As we Mark the World Mental Health Day today the 10th of October, prolonged lock downs, loss of jobs and businesses, and increasing deaths due to covid-19 pandemic has led a surge on mental health issues than ever experienced in history.
Around 450 million people currently suffer from mental health conditions, placing such disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.World Health Organization
World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.
Creating awareness on this is very crucial according to a report released early this month by WHO.
While treatment for mental health is available, nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Why? Because of Stigma, discrimination and neglect.
World Health Organization (WHO) says this has prevented care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders.
This leads me to the question I am going to ask you today from a personal level of a freelancer and Entrepreneur working from home. Are we able to manage our mental health before it becomes a crisis?
Before the covid-19 pandemic hit the world, I was working from home for close to 8 months. I decided to close my company office so as to adopt a new business model of operating legitimately from home with my team working from wherever they are.
At the early stages of this process, I struggled a lot because I worked alone from home. I was used to waking up every morning and going to an office within the Nairobi CBD.
One of the biggest hurdles in my early days was the missing social life. I felt separated. My girlfriend left me because of my decision to work from home. Her breaking up with me made the situation even worse.
I went through the solitude alone. Sometimes, I resorted to go out and drink in order forget about my troubles. While at it, I was always cautious not to abuse whatever I was drinking, else, it could have gotten me into more trouble than the one I was feeling I was in at the time.
The process opened up my mind. I learnt how to drink responsibly. I learnt that Yoga and meditation has set of spiritual rules based on Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and you cannot combine it with Christianity. Therefore, you have to decide if you are a Christian or a Yogi under the above mentioned religions.
Moreover, I learnt some important brain science. That mind is made up of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. When you are able to control your subconscious mind, your future is lit.
The subconscious mind is the ‘god‘ in you as quoted in biblical story of creation. Read Genesis chapter 1:26.
By the time Corona came, I was never lonely when I am alone. I had known myself better than never.
While all this took place, I started becoming more conscious of my health. For example, if I get a stomachache, I could immediately do ‘contact tracing‘ like they do for Corona virus but now on the food I ate.
Where did I buy them? Where did I eat last? What ingredient could have caused my problem?
After repeatedly following this process of ‘tracing’ either what I ate last, and where I was last’ each time I got sick or felt stressed, my life changed.
In this blog post, I will share the top five things that leads to poor mental and body health to anyone working from home. Mind and body is one. When you are sick physically, you mental health is affected as you are worried.
What do you eat? Where do you buy your food from? What you eat matters. For example, eating food with too much sugar can result in slowed cognitive function and deficits in memory and attention.
If this pattern repeats over and over, your productivity is depleted and hence anxiety then depression.
The same thing is with where you purchase your food.
Some outlets are dirty and don’t observe recommended health standards.
Depending on your body immunity, the effects of bacteria from the food may not emerge immediately, but it will eventually. Some bacteria may change your body hormones’ resulting in anxiety and depression.
If not keen, by the time, you go out and seek for treatment, you will have suffered enough.
Digital Well Being
How well are you in control of your digital gadgets? The technology industry is becoming sophisticated day by day. Phones, computers, laptops, TV’s, Sound systems are being designed in a way that you become addicted to them.
The recent Netflix movie, Social Dilemma paints a picture on the motive that drives the designers of these digital gadgets and apps. They aim to fuel user addiction.
While all these tech gadgets are made for the good of the users, it’s important to be in control of them. Know when to use what and for how long.
If you are in most social media networks, use the free Digital Well Being app by google to see which app is addictive to you and set time usage on it. This way, when the time set elapses, the app is frozen and will activate the next day.
As you progress, see a way to be in control of your gadgets without relying on the digital well being app.
We love to talk about exercising but do we really exercise? It doesn’t matter where. It can be jogging outside, or doing aerobics indoors.
It has been found that frequently exercising is good for your brain. It optimizes your blood circulation and cell degeneration on your brain.
In an article published by www.dana.org, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals such as dopamine (pronounced doh-pa-meen) and endorphins (en-door-fins) in your brain that make you feel happy.
Not only is your brain dumping out feel-good chemicals, but exercise also helps your brain get rid of chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious.
Friends and Family
Many a times, when we are stressed and anxious, our friends and family never comes to mind as the source of our stress. This is because they are the ones that we first run to for help.
But have you ever ‘traced’ back to who you were with before the stress hit you? If you are conscious each time you feel stressed and anxious; you will realize that the source of your problem maybe arising from a conversation or interactions you had with a friend or member of your family.
Being able to look at it this way is the key to finding solutions on your mental health.
Spiritual Well Being
While not all of us belong to or believe in any religion; in one way or another they acknowledge the role religious and spiritual institutions play in the well being of its people.
They are the masters of positive energy. They offer a shoulder to lean on.
In fact, religious institutions are the most sort after for counselling and rehabilitation. This is owing to their compassionate nature.
It’s therefore important to find a religion or a school of thought to belong to. There is much to gain through this than when you are alone.
And that’s it from me.
Do you have any other tips on mental health that you recommend to freelancers or anyone working from home? Please share in the comments below.
Until next time , bye bye and take care.
You can follow me on twitter @cheptiony