In general, mental health is not regarded as seriously as it should be. For many, their mental health tends to take a back seat. October 10th is World Mental Health Day, which provides us with a natural moment to reflect on mental health and provide strategies to help those who are struggling.
As an OB/GYN practice, PGOMG we want to draw attention to the unique mental health challenges that women face. Even in modern society, women are still often raised to place others above themselves to varying degrees. Their education, careers, family, friends, personal goals, communities, and children, with mental health constantly being put on the back burner. This constant juggle comes first, even as symptoms of mental health issues arise. World Mental Health Day offers a moment to pause, reflect, and consider ways to finally put your own mental health first.
Consider tracking opportunities for gratitude
You may not feel grateful for every day that passes, but there are moments – even very small ones – where appreciation can lighten your mood. Many have found that tracking the things in their lives that they are grateful for demonstrates perspective over darker moments – that they are perhaps fewer and farther between than you may have believed.
Find a routine that brings comfort and allows for self-care
Daily responsibilities have a way of stacking up and becoming overwhelming. If possible, look for ways that you can adjust your routine that helps alleviate stress when possible. Also, try to make time for at least some self-care. If that means waking up a bit earlier so your morning routine is less of a rush, or re-prioritizing so you can go to sleep earlier, then try your best to make it happen. If you live with a partner or family, talk to them about your needs and how you want to improve things.
Try something new, even something small
While we’re on the subject of routines, it’s worth noting that routines can be a great source of comfort. However, sometimes, especially during moments of stress, they also have the potential to become confining. We all know what it feels like to be stuck in a rut and how draining it can feel, so trying something new can be refreshing. The change can be small, such as trying a new recipe, or something larger, like taking a class to learn a new hobby.
A Better Tomorrow
Even when steps like the above aren’t groundbreaking, they can make an impact on how you feel on a daily basis. It’s also important to realize that mental health struggles can come and go, and vary widely in severity. If you are in crisis, please seek immediate help now. There are both online and in-person resources available to assist, regardless of the severity of your struggle.
Whatever you do, it’s important that you not push your feelings to the side. Difficulties with mental health tend to build up over time, and if left unaddressed, can have serious health consequences. We only wish the best for everyone, including our patients, and we hope that World Mental Health Day can provide a reflective opportunity.