By Willemien Jansen (HST Copy and Content Editor)
Anxiety, depression, burn-out. This late in the year, with minimal leave available and most people being overworked on top of pressing family and social commitments, most of us are left feeling overwhelmed. The world is also still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, which took a huge toll on our mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month, commemorated in October each year, is therefore a good time to stop and reflect on our mental health.
But what are we talking about when we refer to mental health? The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act, and helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices. Often we focus more on immediate physical health issues and forget that we need to take care of our mental health too. As the saying goes, you can't pour from an empty cup. As many as a quarter of the South African works force suffers from depression, resulting in massive losses in productivity. It is therefore important that companies invest in wellness programmes to help their employees deal with work and life stresses.
Self-care is an important way to make sure you take care of yourself by doing things that will help to improve both your mental and physical health. The National Institute of Mental Health highlights a number of self-care strategies that you can follow to take care of your health:
Let's use Mental Health Awareness Month to reset and focus on our mental health so we can remain happy, productive, and balanced human beings for the rest of the year.
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