Chances are, you go see a doctor when you’re not feeling well. And when you have a cold, you know to take meds and get rest, right? While our physical health is usually top of mind (and easy to discuss), our mental health is another matter—and one we may not think about nearly as often.
But that’s starting to change. When NBA star Kevin Love wrote in depth about his mid-game panic attack in a personal essay this month, it was a watershed moment in a movement that has been building up for a while: letting people that it’s okay to get help for our mental health.
“I want to share some of my thoughts about my panic attack and what’s happened since,” Love wrote. “Partly, I want to do it for me, but mostly, I want to do it because people don’t talk about mental health enough.” He says he wanted to share his struggles to let people—especially boys and men—know it’s okay to talk about how you’re feeling.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, cope with stress, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to their communities—not small things in life.
As Love puts it, “Mental health is an invisible thing, but it touches all of us at some point or another.” Here at Fitspot, we offer lots of programs to promote mental wellness, from meditation classes to workshops on mental health topics. (Here’s how employee wellness programs can reduce stress at work.)
But sometimes, that’s not always enough. And in those cases, it’s okay to seek professional help. Even if you think you’re the last person who needs it. “The Cavs helped me find a therapist, and I set up an appointment,” Love writes. “I gotta stop right here and just say: I’m the last person who’d have thought I’d be seeing a therapist.”
The biggest takeaway Love learned? “I know you don’t just get rid of problems by talking about them, but I’ve learned that over time maybe you can better understand them and make them more manageable.”
Here are some tips for handling your mental wellness at work:
· Remember to take time for self-care: do whatever you need—exercise, sleep, rest—to feel better.
· If any issues are affecting your life—your relationships, sleep patterns, weight, eating habits, work—consider seeking professional help. See if your company offers EAP assistance through your health insurance.
· Whether or not you want to disclose mental health issues at work is a personal decision. Here’s some advice from the Muse that can help you make the right call.