RedArc: Distress ≠ Mental Health Woes

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This Mental Health Awareness Week, we reflect on the theme of anxiety. We understand that many of us may be currently battling overwhelming anxious feelings due to the current economic crisis. It is important to recognize that, while those anxious thoughts and free-floating fears can be incredibly difficult to manage, it is not necessarily indicative of a more serious mental health disorder requiring clinical diagnosis or treatment.

It is essential to acknowledge that each and every one of us is impacted differently by anxiety. So, it is important to provide ourselves and those around us with understanding and care as we confront our experiences. Many of us have personally felt the unprecedented challenges owing to the current situation and have had no choice but to find creative methods to mitigate our distress.

Whether this includes seeking professional help, journaling our thoughts, writing letters to ourselves, or even arranging to speak with friends, it is important to recognize that it is completely alright – and even necessary – to spend time dealing with our mental health. Instead of being weighed down by the understandable feeling of dread and being in a state of constant worry, it will be beneficial to focus our attention on what we can do to alleviate the distress.

For those of us feeling a lack of control and direction, small moves such as researching support groups or downloadable meditations may be just the thing we need. Depending on our circumstances, taking small breaks from stress-inducing activities such as news, social media or working late into the night, can also be of great assistance. And by providing time to do things we enjoy and find stimulating, like reading, painting, or practising yoga or mindfulness, we can be better placed to handle our anxiety, whatever form it may take.

All of us will experience anxiety at some point in our lives. Rather than shrinking away in silence, it is important to reach out and share in conversations, living out of fear but with faith, recognising the humanity in each other and ourselves.

Anxiety can be difficult, but this Mental Health Awareness week, let us strive to take back some control of our lives. Let us acknowledge and accept our fears, but also nurture our resilience and courage as we move forward together.

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