Most of us have read the capers of Winnie the Pooh; his assorted group of friends and Christopher Robin. Each of these friends look up to Christopher for help and guidance in times of need during their adventures. I recall, vividly, a piece of advice that Christopher Robin gives Pooh, “Promise me that you’ll always remember – you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” I say this to myself multiple times to reassure myself and to rekindle an awareness of self in me.
Self-awareness is a word that is really trending in today’s culture, and rightly so. When we are aware of ourselves, we see ourselves clearly—who we are, our capabilities, what makes us happy or sad – we are able to develop more confidence and creativity, make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships and communicate more effectively.
Mindfulness and self-awareness are important aspects to develop, for mental well-being. There are a few questions one needs to ask the self, a mental health check-in, so to speak, whereby one can introspect and understand the ‘self’ on a day-to-day basis. I make sure I ask myself these questions daily and I suggest you do so too.
- How Am I Feeling Today?
A very obvious question, but not one you usually ask yourself on a daily basis. Ask yourself how you are feeling and wait a while contemplating your response. Are you feeling good or anxious, worried, apprehensive, sad? Take note of your response, maybe journal it. Doing so, you can keep a regular check on your feelings and monitor your mental health. Mental health symptoms to be concerned about could be headaches, body ache, stomach aches, rashes, frequent urination, muscle tenseness, loss of energy, change in appetite. Affirmative answers to these symptoms could be a result of stress, anxiety or depression and need to be looked into.
2. Am I Taking Care Of Myself And My Body?
A busy life leads us to neglect the basic care demanded by our body—food, exercise and sleep. We need to ask ourselves whether we are fulfilling our body’s basic fundamental needs. Simple, but essential, ways to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, are:
- Sleeping well and adhering to a fixed bedtime schedule, without distractions.
- Eating wholesome, balanced, nutritious meals with ample portions of vegetables and fruits, and drinking plenty of water.
- Exercising every day – whether it is taking a brisk walk, a jog, a dance routine or a complete workout.
Not having an interest or energy to take care of these basic needs could be an indication that you are undergoing stress, anxiety or depression. Mental and physical health are inter-dependent and both need to be nurtured to ensure overall wellness.
3. What is Causing me Concern Lately, and is it Affecting my Mental Health?
Reflect and take some time to think about what is worrying you specifically—work front, home front, financial matters. It could be multiple things that are causing you to worry. It is crucial to notice how these concerns and potential triggers make you feel and you have to develop a plan to manage them. Track your stressors and develop healthy responses like taking a break, establishing boundaries, using relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, warm baths, etc.
4. What Am I Doing to Bring Myself Joy?
Often, personal happiness and content are pushed to the bottom of priorities. But it is so important to ask yourself what it is that truly brings you happiness, that brings a smile to your face, that fills you with ‘warmth and joy.’ If you don’t have an answer to this question, something needs to change. Some options to feel good and happy could include:
- A getaway trip.
- Some creative activity like cooking, painting, writing, building something. You could resume an old interest or hobby, or take up a new one.
- Maintaining a ‘gratefulness journal’ where you could write things you are thankful for, every day.
- Spending time with a pet.
- Visiting friends or family who you are genuinely fond of, and who make you smile.
- Watching a funny movie or a show that makes you laugh out loud.
- Spending time outdoors, getting some sun, communing with nature and marveling at its beauty.
5. Who can I Count on in Times of Need?
Ask yourself who you can have in your corner. A strong support system is so essential to mental health. Think about who you can trust and rely on unconditionally. It could be a family member, a close friend or any other trustworthy person who, you are sure, gives you good advice, is respectful of your thoughts and feelings, who actually listens to you, who has your interests at heart and who gives you space to grow , to make decisions and, even, to make mistakes. You need to ask yourself who “has your back.” If there isn’t such a person in your life, there are support groups you can reach out to who can ‘lend you an ear’, and be there for you when you’re going through a crisis.
These questions and the answers that I get to them, make me aware of what’s going on with me, what I need to be mindful of, what I need to do/ not do to maintain good physical and mental well-being. Try it…it works!
Our Customized EAP solutions
At KelpHR, our experts can help you with solutions for the mental health and well-being of your employees through our Counselling and Employee Assistance Programs. For more on our customized and confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP) solutions that help provide mental health and wellness for organizations and their employees, do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org,call +91-95001-29652.
KelpHR was incorporated in 2013 to provide the best HR solutions to organizations, and to improve workplace culture across the board. Over the last 8 years, we have serviced more than 700 clients in India and a few overseas, across various industries in the areas of PoSH (prevention of sexual harassment at workplace), D, E & I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) and EAP. But the common objective of all of these services is to build safer, happier, inclusive and productive workplaces.
For any of our other services related to Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) or Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D, E&I), do get in touch with us at email@example.com, call +91-95001-29652 and we’d be able to help you with customized offerings suited to your organization.