Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

World Mental Health Day 2020

World Mental Health Day 2020

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10th October every year. That was a few days ago on Saturday, now. I feel like we all need to check on ourselves more lately, especially in the pandemic where everything feels new. Uncertain times like this may cause us to feel anxious, lonely and helpless. It may feel like someone turned up the difficulty setting in life, like the higher levels in a computer game. It’s easy to get caught up in the mess we are all in.

Mental health matters and it is normal sometimes to feel like life is slipping through your fingers when all you want to do is hold it all together. Everyone goes through it but with different experiences. When talking about mental health, it is important to include everyone. It’s not just for people receiving proper medical and professional help for their mental health. As I said, everyone experiences it differently. Some people may require professional help, and some may be fine with support from the people in their life.

Everyone wants to feel calm and happy, but only a few of us actually try to manage it. We all want a quick fix because we think that we are losing too much time. Everything can feel like it’s moving too fast and is non-stop. We are so used to this quick pace that anything slower just doesn’t seem right to us. Healing and recovery takes time. Even that is different for each individual. Sometimes we need to take a step back and pause for a bit, just to check if we are truly okay.

It takes great strength and courage to fix whatever we feel needs fixing. In today’s society, we put on a facade and trick people into believing that we are strong until we can convince ourselves that we are indeed strong. We have learned to invalidate our authentic feelings just to seem strong. We force ourselves to keep things inside because of being scrutinised for showing emotions and feeling too much. In the end, we can feel lonely in this game of trying to be strong.

Staying strong does not mean that you have to bear the weight alone. Knowing when to ask for help is not a sign of weakness. It shows true strength. People are not made to be strong but with a little help from others, we can all become stronger together. Thus why we should support each other (and I don’t mean just in times like the pandemic). We should learn to normalise being open about our feelings because it is valid, and it is important for our mental health. We shouldn’t care about being too sensitive; it is more worrying when we become too desensitised.


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