Embracing Mental Health: Reflecting on September’s Milestones and Suicide Prevention Tips
As September comes to a close, let us take a moment to recognise and celebrate the progress made in treating mental health. We now understand how critical it is to take care of your mental health and the consequences that will inevitably follow if you do not. As a result of mental diseases, parents, both men and women, have been accused of committing horrific crimes and unfathomable horrors. This being Suicide Prevention Month, here are a few pointers to keep your mental health in tip-top shape as a parent.
- Allow Yourself to Feel
Parenting often presents numerous problems that elicit a wide range of emotions and sensations. It is natural and understandable to desire to ignore these feelings and concentrate on your child. The advice here contradicts this. When you feel like bottling up these emotions or locking them up and putting them away, resist. Do not fight them. Let them in. Allow yourself to feel because when you do, you learn how to control them and it increases your threshold of managing emotional distress. When you are in control of your emotions, you are a better parent.
- Get a Support System
Coming into parenthood is not easy for many individuals, and even experienced parents can feel overwhelmed at times. It is therefore important to have a support system to help pick you up or to help you in your journey as a parent. Friends, family members or even relatives can be your support system as they help ease your burden. This may involve helping around the house with chores, helping with the baby or even just sitting with you and sharing a laugh.
- Be the Captain of Your Own Ship
It is easy to get lost in parenthood and worry yourself sick comparing your journey to that of another person. No two people’s journeys are identical and no one is as experienced as they seem. So focus less on what other parents are doing with their children and pilot your ship. Learn as much as possible from your child. Spend as much time as you can with your child so that you know how best to handle them and care for them in different situations.
- Ask for Help
Even with a healthy support system and doing your best to learn everything about your child, parenting may still be difficult. This is the point where many parents’ mental health goes to the dogs because speaking up and asking for help makes one look weak. The contrary is true because being confident enough to say that you are not okay and asking for help is a sign of strength and maturity. Reach out to a trusted loved one, confide in them about what you are going through and should this not be enough, reach out to a counsellor or a therapist. Thanks to the many discussions on mental health, there is an endless list of organizations that offer these services, you just need to be bold enough to ask.
- Give Yourself Time
It is said that time heals all wounds and the same will be said here. Practice feeling your emotions, consequently handling them, surrounding yourself with people that you love and that can be counted on, focusing on your child, learning everything about them and asking for help when you need it. Within no time, you will be the master of your own craft and time will have healed you.
Mental health is vital and should be taken care , because mental problems are aloof and cannot be removed by ignoring them. You are a better parent when you are in overall good health.