Mental Health is for Real

While the world tries to battle the Pandemic, most of us are at home working for our companies. Some of us are trying to learn how to work effectively remotely, while some others are also looking for jobs.

Irrespective of what we are doing at home, we all are at home, and while you’d think that being with your loved ones is something which is best, I’ve talked to a number of people who’ve brought up the topic of Mental health and its importance recently.

Now often when people talk about this topic, I see a lot of people assuming mental health to be mental illness and then often it’s about shame which sometimes defeats the whole purpose of the talk.

Human has been used to family time, office time and then as many recognize it as the “me time”. These past few months, we were away from office, but even at some levels the “me time” has reduced or vanished for many. The feeling of touch (sometimes just telling a friend to come for tea) is somewhere missing, and while it might feel very small, it used to be a big stressbuster. The sense of being together with office folks and then the team lunch, maybe just a evening samosa, seems to be missing.

With all this, the mental health of people has become more important, because we all are used to being more social. I know so many introverts who can barely talk to people in public, but even they feel this. And while some talk about it, some don’t. The first thing I usually tell people who I feel are confused, sad or having any such emotion is that “It’s Ok not to be Ok”. That’s usually the first step, where you accept that things are not going fine, you get emotional because of something there, or something missing. This step is the toughest for most of the people.

Many of us face this situation, while working remotely, we forget to see the time, and we just keep working and working. We don’t realize that the body needs some peace, the mind needs some time with family and some with peace, we just keep working. And this all adds up in long run, in the short run, we might be working amazing and giving great results, but in long run, this adds up to stress.

And sometimes the mental health comes up in forms of these incidents where you feel uncomfortable, confused and troubled. At times you question yourself whether really, it’s a thing. And that’s where you need to tell yourself – that it’s Ok. And then discuss. Find a person who you feel comfortable discussing with. At times if you don’t find those people, go to a senior, go to a loved one, go to anyone and talk. Talking helps big time.

There is another version of this where I’ve often heard that some people try this and fail, because some people just say to Chill the eff. They just don’t want to hear. And that’s where it gets very difficult. We should always try to listen to people who want to speak. While growing up I realized Listening skills is not a leadership skill, it’s a life skill. If you listen, sometimes that does wonders for the other person. So, if some person comes to you looking to talk, please listen. Because maybe that’s the best medicine that they can ever get, and you might be the one to give.

I will not go to extremes here, but it’s often no one to talk, where it all starts from. I’ve heard a friend say, that at 2am once he messaged 28 people, no one replied, and he couldn’t sleep. And when he could talk, he could feel the calm.

Life will change, the world will keep changing, the pandemic is a surprise, and let’s face it we might get more as we live. The only thing goes back is Survival of the fittest, and while we all focus on running in the gym, mental health is a big strength. Me writing this blog doesn’t mean Its my strength.

I keep telling teams to take breaks in evening, spend time with family, probably go for a walk with a mask when you see not much people downstairs. And talk to people. Have the coffee sessions, engage and interact!

Not sure how long we will work remotely, but I’m sure the mental health is important at every aspect of life. So, let’s believe it, accept it, and see mental health as a journey and ensure we take care of ourselves and the people around us.