Day 27/30 – A word on mental health

A few days back, I read about a tragic story – a Sarawak teen jumped to her death, hours after she asked her Instagram followers whether she should kill herself. The 16 year old teen uploaded a post that said ‘Really important, help me choose D/L’. D has largely taken to mean ‘Die’, and L has largely taken to mean ‘Live’. 69% of her followers voted ‘D’, which prompted her to end her own life

I felt very sad after hearing about that news and wanted to take some time to talk about this topic

With increasingly fast internet, the rise of mobile phones and what-not, it is a shame that we are more disconnected than ever. These improvement of technologies have made it so much easier to hide behind the anonymity of a screen and say things without having to deal with the consequences, this has led to an abundance of what we call ‘internet trolls’

Societies are changing, our lifestyle is constantly evolving and is demanding more and more of us. People are more stressed than ever. Depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues are becoming more common, and prevalent. The thing is, mental health issues is still a taboo here in Malaysia, people are afraid to come out and talk about it in fear of being judged and criticised; even to the people that are closest to them

That’s just sad

So, my friends, I urge you to take some time to take care and take charge of your mental health, here are some of the ways that you can do it, compiled from the Befrienders Kuala Lumpur, Mental Health Foundation (UK), University Health service of University of Michigan

Talk about your feelings

It’s never healthy to bottle up your feelings, talk to someone you trust about things that are bothering you. Don’t deny your own feelings, feelings are an indicator that something in your life needs your attention

Keep active

It goes without saying that exercising and a healthy lifestyle helps improve your mental health. Walk, run, swim, play sports, just be active!

Eat well

I understand, this can sometimes be a challenge, with our busy lifestyles, we tend to just put junk or fast food into our body, but eating better food will make you feel better (and healthier)

Drink sensibly

Don’t turn to alcohol to ease your worries. Even better, stay away from it

Keep in touch with friends

We’re often guilty (myself included) of not taking much effort to keep in touch with our friends, but you’ll be surprised how much better you will feel after a simple catch-up session with your friends

Take a break

You don’t have to constantly try to power through everything. We’re humans, determination and persistence to complete a task or achieve a goal is great, but not at the expense of our own mental health. Take a short break if you need it, it can be a 2 day 1 night get away to a quiet place to get some peace of mind (I did mine at Sekeping Serendah a few years back) or even just a short walk. Just don’t let the stress and negativity build up

Do something you’re good at

What do you love to do? What activities can you immerse yourself in? Doing something that you’re good at (non work related, please) and enjoy can help you beat stress and put yourself in a better mental state

Accept who you are and value yourself

No one is perfect, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. We are who we are and there is nothing wrong with that, please don’t let someone else tell you otherwise. Accepting who you are will make you feel better, more confident, and happier!

Care for others or volunteer for a cause

Doing something for others can help us realise that the problems we have might be smaller than we think and give us a different perspective of it. Plus, caring for other or volunteering for a cause will give us a sense of contribution and happiness – all leading to a better state of mind

Learn how to deal with stress

Stress is inevitable, from a primary school child to the CEO of a company, we all have stress. Stress is good if it’s at a certain level and if it is controlled. Anything above that is not good for our mental health. Practice coping skills – take a walk, play with your pet, listen to music, write a journal, talk to a friend, exercise. Do what works for you!

Quiet your mind

Meditation, prayer, or both! By giving your mind a chance to quiet and calm down, you can improve your state of mind and outlook in life

Get help when you need it!

The most important thing is to get help when you need it! When things get out of hand, or when you are feeling overwhelmed and defeated, please, I urge you to get help. Putting an end to your own life is never a solution. Call the Befrienders Kuala Lumpur at 603-79568145 and speak to someone!

According to the Befrienders, people who feel suicidal want someone to listen, someone to trust, and someone to care, and NOT to be alone, to be advised, and to be interrogated. The best thing, for those of you who want to help, is to be a good listener and not judge!

If someone is feeling depressed or suicidal, our first response is to try to help. We offer advice, share our own experiences, try to find solutions.

We’d do better to be quiet and listen. People who feel suicidal don’t want answers or solutions. They want a safe place to express their fears and anxieties, to be themselves.
Listening – really listening – is not easy. We must control the urge to say something – to make a comment, add to a story or offer advice. We need to listen not just to the facts that the person is telling us but to the feelings that lie behind them. We need to understand things from their perspective, not ours.

Befrienders Kuala Lumpur (603-79568145)

To all my friends, or the random person reading this post, please reach out if you need someone to talk to. We’re always here for you

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you if you have any ways to help improve a person’s mental state!



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