As Mental Health Awareness Month rolls around for 2019, a&e will be delving into tough topics each week to offer coping tips from Dubai-based community mental health and wellness clinic, LightHouse Arabia.
Dr Saliha Afridi, a Clinical Psychologist and the Managing Director of LightHouse Arabia
Struggling with our mental health is something most of us go through at some point in our lives. For some of us, that will mean bouts of tough times perhaps after challenging or upsetting life events, while for others, that might be an ongoing battle we face day to day.
So as Mental Health Awareness Month arrives for 2019, we will be offering up digestible tips focusing on different areas thanks to the experts at the incredible local institute, LightHouse Arabia.
For this week, Dr Saliha Afridi – Clinical Psychologist and the Managing Director of the organisation – will be offering up her quick tips for dealing with everyday stress and burn out.
Dealing With Everyday Stress and Burnout
The first thing people compromise when they are stressed is sleep. Sleep is critical for many of the body’s regulatory systems to do what they are meant to do. Thermoregulation, homeostatic restoration, tissue repair, immunity building and emotional and mental health regulation are all done during sleep.
Eat of the earth
Avoid processed foods, fried foods, and fast food. While it may give us a moment of comfort and pleasure—it wreaks havoc on the body and lowers the immunity as well as results in low mood. 90 per cent of all serotonin (our happy neurochemical) is produced in the gut—so sad and stressed stomach will result in a sad and stressed mind.
Turn it off
Turn off the mind, turn off the technology, turn off the noise that is resulting in you being inundated and overwhelmed. If you can’t turn off your phone, at least turn off the notifications so you are not responding to every push from every app in your phone in a Pavlovian way. Take control of your life and determine when you will look at technology instead of handing over that control to your phone.
Life cannot just be about managing the downside and solving for stress. How do you live a life that is happy, joyful, engaging and engaging? Do things for others that cannot pay you back, volunteer, express gratitude for the things and people in your life, engage in acts of kindness, make an intention to forgive those who have hurt you, or learn a new skill. Whatever gives you joy and increases the positive emotions in your life, do that and it will mitigate the effect of the stress.
Not just your physical body, but detox your environment and your relationships. If something is toxic, and you know it’s not serving you, if you feel judged and full of negativity every time you are around this person or this place—get rid of it. Toxicity is an energy drain, and you cannot afford to be draining your energy, especially when you are stressed or burnt out.
Head to lighthousearabia.com for more information on its services.