World Mental Health Day - Everyone has a story. Actually it's not a story, it's a piece of non-fiction. It's the kind of thing that no two people will ever experience the same feelings or emotions but as human-kind we seem to be becoming more and more aware and understanding of poor mental health and how to support both ourselves and those around us maybe a little better.
I'd like to think of World Mental Health Day as a day to celebrate rather than dwell on the negative connotations it may represent for so many.
Celebrate the fact you made it through another day
Celebrate the fact that you chose to talk when all you wanted to do was hide away from everyone around you
Celebrate sticking to a routine that got you out of bed and moving
Celebrate getting in that shower and out of your bed clothes/work clothes when all you wanted to do was crawl back into bed
Celebrate eating a nutritious meal when a piece of toast is your go to
Celebrate seeing the end of the day and waking up to a new one
Most people (including yourself) are struggling day to day with their mental health and because we do such a good job of hiding it, few people will ever really know what is going on. But struggling isn't a badge of honour, it doesn't make you stronger to not talk, to not express yourself, to not reach out. CALL. TALK. CRY. REPEAT. Until one day you may cry a little less and smile a little more. Because life is about hope. We as humans instinctively have hope. We hope things get better and invariably they will. Things may take time but we have to believe that it is possible that our lives can be more.
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression or other mental health issues, please do not give up hope. Turn to people who can help you. Lean on your loved ones, they are there because they love you and know you'd do the same for them. Never feel a burden. You are a wonderful, amazing, human being.
Some coping strategies:
Find one thing you love doing (going for a walk, reading a book, listening to music, working out) and do it....even on those days you don't want to...do it....even if you cry all the way through it....do it. Just having that one thing to look forward to in the day, by the time you've done it you may just briefly feel a tad bit better...and you know what eventually that feeling might last a little longer each time.
Write....write about your day, your feelings, your dreams, your fears.
Then write down three good things that happened in your day (the sun on your skin, hearing the birds, someone simply saying "have a good day")
Drink plenty of water/herbal tea - stay away from alcohol
BREATHE DEEPLY - Find somewhere quiet and comfortable. Inhale through your nose for 4sec, Hold for 4sec, Exhale through your nose for 4 sec, Pause for 4 sec. Repeat 10 times.
TALK. TALK. TALK. TALK. TALK.
....as many time as you need to"
Look forward to the life ahead of you...