This year, I posted a piece every day along with my thoughts on wellbeing, in hope it may help some of you. 💗
Click on the images for the Instagram post (if you want to leave a comment).
Today marks the first day of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, and what a time to talk about it!
We’re in our 9th week of lockdown here in the UK in attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19 – a global pandemic that has put the world in the same metaphorical boat. ⛵️ No doubt this has – for better or for worse – affected our daily lives, relationships and careers. It’s natural to need time to adapt to this new reality and important to be kind to ourselves as well as others. While exercise is crucial to living a balanced lifestyle, so is looking after your mental wellbeing – not just when we hit overwhelm, but in those small, nagging moments where maybe you don’t feel productive enough or helpless in face of what’s going on outside.
It’s okay. You’ll be okay. Take one step at a time…be kind. You’ve got this. 🙂
Last week, I opened up via Stories about things that have been happening recently, along with my journey in recovering from c-PTSD. My first thought was to keep it all in can carry on as normal, but it would be hypocritical for me to preach mental health and wellness without being honest myself.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The outpour of love that followed afterwards helped me so much in getting through the following days. Thank you. 💗⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There’s a lot of pressure on social media and in real life to be or seem happy all the time. While it’s not great to wallow in despair for too long, it’s also not realistic to expect that of ourselves or other people ALL the time. You have to feel the feelings to process them – only then you can take steps to greener pastures. 💚⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you’re not feeling great right now, that’s okay. Let yourself experience it and get it out of your system…then, instead of spiralling further, write down three things you’re grateful for that day. ✍️ Daily gratitudes are a simple and effective tool to keeping things in perspective whilst lifting your mood. Anything can count – from fresh bed sheets, taking a walk or it being a sunny day. 🌞⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
What are you grateful for today? Comment below~ 😌
Everyone has ups and downs in their lives – it’s normal. Given the current circumstances, it’s understandable to really feel those lows right now. What’s important is that you keep moving forward, because that’s the only way to climb out of that trough. Any progress, no matter how slow, is still progress.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We live in a culture where a lot of us want and expect results FAST. When I worked in games, the term we’d use for periods where a lot needed to be done in little time, was “crunch”. Crunch Time normally happened at the end of a project – that last push to finish and polish a title before release. It was intense and everything besides work fell by the wayside (food, mental and physical health, relationships, sleep…). The comeradery was moving, but it is in no way sustainable and should only be used as a last resort. I feel like this sort of ‘hustle’ culture (very heavily idolised in the business world) has sneakily become the baseline expectation for our lives…or at least, the results of it, without being totally honest about the work and sacrifices it demands, in order to be achieved within a short timeframe.
I hope that the world collectively slowing down will teach us that this past mindset and lifestyle is not healthy or sustainable. We need to rethink what ‘success’ means to us, individually, and push for a society that rewards and cherishes our health as well as financial gain – not in spite of it. 💗⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Has lockdown changed your attitude to what’s important in life? I’d love to hear your insights in the comments below! 🧐
As tempting it is to want to wash away a loved one’s problems with ALL THE SOLUTIONS YOU CAN THINK OF, sometimes, people just want to be heard. For someone to listen to their problem(s), acknowledge their situation and kinda sit with them with no expectation for more. 💗⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Opening up with sad news can be a hurdle in itself; the thought of taking steps to resolve them, before processing it, can feel overwhelming. It may even put them off sharing again in order to avoid the exhaustion, no matter how well-intended the recipient.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I’ll admit, I’m quite bad for this, in that I’ll unload what I think might be helpful advice, not realising it might be a bit intense for the person I’m supposed to be helping. 😬 It doesn’t click until a few hours (or even days) later that simply asking whether they wanted help or just a friendly ear would have been more appropriate. From experience, people are only receptive to suggestions when they’re ready to take steps towards recovery – anything before that is too early.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sometimes, less is more.⠀
Isn’t it funny how, no matter how ridiculous the message, if it gets repeated enough, they become easier to believe?
I’ve come to learn that it’s a double-edged sword. Back when I had Depression, it was definitely a negative thing. Now that I have support around me, it has become a positive force for my self-esteem.
Have a go at spending the rest of the week consciously listening to how you speak to yourself. Are the messages negative, neutral or positive? What’s the tone like? How frequent are the negative v. positive messages? …are they true?! Try and catch yourself out over the next few days and question whether that inner critic (or cheerleader!) is really serving you, and how it could be adjusted to be healthier.
…this popular phrase is from a retelling of a Persian fable. There are many iterations of the tale – the general message is to shed light on the temporary nature of all that comes.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Good or bad, all moments pass. The sooner we acknowledge this, the more empowered we’ll feel, knowing that sad moments will fade and to make the most of the good times while they last.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Many of us are affected differently by the COVID-19 pandemic (or perhaps our own demons) that has put a halt to our lives. If things are tougher than usual, know that brighter days are on the other side. If you’re in a comfortable position, take this moment to appreciate it, for it too shall pass.
…not your Anxiety, not your Depression, not your past or whatever label you’ve been putting on yourself. You 👏 are 👏 you 👏⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sure, you may be a person WITH [insert label], but that’s not all there is to your life. As soon as you replace your identity with an ailment, you’ve become a victim of it. A coin has two sides. Fixating on one face makes it seem like that’s all that exists in that coin – forgetting that there’s another side, the edge ridges, metals melted and designers behind it who brought it to being…and that’s just a coin!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There are many facets to your life, which can only be seen after zooming out from that ‘thing’ so there’s room to see them. An analogy Ajahn Brahm (Buddhist monk) uses is this: if you place your hand in front of your face, all you’ll see is your hand. If you move your hand further away, you’ll be able to see it in it’s entirety, along with the world around it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Adding distance and learning from others help us gain perspective.
There is so much more to you than your problem(s). Let’s celebrate them. 👏✨⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I hope these posts have helped during Mental Health Awareness Week. Let me know if they did or any suggestions in the comments below~ ☺️
At NAOHOA, all clients have the option to donate £1 per hour of tattoo time towards one of three charities – one of which is Mind.org. So far, over £200 has been raised to aid people with mental health issues. If you’d like to donate, simply tick the corresponding charity on your Consent Form before your tattoo session.