Mental Health Is Now a Trend

Beautiful+view+in+the+morning+from+the+main+room%2C+next+to+it+some+sheets+that+belong+to+Pre-Calc+activities.%0A

Discoverer Staff Photo

Beautiful view in the morning from the main room, next to it some sheets that belong to Pre-Calc activities.

Martin Escobar Bolivar, Discoverer Staff Writer

A recurring question dawdles in my mind: In the midst of a pandemic, how can one stay healthy? This query relates not to the impending physical danger of illness, but the constant hazard of losing one’s mind. After all, that is what is at stake. A few days of living with this lingering question and my curiosity could not stand it anymore. I found myself, on a Friday night – of all days – reading how to maintain my mental health. That is something I never thought I would have to do. Then, as I perused each fascinating article, I decided to try the propounded strategies. Why not? My sanity was the only commodity in harm’s way. 

Many times when we are trying something we are not good at, it is easy to give up. However, the key to being successful in what you do is to persevere. Mental and physical health do not come easily; you have to fight and fail in order to understand, in order to achieve completion.

What is mental health?

Two weeks after I left home for school, it was a Thursday afternoon when I was lying in my bed thinking about what to do. My days were unfruitful. My routine consisted of eating, sleeping, studying, and watching Netflix. Thus, I decided, naturally, to use Google. I found an article talking about how to maintain healthy habits at home. This one talked about doing sports, reading and, above all, things that I don’t normally do. The next day I said to myself because since I have nothing to do then I will do sports, at home there is a band to exercise. I got organized and ready to jog. At that very moment that I started to exercise, my mind felt a different kind of happiness. Not the kind that we feel when we laugh at a joke, but a divergent one that made my mind ask for more. I felt curious about what was happening to me, so I decided to read about mental health. At first, I asked myself whether I was going crazy. Turns out the reason I felt so happy and free was a quick release of endorphins post-jogging.

Emotional and mental health is important because it’s a vital part of your life and impacts your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. It plays an important part in the health of your relationships and allows you to adapt to changes in your life while coping with adversity.

How to maintain mental health?

My second anecdote happened about five days ago when my mom was making dessert, since she is obsessed with cooking and fattening my dad and me. I had just read this mental health article that said that if you do things that you usually don’t do, it would distract you and help you focus and relax. So I went to the kitchen and told my mom that I wanted to cook with her. The truth is that I have never been very good at cooking. The last time I cooked, I damaged the microwave. Yet, knowing I was with my mother, we decided to cook a rogel dessert (an Italian pastry made of arequipe and meringue). After a few hours – and many discussions with my mom about my poor performance in the kitchen – we finished. It was not perfect, but it certainly was delicious. This experience taught me that you should never stop trying new things. When you do so, you entertain yourself and relax your mind. 

To summarize, maintaining mental health means keeping active, eating well, drinking sensibly, keeping in touch with family and friends, asking for help, taking a break, and doing something you’re good at (and some things you’re not so good at).

What do I personally do to maintain mental health?

My third anecdote happened on Monday, May 11th. The day before, Sunday, May 10, had been Mother’s Day. This day is known as one of the most violent days in Colombia; it is a day that is full of domestic issues in the household. Living together is not easy. Loving someone isn’t either. So expressing your feelings is crucial. When you live with your sister, dad, mom, maid or friends, you must strive to be honest with them, to tell them how you feel in order to have a healthier living situation. These simple acts keep your mind healthy and keep you in a profound state of happiness. In my case, I have seen movies with the family, we have cooked together, we have played sports, discussed topics of mutual interest, and even built a bicycle together (since it is one of our shared hobbies).

If you want to survive lockdown with your mental health intact, you have to work to make it happen.

“The only journey is the journey within.” – Rainer Maria Rilke.