Interviewed by Jada Atchu-Yudom and Smirthi Ganusekaran.
How has the pandemic affected you mentally? What things did you learn about yourself during the course of this pandemic that you didn’t know before?
The pandemic made me even more stronger, i didn’t know that i was so strong mentally. At first i was a bit disturbed as i didnt know how to react to the situation we were placed in. but gradually i started cooking everyday took really nice photos, did a lot of online certifications and had to urge to do something in the year that could make the year a memorable one for me. Lastly, i would say that the pandemic made me channelise the inner me. Boosted my confidence and made me do what my heart wanted to.
Why do you think prioritizing mental health is so important?
I feel prioritizing mental health is essential, we should treat it as a problem and not a stigma. I feel anyone facing it should talk about it and find a solution. As staying quiet and keeping it to ourselves will only make us feel depressed and negative. Its hightime that we start taking these things normally.
How would you normalize the stigma around mental health?
I being a consultant and aiming to do further studies in health, nutrition and dietitics, feel that if we start accepting this as a normal phase of life or something normal the situation will start getting better from there itself. In terms of me normalising it i will help my family and the people who i get in touch with that its normal, provide them with solutions and try and make them feel positive and happy.
What do you think is the main cause of mental health?
I think the main cause of mental health is the busy going lives, where we forget who we are and are we being ourselves. Taking a lot of stress for the things that dont have so much of importance is certainly one of the major issue i have come across. Adding on i would also like to say that not loving ourselves enough and not practising selfcare is also a problem that leads to mental health. As we give more importance to the society, people, other family members rather than thinking and making ourselves our first priority.
I see that you’re interested in baking or cooking. Does it help relieve stress? Are there any other stress-relieving activities that you recommend?
Yes, absolutely cooking and baking are my major major stress busters. It really helps me divert my mind when i m upset, and when i m not on right track it boosts me and helps me think positive. According to me other stress relieving activities can be art, dance, singing, sports, actually anything the person loves to do.
In your opinion, how does spreading awareness about mental health betterment the community?
Spreading awareness about mental health can not only help the people suffering from it but also help us get rid of this stigma. It helps the people so they dont feel shy rather they themselves come up and disclose if they face the problem so rather than suicides and depression cases which we come across there would be a significant decline in the same
Mental health is a big problem faced by today’s society. How would you help someone overcome it/ help them feel more secure?
If i am told to help someone facing with the problem i would be a soundbox for the person. Ask the person to express how he/she feels at that point of time. Ask the person to indulge in activities that the person enjoys doing, take the person out for shopping, eating, for even for a small trip which would help divert mind and make the person feel happy.
Have you been with a person that had a mental illness? How did you help him/her?
Not exactly mental illness actually, just a bit of stress which i dont categorise under mental health.
What else would you like Revive to know about you?
I would like the team to know that not only mental health but i love to read and learn more about health, wellbeing, nutrition. I like everything creative and i m sure with my short brief i had given earlier you must have come to know what sort of a person i am. I had an amazing time with you. Totally loved this interview.
What does mental health mean to YOU?
Mental health for me is more important than any other ailment to be very honest. As i think a person can be healthy and fit physically, but if mentally the person is not on the right track that really disturbs the person and can cause a lot problem. Thats why one quote i really believe is “love yourself first” we should love and make ourselves our first priority.