With so many of us running on empty, it has never been more important to brake on excessive stress and restore some balance to our lives. Ahead of World Mental Health Day, Melissa Day, talking therapist and suicide first aid tutor at Niroshini 360 outlines eight steps to take if you feel you’re on the verge of an emotional or mental breakdown.
Embrace the breakdown
Engaging in efforts to maintain functionality during a breakdown can be highly detrimental. Instead, it is recommended to surrender to the breakdown, allowing it to run its course. The most effective approach is to navigate through the breakdown. Recognising that the body’s inherent healing energies are active during such periods is essential.
Regard emotions as invaluable allies
Recognizing that sensations, emotions and feelings are not unfounded; they indicate a stress crisis. Regard emotions as invaluable allies. When encountering distress, emotions serve as an internal compass and guide, signalling something is amiss.
Seeking help and addressing fears
The occurrence of a breakdown indicates that a lifestyle modification is necessary. Understanding the underlying cause of a breakdown is crucial to acknowledge that it is not occurring without reason. Avoid the misconception of simply recovering from the breakdown and resuming normal routine. Such a notion would only lead to a recurrence of the breakdown.
Instead, identify the specific areas that contributed to the breakdown and implement tangible changes. Assistance from trusted confidants or professionals may prove beneficial in this regard. A breakdown is a manifestation of stressors that expose our deepest fears. It is an opportune moment to confront and address these fears when feeling capable.
Stabilise your mood and sleep
It is recommended that individuals allocate a daily period of 20 minutes to expose themselves to sunlight. One way to enhance the circadian rhythm and promote restful sleep is through exposure to morning sunlight. Vitamin D is an exceptional mood stabiliser, arguably the most essential nutrient required to maintain a sufficient supply in the body to produce effective hormones.
Protection of the nervous system
In the case of a breakdown, administering vitamin B complex offers significant advantages. Each neurotropic B vitamin fulfils a distinct function in promoting nerve health while collectively working together to safeguard, restore and rejuvenate the nervous system’s nerve fibres. vitamins B1, B6 and B12 contribute to synthesising crucial neurotransmitters like serotonin, acetylcholine and norepinephrine.
To ensure the optimal dosage of Vitamin B complex is tailored to individual requirements, seeking guidance from a healthcare professional is advisable.
The promotion of recovery through food
It is possible to experience a loss of appetite during times of stress. Make a conscious effort to consume small amounts of food and drink to prevent the exacerbation of stress hormone cycles. Avoid indulging in unhealthy foods. Instead, treat food as medicine. Opt for anti-inflammatory foods, avoiding sugar, processed and hydrogenated oils and processed foods.
Consuming fruit, vegetables, whole foods, smoothies, and protein shakes can assist in the body’s recovery. Adequate hydration is essential; consume spring or alkaline water. The berry group, particularly blueberries, provide an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which have been proven to alleviate anxiety.
Living in the present moment
In the event of encountering a breakdown, the potential for prospects is rendered null and void. Apply a strategy of living in the present moment, focusing on hourly short-term goals. Seek out actions that offer a degree of immediate relief. The inclination to extend the timeline and contemplate the future will naturally emerge when gradually regaining a sense of functionality.
Cultivate a sense of security
In the event of a breakdown, the nervous system will experience heightened alertness, triggering the fight or flight response to an extent that may lead to a state of paralysis, known as the freeze response. Consequently, it becomes imperative to establish a sense of safety. Engage in activities that foster a feeling of security.
Melissa Day, talking therapist and suicide first aid tutor at Niroshini 360, says: “A breakdown is distressing, rendering an individual incapable of effectively fulfilling their daily obligations. The principal determinants that give rise to breakdowns are multifaceted and encompass a spectrum of occurrences such as difficulties in intimate relationships, the bereavement of a cherished individual, past traumatic incidents, health complications and financial adversities such as indebtedness or destitution.”