Even the Emotionally Intelligent and Mentally Aware can suffer mental stress – A Personal Perspective


Maggie Williams

My goodness, what a year 2020 has been for all of us. No one has been untouched in this year of isolation, lockdown, loss of employment and income, loss of personal contact, loss of being able to comfort the dying, loss of home and comfort. Some of us, like myself have experienced all of these and more this year. They say four of the biggest causes of Mental Stress are Financial stress, Moving house, loss of loved ones, loss of sources of employment.

This year, I personally lost much of my source of income in a country which I had lived in and loved for the last 35 years. In February 2020, I had an abundance of work to take me through the following year, a lovely place to live, abundance of friends and an emerging business idea.

By early March, my whole life was no longer viable! Relocation was the only solution – leaving my life and friends in the UAE that I had known for three decades. Closing down a business was stressful enough, then weeks before departure my dear friend and business partner of many years was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He died weeks later unable to have visitors until his very last hour.

Moving to stay with friends in UK for made me realise that even with all my training and awareness, I was under stress and needed some help. I was lost. My training in Mental Health Awareness and Strategy and the information I gained helped me a lot, though putting it into practice was seemingly was unattainable. Knowing that trying to be strong and putting a brave face on things was not going to cut it.

My personal tips for managing and mental health when you find yourself adrift is:

  1.   Share your distress with friends and family – as many as you can so they can support – AND let them help
  2.  Talk to your doctor they can refer you to professional help
  3.  Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to feel the emotions – they’re important data for your body and mind to process
  4. Learn breathing techniques to help you manage the stress
  5. Take walks in nature and place your bare feet on the ground
  6. Watch comedy programmes to lift your spirits and listen to wonderful music
  7. The most important for me was using Gratitude as a fabulous tool for rehabilitation and restoring happiness

All these have been useful to me for that last two months and I can honestly say I look forward to my future. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we are almost there.

I am hopeful that the world will be a better place for all of us in the future, and I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy and above all Peaceful 2021.

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