Mental health: connect, disconnect and balance

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Boris Berenzón Gorn.

A little madness in the spring is healthy even for the king.

Emily Dickinson

Although the importance of mental health and its care as a basic factor for personality development and achieving comprehensive well-being is currently generally accepted, there are still numerous obstacles to overcome to position this aspect of our existence in its proper measure. human. Unfortunately, there are also opinions that minimize or underestimate the importance of mental health to lead a full and happy life, that stigmatize mental illnesses, avoiding a healthy social approach and breaking down the power structures that influence it.

Having good mental health is necessary for people to achieve emotional well-being, to be able to fully enjoy life, experience positive emotions and have the mechanisms to generate them from enjoyment and with a view to permanent growth, effectively managing difficulties. In order to carry out our daily activities, it is necessary to have adequate mental health, since, although at times there does not seem to be a direct relationship between the functionality of our concentration, productivity and performance, mental health is at the base of success in all areas that we set out to achieve.

Something similar happens with decision making. Choosing paths, strategies and methods can be guided by unconscious and incautious impulses if our mental health is not at its best. Choosing in an informed and rational way requires that our state of mental health be optimal, that we be able to clear our minds and put stress and worries aside, especially when they are important decisions in life. At the same time, mental health allows us to take care of ourselves, protect ourselves and recognize our needs, protect ourselves in other areas and recognize our limits, in such a way that the relationship with others and with ourselves is much better. In addition, physical health is directly connected to mental health, which influences the development of nervous and heart diseases, digestive disorders, sleep problems, and so on.

Good mental health allows us to have the necessary tools to face daily challenges, face change and recover from difficulties effectively, that is, be more resilient. When we are in balance, we can face situations without detracting from them, and at the same time, exercise an attitude of learning and persistence. In addition, the proper functioning of our interpersonal relationships, based on respect, tolerance, active listening, empathy and negotiation, depends to a large extent on taking care of our mental health. This is particularly important when it comes to vertical relationships where some power factor influences, such as parents and children, bosses and subordinates or teachers and students. Relationships with your partner, friends and even co-workers are also susceptible to good mental health management.

Recognizing the importance of mental health in our lives is a key element for improving social life, since it is at the base of the interaction and communication tissues that support the practices and development of our interactions. In fact, the great social problems such as violence, intolerance, hate speech and injustices of all kinds are largely related to mental health, and are favored by the little attention paid to it. Mental health must be a priority and not only from the perspective of medical care, it is necessary to have mental health institutions and professionals, but also with education that allows us to prevent and care for it at an individual and family level.

Some simple actions are enough to strengthen our mental health and stay alert to changes and needs considering the context of each person, which can influence positively or negatively. The first thing to know is the importance of having a routine that considers all needs, including space for self-care and rest. The routine cannot be solely focused on productivity, since all aspects of human development are important, so reserving time for pleasant situations and spending time with loved ones is essential.

It is important to maintain basic habits such as good sleep hygiene that considers an adequate number of hours to carry out all phases, including REM sleep, eliminate factors that affect good rest, such as noisy environments or excessive exposure to blue light screens It is convenient to generate comfortable spaces and establish schedules to retire to rest and put virtual interactions aside. It is also convenient to attend to special needs if there are any, considering the sensitivities of each individual, for example the type of bed and temperature, as well as the possibility of using white noise or some type of lighting. We must not minimize the value of a good rest as it is the foundation of mental health.

At the same time, it is necessary to eat a healthy diet, avoiding as far as possible processed foods, sugars and stimulants and favoring the consumption of nutrients that contribute to the proper development of our body. In the same way, it is convenient to avoid the consumption of alcohol and any type of psychoactive substances. Incorporating physical activity on a regular basis, no matter how small, can make a big difference. It is not necessary to practice high impact sports; a good walk or dance can cause a significant change in our brain chemistry. Exercise is a fundamental ally for mental health.

It is convenient to learn to manage stress and have relaxation techniques, such as meditation. The goal is to have your own space to let off steam that can include a good read, contemplate the landscape or simply close your eyes and listen to music for a while. Having a daily moment for regulation helps to become aware of emotions and to be able to manage them better. Any activity that brings pleasure is positive; it is not bad to have a hobby or pastime that does not generate money or that may seem banal. It is time to reconsider the value we place on recreation, enjoyment, art and creativity.

Regarding our interpersonal relationships, we must seek to make them healthy, listening to others but also setting limits and exercising self-care. It is not healthy to foster relationships out of obligation. It is even healthy to walk away from situations or people that do not contribute to our life and well-being, without this meaning to stop loving them, but to prioritize our needs and peace. Conflicts must be managed by seeking their peaceful resolution, from empathy and gratitude, but without losing sight of the protection of our identity. It is also convenient to establish periods of digital disconnection and avoid comparing ourselves on social networks, remembering that most of what we see are narratives constructed in such a way that they do not reflect the integrity of people's lives.

In all aspects of life, it is necessary to strike a balance between productivity at work or school and free time. Having clear and achievable goals is achieved with good time management and knowledge of our skills and tools. Moments of fun and peace will substantially favor mental health, but without a doubt, the best way to have good mental health is to strengthen self-esteem, value our own progress, foster positive and healthy situations, and reconcile with our own ways. and goals. The only person we can compare ourselves to is ourselves.


To get rid of boredom, to improve mental health, you need a bit of madness, or so Arturo Borja believes:

Mother Madness! I want to put on your masks.

I want to drink incoherence in your bells,

and to the sound of rattles and tambourines

frivolize life with divine unconsciousness.

Mother Madness! Give me the sardonic grace

of perorations and broken words.

Your children belong to the high aristocracy

of the laughter that cries, dancing happy jotas.

Only bitterness costume of the country of Citeres...

I know that life is hard, and I know that the pleasures

They are vain dragonflies, they are yawning, they are tedium...

And for this, Madness, I long for your remedy,

that dispels sadness, erases melancholy,

and populates the spirits of oblivion and happiness...

narcissus the obscene

Don't look at my legs anymore doctor.

To the memory of my beloved father Tobias

Your days, your words, your smile and your presence are fixed in eternity, in my existence with love and gratitude. You float in the memory, of those who love you, of our pasts and our futures; with your infinite time and your comforting arms. The image of your eyes travels with me, your voice and your adventures, the known ones and the ones you kept cautious. In this becoming nothing ends, perpetual permanence, infinite footprint, peace and calm. We go hand in hand, as always, walking together as always. We will hug again.

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Nathan Rivera
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