Taking Care of Oneself

La Voz de Galicia – May 14, 2021 →

Cristina PatoOn my way home, I passed by three pharmacies, and I suddenly realized that all three had their windows filled with advertisements for medication to treat anxiety and depression. Different brands and remedies, some natural and others not, but in all was written large the words «Anxiety» «Depression.» The fact that I had never stopped to see what the neighborhood pharmacies advertised until I saw these two words caught my attention…

This week commemorates the European Mental Health Week, an initiative by the organization Mental Health Europe (MHE) to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. In the video presentation, MHE’s acting director, Liuska Sanna, reminded us that «there is no health without mental health» and repeated the simple and relevant campaign slogan: «Mental health matters.»

Who knows what will be the long-term effects of this pandemic because we can’t even imagine what is to come at social, economic, and cultural levels. But today, more than a year after the start of the pandemic, with a saturated system, I ask myself how many of us have the tools needed to forge ahead taking care of our mental health and the mental health of those who surround us. We are aware of its importance because it has an impact on all of us at some moment of our lives, but we don’t always know how to understand and face related problems.

The windows of the neighborhood pharmacies made me think that taking care of oneself means many things, among them being able to accept that we are vulnerable, to talk to someone and look for help, but it also means finding the time for deep breathing, rest, a walk on that beautiful garden, or a call to that person you know is lonely.

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