It’s just so much easier to say “fine”, “great” or launch into some humorous, self-deprecation of how we're handling the day-to-day.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and having read some of the statistics gathered recently on the nation's mental health, it spurred me to really think about it all. For me, its been a bit of a rollercoaster. Adapting to life where my normal roles of mum, wife, business owner, 'guidance teacher' (as mum of teen and pre-teen kids), cleaner and cook all come colliding together at once, almost all day, E.V.E.R.Y day. There are lovely, funny moments but if I'm really honest, it is overwhelming.
Mental health may not have been top of mind for many until a few days/weeks into the lockdown. And it need not be that we suffer a bereavement or drastic trauma, which so many sadly have recently, to feel down or lost, I think that’s a key thing to acknowledge.
Many in this pandemic and lockdown situation are feeling like shit. It may be through the sheer lack of social interaction and human touch, as humans, most of us really need this. It may be that big plans will not come to fruition this year (your wedding, university graduation celebration, long-planned and saved-for holiday, that promotion at work, fighting for the survival of your business that you’ve worked so hard for), often too, people can’t pinpoint the factors that cause the heart and mind to make us feel the way we do. It may well be that not much has changed for you at all, other than staying home, but you still feel down.
I think it’s important to recognise that you are allowed to feel the way you do right now, that it will pass, and if you can try to talk to someone - even if you give them a snippet into how you’re feeling, it could really help. If you can’t talk to someone, there are online resources that you could read (some listed below) that could be helpful.
For me, getting outside does help, as does lessening the amount of news I consume online. I’m ‘guilty’ of concocting above mentioned funny, self-deprecating responses to ‘how are you?’ but I’m allowed to do it. It’s my way of coping with all of this and I can do what I want to try and keep my chin up, and so can you.
Some links that may be of interest/helpful, if there are others you know of, feel free to comments or email to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can add to this list:
email@example.com (say hello)