I was walking my dog last week, reflecting on the words I had written in my last blog. Writing that post made me not only question our general awareness around the term "mental health", but I began to wonder how much we actually care? That's a really scary thought, actually.
Is it just me or is there a growing awareness surrounding our wellness. Apps, books, TV shows, celebrities sharing stories, campaigns, you name it, its being done. But what do YOU actually want? Are the sacrifices worth making, to achieve a standard of contentment and well-being? Because for change to happen in your life, it may require moments of feeling uncomfortable, uneasy and new, like breaking in a new pair of shoes.
So with this pre-ramble almost over, I ask you, how important is it for you to feel OK? How much are you willing to do in the short term, to enable you to reap the rewards long term?
There is no right or wrong answer to this. Its not a trick question, but a thought that gives you a clear picture of how you may want or need to go forward.
We are all capable of living a life of contentment. (I hesitate in using the word happy, because, quite frankly some of us who have lived through and survived the worst that life can throw, the idea of happiness can be so overwhelming, its too much to ask. So I will stick with content for now.) We are able to achieve this, some need support, some don't, but nevertheless, its achievable.
But anything that's worth something in life, comes with work. Take a relationship, or parenting, or a career. We don't simply roll out of bed in the morning and expect these things to just work? Do we? For 20 years???? No, we work at them. If you are human, there will be bumps along the way, it can feel like sometimes, the bumps feel more like huge pot holes, but we work through them. A child who's behaviour has taken a turn, or a project at work that's tough. We've all had those moments (I know it's not just me). We've had to make sacrifices. Why is our wellness any less important?
Could be that our stress, anxiety, depression, sadness or fear has just been there for so long, its just who we are and any way through the fog just feels unattainable? It just doesn't seem to matter anymore.
But it does matter.......
Maybe we've just got stuck or forgotten that life can be better and you are able to make it happen!
I come back to a point I made earlier, it will take work and it may feel uneasy. It may mean switching your phone off (queue panic), it may be making a bigger decision, like maybe looking for a different job. My point is, there is hope.
Talking therapy is a place to explore these options, to wrestle with the uncomfortable stuff. With the right support, over time, you begin to understand that your own mental health is actually the centre of all things. But it can be a hard pill to swallow.
If you know that social media impacts you, causing you to feel upset or anxious, would you actually allow yourself a chance to live without it? Or is it not, that important. Is there a relationship you are in that causes stress and unhappiness? Could you finally let go? Or is it not worth the bother? Do you get stressed in the morning, when you have a million things to do, before you do the school run or go to work? Could you get up an hour earlier, or is that not possible because you like your sleep?
These small adjustments feel hard and painful to begin with, but give it a few weeks and you just might see a big difference, IF you feel its important to you.
This blog isn't meant to do anything but ask the question, coming about in a time when Mental Health is a hot topic and we are able to address how we are personally impacted. So I challenge you to truthfully ask yourself this question today, without judgement or criticism, how important is YOUR mental health to you?