driving me nuts!!"... is a phrase we have all used undoubtedly at some point, especially now that we've been (and still are) in quarantine. Though sometimes used in jest, the gravity of that very statement is all too real for some people- and to varying degrees. In March when we published the article on Social Distancing = Adventure Therapy, there was hope that we would be able to go ahead with life, albeit strict personal controls. Mandatory quarantine quickly saw that idea dissipate and become replaced with mixed feelings stemming from the lock-down. The outdoor industry unfortunately has seen a real drop because in this period there has been no 'outdoors' thus a steady decline in clients and job availability. Many other industries have also suffered and people worldwide have lost jobs, taken salary cuts, taken on added responsibilities, and been isolated amidst the pandemic health scare. This is a lot to take in so suddenly and some have found it difficult to cope and hold an optimistic outlook to their lives/situation. To make matters worse, speaking about emotions and our mental well-being does not come easily to many. The truth is that in the last couple of months our mental health has been tested.
Being in good mental health is not just about not having a mental illness. A person can live with a mental disorder and still experience mental well-being resulting in a balanced and satisfying life.Maintaining good mental health is also one of the best ways to prepare for life’s difficult moments both at a personal and professional level. Why then are we often reluctant or unable to address our mental health needs?
Here are 4 points of view that are rampant in society and should be changed in order to create awareness and promote good mental health.
Perspective 1- In some societies, mental and emotional issues are seen as less legitimate than physical issues. They’re seen as a sign of weakness or somehow as being our own fault.
Perspective 2- Some people mistakenly see mental health problems as something we should know how to “snap out of.” Stereotype alert but Men, especially, would often rather bottle up their feelings than seek help.
Perspective 3- In the modern age, we’re obsessed with seeking simple answers to complex problems. We look for connection with others by compulsively checking social media instead of reaching out to people in the real world; to boost our mood and ease depression we take a pill, rather than address the underlying issues.
Perspective 4- Many people think that if they do seek help for mental and emotional problems, the only treatment options available are medication (which comes with unwanted side effects) or therapy (which can be lengthy and expensive). The truth is that, whatever your issues, there are steps you can take to improve the way you feel and experience greater mental and emotional well-being. And you can start today!
As we think about these things and how to boost our mental health we should ensure to stay grounded during COVID-19. Check on others and remember to try and put yourself in their shoes because we're all in this together.
Stay Safe! Stay Strong! Mind You!