Later yesternight, I received a call from a friend. She has been ardently covering the Afghanistan takeover for her organization. While speaking with her she told me the reason for calling at three in the night. She had a bad dream. She dreamt of herself being isolated and captured by the Taliban men, stripped of her dignity and identity. Her family is trying to find a safe passage out of the Kabul airport. She was breathing heavily as she described her dream further.
My friend lives in India. Though she is doing a commendable job writing about Afghanistan, she has neglected her mental health and so has many of us. As we read about these distressing times, accounts of women being blackmailed, watch the videos of people falling off a plane in a desperate attempt to escape, pictures of children crying- separated from their parents, etc., it sub-consciously ends up affecting us. Most of us don’t realize this and ‘sush’ the voices in our heads.
It is not possible to escape reality. But we can try to keep ourselves sane as we battle it. Mental Health Foundation, UK suggests some ways that can help you deal with stress.
- Talk about how you feel
The process where one talks about one’s feelings and put them into words is called affect labelling. According to research from UCLA, this process helps a person becomes less stressed about something that has been bothering them.
- Take a break
Switch off the television, deactivate your social media accounts, stay disconnected from the news if needed. Give yourself some time to breathe. Our brains need to detoxify to process further information. Everybody needs their ‘me-time.’ It may include doing something artistic like painting, dancing or just taking a really long nap.
Staying active improves self-esteem, helps concentrate better, assist with better sleep function and stimulates positive emotions. It also induces confidence.
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With everything said and done, the world is in rumbles right now. Women in Afghanistan are dreading a future under a strict ‘Sharia Law’ implemented by the Taliban. As a woman, it is difficult not to worry about the future. To think about how a well-educated lady had to sacrifice her career, sit at home and become a prisoner to a man’s whims.
But at the same time, it is important to not ignore our well-being. After all, if you are not okay, how will you take care of someone else?