When did you last check in with your mental health? — R Voice

When did you last check in with your mental health?

Shruti Turner
Shruti Turner Member Posts: 300 ✭✭✭✭

This week is Mental Health Awareness week, so I thought it would be a good time for a little reminder to check in with our own mental health.

I want to shout it out loud, but I will suffice with this small post: You matter. Your mental health matters. Supporting other people's mental health matters.

It's been an especially tough year or so with everything going on in the world, and the work still coming and results needs to be produced. It can be so easy to keep pushing through and trying to keep on top of everything and forget that we are important too.

I, like so many others out there, have had ups and downs in my mental health. Unfortunately, the empathy and support still isn't up to that for physical health concerns. It can feel overwhelming or "silly" to feel caught up in our emotions, but that's not because it is "silly", but because maybe other people have made us feel that way for whatever reason.

What are you doing to check in with yourself and others too? What do you feel we can/should to do help us all in this area all year around?

Personally, I have to consciously remind myself about my own mental health, I'm much better and checking in on my friends/lab mates. Things that cause me to check in are changes in usual behaviour whether that's mood of physically being present etc. A quick text can be a great start :)

Comments

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 454 admin
    edited May 12

    @Shruti Turner thank you for starting this thread! I'm not sure when mental health and getting caught up in our own emotions became "silly" but you're so right - this is exactly how we've been made to feel for so many years that it seems like ignoring or powering through these emotions is what's expected of us. 😔

    This year has surely been tough on us all, and it's been increasingly difficult to cope with everything that's going on - with no end in sight, sadly (sigh). When it comes to taking care of my mental health, I've been a mixed bag - there are days when I voluntarily take it easy and do everything I can to relax because I know I need a break, and then there are other difficult guilt-ridden days when I feel hopeless for "not doing/being enough" (even though I tell myself I should know better), and then I have to consciously remind myself that it's perfectly okay for me to pace myself and taking time for myself is not a crime.

    I read somewhere the other day that dealing with this pandemic has been terrible for everyone because "it's difficult to reach out to others for support when everyone is going through something." This resonated with me so strongly! One thing that's definitely helped me through the last year is being as honest as possible with my loved ones and friends about where I'm at mentally, and how this affects my ability to be there for them. Initially, I'd think this was rude and selfish on my part. It took some time to realize that I cannot pour from an empty cup and I can only take care of others if I'm taking care of myself. So now when I really can't offer the support someone needs, instead of just listening and pressuring myself, I say I'm not feeling up for the conversation atm, request some time to recharge, and then reach out as soon as I'm feeling better. I'd love to know if anyone else can relate to this.

    I've been away from all my friends during this pandemic, most of whom are scattered across the globe. And so text and calls have helped me check in on them. Even if it's a group chat, I make it a point to call out to each one and ask them for a personal update or check in on something I know has been going on for them. It's really helped bring us all closer and help us stay sane.