Beat stress with mental health hygiene - GulfToday

Beat stress with mental health hygiene

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Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent

The current pandemic has turned the world upside down and is stressful for people in many ways. Fear and anxiety is common and is leading to overwhelming emotions due to the uncertainty of the situation.

However, as we are taking pro-active measures to reduce the spread of the virus, it’s equally crucial to follow good mental health hygiene practices to attain a positive frame of mind and to be able to cope with stress in a healthy way, advises Prateeksha Shetty, Clinical Psychologist at RAK Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah.

“Mental Health Hygiene consists of daily rituals and practices that one needs to engage in order to buffer every day stress. Science behind such practices emphasises the fact that practicing acts of self care can provide a protective shield around oneself and prevent any mental health crisis. Given the rising rate of mental illness across the globe, it is important that everyone develops a routine that considers the importance of mental well being,” added Shetty.

“We have been actively working on helping people in alleviating their stress and fears through our recent initiatives which included the launch of a Mental Health Helpline as well as a COVID-19 Rehabilitation programme with dedicated sessions on mental wellbeing,” commented Dr Raza Siddiqui, Executive Director of RAK Hospital.

“We must remember Mental Health Hygiene is just as important as taking care of your physical self and following some basic rules such as practicing mindfulness, sleeping well, being socially and physically active and engaging in activities you love, will foster good mental health,” he added.

To help achieve an optimistic mind frame, Prateeksha Shetty suggests seven-eight hours of good quality sleep without any disruptions or difficulties falling back to sleep, nutritious diet consisting of fruits, fibrous food and proteins, 30 minutes of exercise every day.

“A good social support system consisting of close friends and family can help buffer stress and help us become more resilient in difficult times. Activities that one takes pleasure in can also be used to create positive emotions. One should also spend 10-15 minutes a day in mindful meditation, which has shown to play an important role in regulating sleep and alleviating worries and pain,” she said.

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