Learning

World Mental Health Day: Dear Educators, You’re Susceptible To Mental Illness Too

Apoorva Chakravarty
World Mental Health Day: Dear Educators, You’re Susceptible To Mental Illness Too

Mental Health still remains one big hush-hush topic of every community. If it's our incompetence as a society or ignorance all together, we can’t say, but what we know is that only open dialogues can help break the stereotypes surrounding it. 

In these tough times, we’re glad the mental health of our teachers, the ones who make the future of any country, is now being discussed extensively. In all honesty, we believe it should be given preference before any other kind of academic training. 

Let us talk about this road rarely taken, commemorating 10 October, World Mental Health Day. This day is observed for the purpose of education, awareness and advocacy of mental health. 

Educators are equally susceptible to decorating mental health as any other person next to you, especially now that they have been facing COVID-19 and its challenges in the education sector. They had to uproot their classrooms overnight and start teaching online when most of them weren't even accustomed to the ritual before. To top it all, they had to endure job insecurity, pay cuts and even unemployment. To think about these hardships that educators are still facing, it is unambiguous that the decline of mental health is springing.

Mental health, in a nutshell, is emotional, psychological and social well-being of your mind. It is vital to speak when you feel something is ‘off’ inside of you. As one of the top neurologists, Dr. Sigmund Freud, once said, “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” 

In the woo to be available for the students, family and community, teachers are losing the sight of their personal well being. Amidst the craziness, what teachers need to do is be aware of their emotional and psychological wellness. How, you may ask? It’s a bit of self-time, awareness and introspection. Let’s learn in detail.

Signs to Look Out For

According to the World Federation of Mental Health, below are the signs one can look out for: 

  1. Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood
  2. Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  3. Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
  4. Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  5. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  6. Changes in sleep patterns: insomnia, early morning waking or oversleeping
  7. Appetite and weight changes
  8. Restlessness or irritability
  9. Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders or chronic pain 

Anything that is even in the vicinity of these points should be given immediate attention to and be talked about.

What to do?

What to do if you find yourself slipping away emotionally? Panicking may come easy but it is definitely not a solution. Try these easy resolutions that are suggested by some of the top psychologists in the world.

  1. Have a journal and try writing your thoughts down
  2. Put a positive spin on stressing and/or overwhelming thoughts 
  3. Take small walks (considering the current situation, choose hours & places that are rush free)
  4. Adopt the glass-half-full philosophy
  5. Make a list of people who have and will be always there for you
  6. Write down two good things when stuck in the rabbit hole of negativity
  7. Have a self-care routine to fall back on when feeling low/sad/overwhelmed
  8. Talk out loud to your inner self (no, it is not shameful but therapeutic)
  9. Ask ‘then what’ when stuck anxiously in a mental block
  10. Getting quality sleep cannot be stressed enough, do everything to achieve it

But, most importantly, remember there is no respect lost in asking for professional help. Talk to your favourite person and they might tell you the same. Unless you take good care of yourself, your students may never become the best versions of themselves. You cannot have a sparkle-filled session all the time, accept that it's human and you need to recharge just like everyone else.

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