Not many realise how exhausting it is to be a therapist. If it’s quite difficult for a therapist to hit the brakes, it’s definitely challenging for other individuals to even realise that they are down in the dumps. Hence, I applaud Naomi Osaka for opting out of interviews and Simon Biles for taking the courage to opt out of the Olympics to focus on their mental health. Kudos! Such decisions aren’t easy.
From when I was 14, I had been telling people that my drive in life was to bring a smile to people’s faces. It was only later that I realised my calling. I felt a natural desire to pursue clinical hypnotherapy. But why was it my calling? That was the million dollar question that not many asked. It was simply because I had experienced the most harrowing mental challenges, which made me empathetic to those facing even the slightest mental discomfort.
Our mental health matters
If we don’t focus on our mental health, nobody will. One important aspect that most of us know but don’t realise is that if we need help we need to ask for it.
Asking for help is one thing but who you ask is extremely crucial. I’ve made the mistake of trusting every second person and spill my guts out to them just because I was low — only to be exploited, manipulated and even blackmailed later. Avoid sharing your problems with acquaintances. Only do so with close friends or with a therapist who is required to keep it confidential.
Feeling low is a normal thing and we all go through this phase. The best thing to do here is to spend time with your family, either physically or virtually.
Three mantras to remember
Learn to say a firm ‘no’. How we manage ourselves during rough patches is important. Be selfish and say ‘no’ to people! But do so politely as most relationships get affected when an individual is low.
Draw your boundaries. If people probe you for a reason, be open and direct. Make sure you maintain boundaries with people who aren’t worth it. Be as assertive as you can with those who matter. Tell them you just need some time to bounce back.
When taking a step back, communicate clearly. If you choose to inform people that you’re not upto it, tell them the reason too. If the reason is sensitive or private, then think of an excuse that people won’t question much. Never just give half the reason or abruptly just say, “I’m low.” It’ll lead to unnecessary panic and speculations.
Love and let live, I say. We’re running out of genuine people to share our feelings with and that is making mental wellness and well-being quite a challenge. Let’s be the genuine support system one needs during their times of distress. The least we can do is give them their space when they ask for it, right?