In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, I wanted to share a few posts that I’ve written on Gigs And Garnet that deal with mental health and the importance of mental well-being. Physical injuries are often granted more attention than mental illnesses: you wouldn’t leave a wound to get infected or untreated so why leave mental conditions to affect your daily life. It’s often the most naturalised mental health issues that are forgotten: depression and anxiety. So many people survive through tormenting days of crippling anxiety or depression, so why deny their feelings and mental well-being as unimportant just because it’s not as visible. It’s time we start caring about our mental well-being and support others to thrive in life.
MY OWN STORY
After losing my father to cancer at the age of 10 I bottled up my grief until the age of 16. I would resist crying in front of anyone, I would feel angry and sometimes feel nothing when I remembered what made me feel so upset. Teenage angst and undealt emotions were not a good combination so I eventually came to a breaking point and decided to start dealing with my bottled up feelings for the sake of my mental well-being. Writing poetry and listening to music became my therapy until I eventually started talking about my repressed emotions. Since then, (I’m 20 this year) I have progressed so much in pursuing mental well-being; I’ve found ways to express my emotions healthily and found so many useful tools so I can thrive instead of surviving through life. I know mental well-being is not simple end-goal, as each day is a different story. But I’m grateful to have reached an inner peace with myself and I’ve learned to love myself. This was no miraculous recovery, it all takes time and patience, but here are a few things that aided me in keeping up my mental health.
Note: I’m not a medically trained professional, this is only my story and tips that have helped me.
The best way to tackle the problems that you’re facing is to learn about them. I find that lectures and TED Talks have been so useful on my own journey of self-discovery and development. There are loads of talks about mental health that you can attend or if you don’t have the funds for a lecture at The School of Life, there are so many TED Talks that you can watch which can genuinely change your perspective. If you change your perspective you change your reality.
Read about a few of my favourite TED Talks and my experience of two lectures given at The School of Life.
Once you’ve found some handy tips on how to look after your mental well-being or tips on how to improve your life, start implementing them. I find that setting yourself daily, weekly and monthly goals can eventually make you feel more motivated and happier when you’re more productive.
See my post on a few helpful tools that helped me achieve my goals and New Year’s resolution.
SUSTAINING YOUR PROGRESS
After you’ve found some coping techniques such as meditation apps like Headspace or Youtube Yoga tutorials for relaxation, make these good habits that you practice often. It’s important to sustain the support that you are giving your mind to thrive; small measures to care for your mental health will amount to progress in the right direction.
See my post on gratitude for an idea on how to sustain mental well-being.
I hope this has helped anyone to understand mental health and I wish you luck with thriving instead of surviving! Mental health awareness is not just for a week: we should all be permanently aware of our mental well-being and strive to keep our mind healthy.
For more support go to https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week