According to WHO, this is the number of people suffering from depression, across the globe- accounting to 4.4% of the world’s population. Surprisingly, the age of onset of depression has been decreasing, and it is now being increasingly identified in children and adolescents.
As students, especially as part of the Indian education system, we are always expected to overachieve- secure top ranks, top colleges and eventually, high-paying jobs. In the pursuit of chasing our dreams, we give little or no importance to mental health. More often than not, we measure a day’s worth only in terms of our productivity. This is a testament to the fact that one’s mental health deserves more attention.
I’m certainly not at the pink of my mental health, but I’ve come a long way from where I was a few years ago. So here are my two cents:
- We are only human, and it’s okay to feel vulnerable. Seeking help is one of the foremost steps you should take to improve your mental health. It’s imperative that you also feel empathetic to be on the other side and listen. As listeners, we are expected of only one thing- listen.
- As much as I advocate seeking help when you feel overwhelmed, embracing solitude is equally important. Making peace with yourself and accepting the choices you’ve made, go a long way in helping you become a better version of yourself. The first step in dealing with negative emotions is to recognise them, and then decide what you want to do to overcome them. The more time you spend with yourself, the better you’ll be able to handle your shortcomings.
- Feeling grateful and maintaining a gratitude journal is highly understated. You don’t need a fancy notebook to write down the things you’re grateful for. Take an excel spread-sheet and write down 3 things that you’re grateful for, and if you’re feeling creative, colour-code the cells based on your overall mood of the day.
- You don’t have to be at the epitome of productivity every day. All of us procrastinate, you are not alone. That is why there is a separate industry centred around time-management. So, the next time you enlist tasks on your to-do list, account for your procrastination and cut yourself some slack.
- Social media has a rather significant impact on our mental health. One can view social media as only the tip of the iceberg, as it doesn’t delve deeper into the not-so-happening parts of people’s lives. Or even better, draw inspiration from your peer’s successes. Turning envy into inspiration is one of the best examples of “Easier said than done”, but it’s truly worth that effort.
Mental health is not a destination, rather a journey encompassing a multitude of experiences.
With that said, I sincerely hope that this article gave you a chance to re-evaluate yourself, and spread the word to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. This is only going to make us better Homo sapiens, after all! 😊
— Varshni K R
Volunteer Organizer, TEDxNITTrichy