If you were to ask me why it is important to look after your mental health using only a few words, I would say that it will save yourself in the long run.
I think back over the last few years and realise that the moments where I was wondering if I needed some help, might have prevented the situations I have found myself in. I can recall numerous times during my years as a teenager where I was questioning my feelings of distress and misery, and going back and forth thinking if they were a sign of something more serious. If I were able to go back in time and know what I know now, I would definitely try to get a handle on my mind’s thoughts.
Forgetting about your mental health doesn’t just affect you psychologically, but also can have implications physically. Once you fall down the spiral of neglecting the feelings and emotions, you subsequently numb yourself from the feelings and emotions associated with disregarding the simplest of day to day tasks. This could be anything from not getting enough sleep, eating sufficiently, keeping up physical activities, maintaining personal hygiene levels, and so on. By prioritising our mental health, it leads to a positive mindset that automatically allows us to put ourselves first, and the only person who has a vested interest, along with knowing how you truly feel is yourself.
For years, I didn’t listen to my own mind telling me that I needed help with what could have been a short-term experience, instead, I ignored it. Years and years past, yet the pain and grief only built up and slowly started affecting my life; from losing motivation to my interests and priorities, to removing myself from all public situations. Eventually getting to the stage where I isolated myself from everything and anything. From what was a mental illness that was expected to last only a short period of time, to a clinical life-duration disability, with countless psychologist appointments, and plenty of anti-depressants to continue functioning.
Unfortunately, I learnt how significant it is to upkeep your mental health the hard and irreversible way. Nevertheless, it’s not too late. In order for me to get any better from my mental illnesses, I need to make sure I keep my mind in a positive state, easier said than done. I know that there will be some down times, but that is expected and not of my control. If you can learn anything from this, I hope it is about how valuable your mental state is and what the effect is of disregarding it.