Talking about your own mental health isn’t easy, but it’s something you need to be comfortable with. Because when you’re not looking, the problems could take on a life of their own. It can be challenging to recognize feelings that are chipping away at your mental well-being but at some point, you know something isn’t right. You may have lost interest in things you once loved or find yourself arguing with family or colleagues. It can take many shapes and forms. For example, after reflecting on how a disagreement between friends escalated, you might wonder if you need help. Robert Ingersoll, an American politician and lawyer, once said, “We rise by lifting others.” Helping people is good for you. If you need help, although it may be difficult, you need to ask.
Consider starting by talking things through with your doctor. With the isolation caused by the pandemic and the turmoil in Ukraine, you may feel as if your problems aren’t severe enough to matter. However, the longer you leave mental health issues unchecked, the longer it will take to develop strategies to cope with and overcome them. In some cases, you might need the freedom to speak and be heard. Talking to a therapist or a social worker may be an option as they will create a safe space for you to express yourself. Both professionals go through substantial training to become certified to work with people struggling with mental health issues. Although it will take time, speaking to a mental health professional can help you get to the root of the issue. Understanding what triggers your behaviour is an opportunity to develop a strategy to handle similar situations with a more measured response. They may suggest online programs or tools to help you build new routines and adopt new skills and techniques. Simply applying what you’ve learned once will prove you have grown.
BounceBack is a free program from the Canadian Mental Health Association. The program aims to help adults and young adults manage moods, depression, stress, worry and anxiety. The program provides a specific number of live calls and a coach to assist you. Please note the coach is there to guide you through the work you need to take on.
MoodGym, is an online subscription-based (CBT) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program from Australia. This program will help you determine if you need help and, if you do, learn strategies to cope.
Both programs will encourage you to push yourself toward activities you enjoy. Exercising regularly, reading, listening to music, or going for a run are just a few examples that could change the way you think and impact how you feel.
These days there are applications on smartphones, tablets and computers to help you relax, like Calm.
Calm is a subscription-based service that provides voice-guided meditations, stories, a relaxing ambience, music and more.
What’s Up? is a free application that uses simple instructions and games to focus on CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Anger, Stress and more.
As a student or young professional balancing life, work, and education, these feelings could be overwhelming and harmful. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to acknowledge those feelings and address them.