I’m not ok.
I’ve not been ok for a very long time. Not being ‘ok’ is certainly the norm for me and as I’ve got older I’ve realised that this isn’t ‘normal’ for everyone. Being in lockdown has amplified this and some days are certainly much harder than others.
Its Mental Health Week and I think its as good as time as ever to talk about mental health.
Mental Health Week – 18th to 24th May
The theme of this year’s MHW is ‘Kindness’. I think that’s ace because being kind is the best thing you can be. One of my favourite quotes is attributed to Henry James
“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”
The Mental Health Foundation have created the video below, narrated by the comedian Mark Watson.
It is a good video about kindness and, more importantly, it has confirmed something that I’ve always thought – that I can self-support through the hard times by doing kind acts for others. This is a coping strategy I’ve had since my early 20s. Pretty much always effective for me as I’ve always thought it was more a ‘distraction technique’ than something that would actually make me feel better. It turns out it does make me a little better.
Things to Improve Your Mental Health
Hopefully I’ll be able to practice some of these things this week. Easier said than done but I’ll give it a go!
My favourite and the theme of this year’s mental health week. There is always more I can do to be kind so I will search out some additional oppertunites to be kind this week. Not sure what they will be yet, but I’ll try to post up about them. Perhaps I’ll bake something for the residents of my block of flats? I’ve got a load of food bags so I can individually wrap slices/biscuits. I will have more of a think about it.
I know we are all mandated for our daily government-endorsed exercise, but are you managing to do it everyday? I know I’m not. Every day I will go outside, be it for 5 minutes at sundown or an hour walk around the block. I will start today and see how long I can keep an unbroken chain going.
Eat More Fruit/Veg
I don’t eat ready meals as I tend to cook from scratch. However I don’t think I’m getting enough fresh veg/fruit so this week I’ll work on improving that. If I can add 1 additional veg to each meal then that should improve my diet and get me closer to that ‘5 portions of fruit/veg a day’ rule that I rarely manage to hit!
Somehow I always manage to hit my biscuit portions for the day. Never miss that target!
I’ve got a load of stamps I haven’t used and I *think* I’ve got some spare cards. I’m going to write to my friends. Out of all my chums there is only 1 other friend who writes postcards and the like. I’ve always found it strange that people love receiving cards through the post but, unless it is Christmas or a birthday, they don’t tend to post them. I’ve been a bit lax recently, especially as I’ve been seeing my chums via Zoom/Skype/etc loads, so I need to get back on it.
Tidy My Work Area
You may have seen photos of my desk on this post. The real problem is what the rest of the room looks like. It is like a junk-bomb has gone off and every surface in the room is covered with rubbish. I know that it is making it harder for me to concentrate when I’m at work and I just don’t enjoy being *here* (waves arms around). I ordered an Ikea Kallax unit last night that will be delivered in the 1st week of June so I need to have a bit more for me to be able to put the new unit in and that should help me keep on top of the stuff here.
Reduce the Pressure on Me
I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself at the moment. I need to reduce this. I feel there is a lot I need to do at the moment and I struggle to get everything done. Everything will still be there tomorrow so no need to panic about it not being done today. I should also appreciate the things I *DO* get done.
What Are You Doing To Support Your Mental Health?
We are all different and it is important we all do what we can to improve our mental health. Some of the UK Money Blogger community are also blogging about Mental Health during MHW.
Think about how you can support yourself. I great tip I use is think about what you’d say if a friend came to you with the challenges you are dealing with. How would you help? What recommendations would you make to your friend? If you are a locked in a a spiral of negative thoughts about yourself, you may still be able to offer constructive support to your ‘friend’ and there is absolutely no reason why your ‘friend’ can’t be you.
The Reverend’s Final Thought
“Be Kind” has been around forever. Recently there have been some events that have caused people to revisit it as a concept. Kindness is a great attribute to have and it is as important as ever for both the people we know and ourselves. Often it is too easy to focus on others as an avoidance technique to stop us examining ourselves too closely. Take time out today to focus on YOUR mental health. Be Kind to others….and yourself.