Well hello there my lovelies, long time no speak. As you will be well aware, I’ve had a little bit of a break away from Simply AJ and most of my socials as well. There have been many reasons for this, but one of the big ones has been my health – both physical and mental. Therefore, what better day to get back to Simply AJ than World Mental Health Day.
Mental health is becoming an ever-growing topic of discussion in today’s society; 1 in 4 people struggle with it. Despite this, it still doesn’t appear to be a “norm” for people to openly talk about their own experiences. This needs to change.
Mental health is something that I have always struggled with since I can remember, yet it has certainly become a lot more prevalent in my life in recent years. A lot of this stems from living with my chronic/invisible illness (something I have briefly mentioned in previous posts), but also my experience at university alongside other personal issues.
It’s important to remember that poor mental health, whether it be depression, anxiety or another type, isn’t just about someone sitting in a dark room, staring into space or crying their eyes out until they fall asleep. It has many different forms. It can be someone who is smiling/laughing/joking along with their friends and family while silently crying on the inside. It could be somebody who is “all there” all day and then “disappear” within themselves at the drop of a hat, leaving a shell, so to speak, behind. It could even be someone who feels they can’t step out of the house, doesn’t want to get dressed and doesn’t want to eat but having no explanation as to why.
Life/society demands so much from a person, especially in this day and age where there are so many expectations, it’s hardly surprising that mental health problems are becoming more and more common. It’s easy to see and understand someone’s physical illnesses, but mental illnesses usually go by unnoticed. What we forget is that mental health is just as important as physical health.
So, with all of that in mind, I’ve got a few words of wisdom to share or advice and tips if you will.
If you are one of the many people suffering, whether a little or a lot, there’s a few things I’ve found that have helped me along the way:
- Do the things that make you happy: for me, that’s blogging, reading and taking photos. I don’t always want to do them, nor do they always work – but they’re a good starting place.
- Surround yourself with the people you love, those that support you and make you feel good about yourself.
- Let go of everything that has a toxic influence: this could be people, hobbies or material items. Getting rid of anything that makes you unhappy is a sure starting point.
- Appreciate the little things: today, funnily enough, I spent most of the day stuck in my head and not all there. After work I had a hair appointment, which I spent the majority of the day wanting to cancel – I didn’t. I had my hair cut and it’s surprising how much that change really lifted me out of that place and the person I’d become.
That being said, there’s a few ways we can help each other out too.
If you haven’t heard from someone in a while, check in on them, ask them how they are, listen to them, be supportive, just be there. Most importantly, don’t judge. The fear of judgement is a big part of why people are so hesitant to talk about mental illness.
Be kind. You never know what someone is going through. If everyone makes the effort to be a little friendlier, the world becomes a nicer place to be and creates a more positive culture. I don’t know about you, but it certainly puts a little smile on my face when someone makes the effort to smile/say hello to me upon passing in the street.
Most of all: WE NEED TO END THE STIGMA.
What are your thoughts on this?
If anyone reading this needs someone to talk to, please feel free to contact me, whether it be through email or social media – you can find these here.
Thanks for reading.