This article is about tips on taking care of your mental health


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is “a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stress of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community.” As such mental health is very important because it supports our thinking and behaviours.  Unfortunately, there are incidences that crush our everyday life of which most of which affect our mental health. Mental disorder or mental illness is a wide range of conditions that affect mood, thinking and behaviour.  Statistics indicate that mental disorder is prevalent worldwide. Everywhere and anywhere mental disorder is the story of the day. For instance, in 2018, Our World in Data found out that 970 million people have a mental disorder, thus around the world. Mostly, anxiety is the most common mental illness indicating 280 million people worldwide. It is estimated mental disorders contribute to 14.3% of deaths or approximately 8 million deaths each year (JAMA Psychiatry, 2015).

Some of the mental health conditions may include

1.  Anxiety

It is a disorder described as worry, fear, and stress that persistently affect one’s everyday life. People may also experience physical symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue, poor concentration, tense muscles and interrupted sleep. Approximately, 280 million people become victims of anxiety worldwide (Our World in Data, 2018). For example, in the US, anxiety disorder affects 40 million adults covering up 18.1% of the population and ranking high as the most affected country with anxiety disorder.  

2.  Depression

It is characterized by low persistent mood, fatigue, and profound sadness. According to Our World in Data (2018), depression comes second after anxiety estimating 264 million people affected worldwide.

3.  Substance use disorder

The frequent use of alcohol and/or drugs in return affects one’s behaviour in everyday life. Alcohol use disorder affects 107 million people while drug use disorder affects 71 million people (Our World in Data, 2018).

4.  Bipolar disorder

It is a disorder that comprises radical shifts in depressive or low moods and manic high moods that can last for weeks long. The disorder affects 46 million people across the world (Our World in Data, 2018).

5.  Schizophrenia

It is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Schizophrenia affects 20 million people around the world (Our World in Data, 2018). The illness disturbs the reality, thoughts, and characterized by withdrawal from social contact.

6.  Eating disorders

These are mental illnesses that affect a person’s relationship with food and body image. Its estimated affected population is 16 million people (Our World in Data, 2018).

7.  Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

It is a chronic, long-lasting anxiety disorder where a person experiences unreasonable, uncontrollable, recurring thoughts followed by a behavioural response. 

8.  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

This is a disorder that develops in some individuals who have experienced a shocking or dangerous event and have difficulty recovering from the trauma the event caused.

Possible factors for mental health disorders

1.  Socioeconomic conditions

2.  Poverty

3.  Scarcity of jobs/unemployment

4.  Education

5.  Family or/and relationships problems

6.  Discrimination and segregation

7.  Demographic factors

8.  Biological factors

General signs of mental health disorder

1.  Withdrawing from friends, family, and colleagues

2.  Avoiding activities, they would normally do

3.  Sleeping too much or too little

4.  Eating too much or too little

5.  Displaying negative emotions

6.  Confusion

7.  Having consistently low energy

8.  Experiencing delusions

9.  Health problems such as constipation

10.      Using mood-correcting substances such as alcohol, and nicotine

11.      Thinking of causing physical harm to others or to themselves 

9 tips for taking care of mental health

1.  Stay positive

Treat yourself with kindness and respect. However, do not stay over-optimistic to avoid depression and avoid firing yourself with unreasonable criticisms as we learn from our mistakes.

2.  Make leisure

Pacify yourselves with recreational activities to relieve yourselves from everyday stresses, anxieties and depressions. Conduct any physical or mental exercises during the time. You can as well listen to some music whenever your free or you feel the need.

3.  Make exercise

Plan to conduct physical exercises regularly. You can engage in sporting activities. For example, playing football, chess, running, etc. Exercises support cognitive functions, improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

4.  Eat a brain-health diet

Eat vegetables and nutritious fruits. Do not forget to enough water for the day. Do not take eating for granted, health eating also matters for good health. Avoid being too obsessed with food. Eat as recommended, healthily. 

5.  Take enough sleep

Getting enough sleep boosts, and refreshes over your brain over what you have been encountering previously. Health experts recommends between 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night for teenagers and over 7 hours for those aged 20 and up. 

6.  Ask for help

There a saying that says “a problem share is half solved.” When you cannot manage to solve whatever problems you have, do not hesitate or be ashamed from ask for help from other surrounding you or any responsible person. You can even see mental health experts. It is better to admit that you cannot manage the problem on your own than to suffer in silence. 

7.  Make social connections

Make friendships and relationships with good people and avoid being lonely all the time. Interact with family members and friends. Seek connections with other people who caring, loving and positive with you. People whom you can get support from. People who depend on each other. Join social group for associations and to void being lonely all the time.

8.  Avoid alcohol and other drugs

Avoid taking too much of these substances as they cause mental problems that later affect one’s ability to think and their behaviors. The fact is that no how much you use those substances they still suppress our mental health.

9.  Set realistic goals

A goal is a key and a drive to our life routines. Setting oneself goals on what you want to achieve academically, professionally or personally would direct you to the right path. Goals force you to set up boundaries of your own, what and what not to do. If you have you will fight and never allow anything blocking your path.