Physical, social and mental well-being is a sign of a healthy person. Yes, we all have read, learnt, and been given full marks for this definition in school, but can we recall actively working on being holistically healthy?
Although I intend to reach out to the community to invest their time and energy in taking care of their mental health, I’d like to begin with our readers who, in one way or the other are associated with children.
Undeniably, physical health has always been our prime concern. A paper cut on our finger or fractured leg are visible signs of our ill-health. We constantly keep a check on the feeding schedules and eating habits of our children. To be fair, we should, because this is a visible need of survival. But it is time to actively work on a rather invisible side of any individual’s growth and development. I am sure you will agree that children don’t have needs that are only biological in nature, but they do have covert psychological, social and emotional needs as well.
For example, it is essential for a healthy child to have quality interpersonal interactions, an environment stimulating enough to learn, and a space to explore, perceive (self & others) and constructively express their feelings.
We cannot disregard something just because it is not as easily identifiable as other facets.
Let’s compare –
A parent allows their child to rest because of running a fever since a couple of days.Vs.A parent asking their child to stop being upset and ‘get over it’ after her best friend changed the school two days ago.
We can never imagine a child’s emotional turmoil on losing a favorite toy or a friend. (Agree? If not, consider losing your new phone… Ohhhhh… Now you know!)
Our thoughts, feelings, actions and interactions are all part of our mental health. It spans right from when we are cuddled up in our mother’s womb – infancy – adulthood – to old age. If we attend to it early, we can nurture it smoothly. Just like how we keep an eye on our weight right from the beginning!