Ahead of World Mental Health Day 2023 (10 October), we discussed with one of our mental health specialists, Jelena Lubenko, the impact mental health has on our lives, and asked her advice on how to achieve ‘good mental health’.
In this blog, we have provided five tips from Jelena to help improve your psychological wellbeing, and advice on how to seek professional mental health services and support, if required.
Is mental health as important as physical health?
For many years, our focus has primarily been on physical health, as we have become adept at diagnosing and treating the body's physical ailments. When our body is injured or in pain, we understand that it won't heal on its own without intervention.
However, when mental health issues present, like prolonged sadness, burnout or avoidance behaviour, more often we simply expect they will disappear without any effort or support from a professional.
Over the years, it has become known that mental health isn't as straightforward as physical health, and it's frequently overlooked or misunderstood.
Mental health is about your abilities to navigate life's experiences effectively, to be able to open up to whatever is happening, learn from your experiences and participate in them, while giving the best you have. It involves the ability to seek support when loneliness strikes, to recover from failures, and adapt to circumstances - whether that means accepting what we cannot change or taking charge of what we can.
So, how can we take better care of our mental health, acknowledging its complexities and the significance it holds in our lives?
5 tips to help build resilience and mental wellbeing
Strengthening your mental wellbeing starts with your daily choices. Imagine it as building blocks, one day at a time, shaping the foundations of your life.
By refining your daily routine, you set in motion a ripple effect that transforms not just your days, but your entire life.
To foster better mental health and resilience, consider incorporating these top five tips to help bring wellbeing into your daily life:
- Organise your day to suit your priorities: Identify what’s most important in your life and ensure you have at least one specific action related to this priority. No need to make drastic changes like quitting your job if family is your top priority. Instead, find creative ways to be present for your loved ones, whether it's driving your kids to school, engaging in heartfelt evening conversations, or preparing a meal together
- Take care of your basic needs: Prioritise adequate sleep, regular exercise and a balanced diet. Taking control of these needs helps you to feel in charge of your life and instils a sense of control and resilience
- Engage in joyful and fulfilling activities: Ensure that your weekly schedule includes activities you genuinely enjoy or find valuable in doing. Neglecting these activities can make you vulnerable to symptoms of depression
- Stay connected: Dedicate time and effort to building and nurturing connections with family, friends and loved ones. Find creative ways to reach out to people you like and trust, as social support and a sense of belonging is crucial for mental wellness
- Be kind to yourself: Every small step you take counts. Celebrate your small victories and acknowledge your efforts. Often, our mental suffering stems from focusing on what's wrong, so consciously notice your competencies and progress
On World Mental Health Day, remember that if any of these five elements are missing in your life, consider at least one way to make them more prominent in your daily routine. You can't change everything in one day, but taking even one step towards better mental wellbeing can make a big difference.
Taking the first steps towards getting professional help
Taking the first steps towards therapy can be a significant and courageous decision. Positive change begins with the realisation that you want your life to be different, that you want to feel and behave differently.
Here, Jelena provides advice to help you or someone you care about get the support needed:
- Understand that seeking therapy is a positive step towards improving mental wellbeing: It's a sign of strength and self-awareness, not weakness
- Research possibilities: Look for licensed and accredited therapists in your area, explore clinic websites and clinician profiles, and gather information from various resources, including online sources or recommendations from friends and family
- Seek support: Discuss your decision to seek therapy with a trusted friend or family member. Having a support system can provide encouragement and understanding as you embark on this journey
- Trust the process: Remember that therapy is often not a quick fix, and progress may take time. Trust the process and be patient with yourself. It's perfectly normal to experience ups and downs along the way
Seeking help from a mental health professional can be a transformative step on your path to wellness. Our experts at Aspris are trained to provide guidance, support and evidence-based treatments, tailored to your specific needs.
Benefit from international mental health day by reaching out to a professional, you're not alone in this process. Remember, asking for help is a courageous act of self-care that can lead to brighter days and a healthier, happier you. So, take that first step and let the healing begin - you deserve it.
Contact us today
If you’d like to speak to one of our friendly team of experts about any of our mental health services, please contact us today on (+971) 4 385 4493 for our Dubai clinic, or (+971) 2 651 8111 for our Abu Dhabi clinic.
Alongside our adult services, we also have specialist and dedicated teams of child therapists, highly experienced in supporting a wide range of mental health, development and behavioural needs. Our specialist children and adolescent services include assessments for autism and ADHD, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. Find out more about our child and adolescent services here.
Our teams are here to help. Please click here if you would like to make an online enquiry.