Mastering Mental Health and Wellness – Tips & Benefits
Mental health is a term that is used a lot these days, and people are increasingly realising how important it is and how much it can affect your life. Indeed, taking time to ensure you keep a healthy state of mind brings so many benefits, including improved concentration, better sleep and a generally more positive outlook on life.
Let’s Connect would like to encourage the entire Abu Dhabi community to start prioritising their mental wellbeing. In fact, after almost two years of lockdowns and pandemic-induced uncertainty, it’s arguable more vital than ever that we start looking after what’s on the inside, as well as the out.
One way that Ma’an is helping residents and citizens to live happier and healthier lives is through the Ma’an Social Incubator initiative. This groundbreaking programme encourages social innovators and entrepreneurs to develop solutions to social, cultural and environmental challenges. Since its launch, the local community has addressed various important themes, including mental wellbeing, and we’re happy to report that they have managed to positively impact numerous communities across Abu Dhabi.
There are also a number of ways that you can independently improve your own mental wellbeing. Below we examine exactly what we mean by mental health and wellness, how it can affect your life, how you can vastly improve your overall happiness by making small every day changes and dedicating extra time to yourself.
What do we mean by mental wellbeing?
Your mental health is very similar to your physical health. We all have our ups and downs, but good mental health generally means being able to think, feel, and react in the ways that make everyday life pretty straightforward. However, if you go through a period of reduced mental health, you might find the ways you’re frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel just as bad as a physical illness.
What do we mean by well-being?
Well-being and wellness can be defined as the state of being comfortable, healthy and happy. Both terms are the opposite of illness. The quality of your well-being can have a significant impact on your day-to-day life, so making it a priority is essential. Here’s why:
How can mental health and wellness affect your life?
Neglecting your mental health or well-being can result in a lack of motivation and zest for life. You may feel tired a lot of the time, have a decreased appetite and find it difficult to partake in social situations. Reduced mental health isn’t just a feeling but a state of mind that can have detrimental effects on your perception of the world. If you are struggling, you should seek mental health support from a certified clinical psychologist..
Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from debilitating conditions like depression and anxiety to more serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. By reaching out, a mental health professional may be able to support you in managing these conditions.
What are some ways I can improve my mental wellbeing?
If you are struggling with your mental health and feel as if your well-being is taking a hit, you may wish to implement healthy habits or new activities into your routine to give yourself a boost of wellness. Here are a few ideas to start:
- Be aware of your mental health: check in with yourself regularly to ensure you’re not at risk of burnout. Overworking yourself whilst not leaving time for doing the things you love can be a dangerous road to travel.
- Nourish your lifestyle: following on nicely from our last point, pack your life full of things that bring you joy. This could be as simple as getting yourself outside in the fresh air after a long day in the office.
- Spend time with family and friends: surrounding yourself with the people close to you is excellent for the mind and soul. Spend time chatting, laughing and doing things that make you happy. Getting involved in community activities such as Let’s Connect initiatives is also a great way to find and make friends in your area.
- Make time for self-care: self-care comes in all shapes and sizes – it’s not just about booking that long spa weekend. You could read a book in the sun, do some retail therapy or even binge-watch your favourite TV show.
- Look after your physical health: eating habits and physical activity not only affect the body – they have a significant impact on our mental well-being too. View our recent interview with leading health coach Sara Al Nowais in which we discuss creating sustainable eating habits.
- Meditate daily: meditation brings a whole range of benefits, including improved sleep and reduced levels of stress and anxiety. The Nafas app was launched here in the UAE by a homegrown start-up company, and it provides free weekly meditation programmes, and a whole library of relaxing sessions in Arabic.
- Speak to a counsellor: if you’re feeling sad, lost or struggling to adapt to the fast-paced changes of a post-pandemic world, it might help to talk to a qualified psychologist who can help you understand your thoughts and emotions. Takalam is another amazing homegrown application supported by Ma’an. Offering access to over 50 mental health experts, they help users find the right counsellor for them, book appointments and meet with them privately over audio or video chat.
Benefits of good mental health and wellness
Achieving good mental health and well-being can be a slow process – it takes consistency and balance. And you need to make sure you’re aware of your limitations – you don’t want to overload or overwhelm yourself.
It’s essential that we take small, achievable steps forward to achieve our goals. Do this, and you can reap the benefits, finding more energy, confidence and motivation to tackle life’s obstacles.
Do you need a helping hand?
Let’s Connect is a first-of-its-kind virtual programme in Abu Dhabi. We aim to connect communities virtually and promote healthy and happy lives. Our online programme is designed for everyone and anyone. Comprised of fun and easy activities in each category, you can get stuck in regardless of age, gender, background, or ability. And you can win incredible prizes by taking part in our social media challenges.