When was the last time someone had to remind you of taking care of the things you love to do? Or caring about your hands, your face, and your skin? Do you happily do things that reflect your outer persona? Right?
But what about that inner person you have set on auto-pilot and have left him/her to hustle/struggle and over-stretch forgetting about the consequences it could result in the long-term.
We all have been harsh on self yet we are conditioned in a way that if we think about ourselves we are consciously made feel guilty about it. This blog is a gentle reminder for all those who have been ignoring their mental health. Stating a few signs you have been ignoring your mental health.
Signs You Have Been Ignoring Your Mental Health
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health disorders are among the most common reasons for suicide in the world. Identifying the early signs and taking necessary steps can alter your quality of life.
September is the suicide prevention month and it is indeed an ongoing process of raising awareness among all of us, to be more sensitive and empathetic with people who are going through a rough patch of life.
Mental illness is a condition that can be treated with timely intervention, any mental illness doesn’t define you but the labels as a product of societal shame and stigmatized belief system do.
We often ignore our inner-self we indulge in negative self-talk, criticize the inner-self for being weak or vulnerable. Then the adversities of life hit harder and we just fail to identify the root cause and ways to deal with them. The first step is acceptance followed by acknowledgment and working on the problem.
8 Gentle reminders if you ignoring your mental health
Here are a few reminders which will help you to pause and reflect in your inner state, take a moment to work with your inner-self, and connect with it. Listen to what your body says, check whether your mind, body, and soul are in harmony, and if you sense a little disconnection, you need to re-wire it.
1.) Having trouble focusing
One of the basic signs you have been ignoring your mental health is when you find it difficult to focus on things that matter. What do you think will happen when you will be clouded with thoughts and those thoughts will occupy a deeper sense of being in your mind to an extent that you will start losing focus on the things that matter?
Does it ring a bell yet? For example, I have been writing day in and out, overstretching myself and now my pen is out of ink and yet I am scribbling with it, scratching it, will it help me? Or will it frustrate me even more? That’s what we often do with ourselves. Our ability to focus on things around us depends upon our state of mind, the more healthy and balanced state of mind we are in, the more focused and productive we feel. We always need a re-fill and pay attention to the activities and emotions that derail our focus and avoid them.
2.) Feeling indifferent at work
Have you heard about job apathy? It is when you lose interest in your work, you feel monotonous, you go through daily motions at work, do only the minimum required to complete tasks, and remain detached from your workplace.
You feel indifferent, you feel overwhelmed. Why? Maybe you don’t love what you do or you are too stressed to work. Reasons could be many, but you have to again notice your behavior patterns here and take charge of it. Otherwise, you will continue to stay on autopilot and it will not help you to internalize the growth and development you are supposed to get from your work.
3.) Losing interest in things you use to love
Another one of the crucial signs you have been ignoring your mental health to take notice of. When was the last time you painted something or baked a cake? Different people love different things and there are so many things they love to do, but there comes a time when we feel so saturated and aloof that we lose interest in doing things we used to love.
My best friend told me that she doesn’t enjoy playing guitar anymore, although she wants to. Another one said she has stopped writing because everything feels too much. Why? Do we check on ourselves as much as we check our social media?
Do we measure the amount of stress we accumulated in our minds that we are running out of space for the things that use to spark joy in our life? What is wrong with me? Ask this question to yourself more often, please.
4.) Withdrawing from people you loved
Since I am surrounded by the writer’s community, I often hear people saying that when they want to tell something no one listens but when they write the same thing as a quote and post it on the wall, people clap and say good things about it, forgetting the fact that someone is trying to make a point.
We start withdrawing where we see some lost connections, where we don’t feel welcomed and the world looks like an unpleasant place to enjoy. We start applying a filter, we declutter and get away with people, but does it help? When we generalize the whole bunch of friends just because of a few ones who never cared?
There is someone who always cares, focus on that one. We want everyone and in this way, we lose the ones who actually care.
5.) Difficulty in falling asleep
Very ignored but very important signs you have been ignoring your mental health. When you find it difficult to fall asleep and waking up, this pattern troubles a person a lot.
Our quality of sleep defines our productivity of the day, our mind frame, and our mood. If we continue to sacrifice our sleepover recurring thoughts we might face severe health issues in the long run. Nowadays even just to kill boredom and loneliness, people sacrifice their sleep and over the period they develop this habit of difficulty in falling asleep.
Please take note here that sleep is as important as food and water for the body, so please get adequate sleep.
6.) Isolation feels good
When you withdraw from your social circle and feel unwanted, when you think that no one is understanding how you feel and what you want to convey, you somehow prefer isolation. Because in your isolation you are own your own, with your own thoughts.
You feel less judged and biased when you have nothing and no one to explain. But this habit, in the long run, might turn out to be very awkward and difficult for you. Many people develop social anxiety which puts them in a tough spot in public gatherings and family events.
So do not shut yourself down, but yes draw healthy boundaries to preserve your sanity.
7.) Increased irritability
Were you always irritable? Short-tempered and angry? Just like HULK? As he says, I am always ANGRY? just kidding. No, right? We all have our mood swings, and our mood is often controlled by external factors like people and the situation around us.
Just in case you feel that you are too overwhelmed and get irritated easily even on small topics, take note and introspect. If this is not your usual self, please try to focus on yourself and take charge of your thought pattern. Be conscious about your response, be mindful of your actions.
8.) Changes in appetite
One of the very common signs you have been ignoring your mental health if you are not noticing the changes in your appetite. We eat less, we eat in hurry or we totally skip a meal, still, we stretch and move ahead.
Excessive stress triggers emotional and psychological changes in our bodies. These changes often affect the stomach and digestive tract and can make you lose your appetite and some people also engage in excessive eating. If you notice such a pattern then please take care. Identify your stressors and try to stick to an eating schedule.
To conclude, I would say that what I presented as the signs you have been ignoring your mental health, are also very basic most of us already know, but fail to reflect upon. Take these 8 reminders seriously and think about them. Introspecta and evaluate your mental health on a scale of 1 to 10 and make a note of it. Work on it if you feel it falls below 8. Take care. Rise up.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.