By Hussein Kiganda
The word “worry” has already replaced “uary” in January to signify the horror that comes with the most frightening month of every year.
Suicide notes are flashing on WhatsApp statuses like “I am going back to God”, and people are taking this for granted.
Amidst the worry, Haggai Katson Atukunda of Mind Verse, an organisation dealing with mental health, offers tips to Ugandans on how to deal with mental health as Jan-worry bites.
He called these “self-care tips for people dealing with mental health challenges in January.”
Atukunda advised that taking breaks from work, doing exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, seeking help, and connecting with people will make one forget the 45 days of January.
“Make sure you set aside time for resting and relaxation and try to take breaks from work or other stressful activities. Doing physical exercises and getting enough sleep relieves stress,” he said.
“By eating well, I mean a healthy diet made up of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limiting of processed food. Make sure you stay hydrated, so you could accompany these with enough water every day,” Atukunda added.
He noted that practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and improve one’s overall well-being, but connecting with friends and other people help you feel supported and less isolated.
Atukunda advised that when January bites, one should join a support group or spend time with friends and family, not to feel alone, because this could bring about suicidal thoughts.
“And also, seek professional help if you are struggling to manage your mental health on your own. You may visit a mental health professional to help you develop coping skills and offer support during difficult times,” he said.