5 June 2018

Mental health 05.06.2018

Mental health 05.06.2018

After having never really understood mental health I feel nowadays it is becoming more socially accepted to actually talk about it and for people to admit they have mental health issues, I believe the more we can talk about it the more we can help those who are suffering and to let them know they are not alone.

I use to work with someone that committed suicide quite a few years ago. I won’t go into details but at the time, of course it was awful. It was such a gut wrenchingly sad way for him to leave this world. He suffered with depression and in the end I think it all got too much. Suicide seems to be a very private, personal moment that I know some people will think of as selfish. I believe those who choose to take their own life to have huge courage. Such a huge decision for someone to make. It is beyond words.

I have this vivid memory of him striding down the street, long twenties style overcoat floating in the wind, being carried along swiftly by his long legs. I always thought he looked as though he had been born in the wrong era. Maybe in another era he would’ve found the happiness he wanted, but whos to know. I didn’t want this post to be solely about suicide. It is a massive subject which I find myself thinking about sometimes. I just wanted to touch on it as male suicide has had a lot of press recently and it’s comforting to know that it is being spoken about. Not just suicide but any side of mental health. I have watched a lot of mental health youtube videos recently, I have read about it a lot on social media too so I just wanted to write a few words about my view on it and also for those who are feeling low or stuck in a rut I have a few tips that I have put together in the hope it might help at least one person.

I have never really thought of myself as someone who struggles with mental health. All my life I have just put up with how I feel and got by as best I could. I find it hugely refreshing that mental health is spoken about much more freely these days, which I feel is the future. I think I do suffer with it but I can control it. I think we all suffer with it in some form. I am so grateful for where I am and I have worked hard to become who I am. It has taken a lot of blood, sweat and definitely a lot of tears… If you think about it the mind is such a hugely powerful thing. Which I think some of us just cannot control sometimes. I am by no means an expert on depression or mental health these are just my thoughts and findings but I understand it can be completely complex and different for everyone.

Now the following tips unfortunately might not be able to help someone suffering with depression, I will try and list some organisations that I have heard of at the bottom of this page for anyone looking for professional help, but for those who cannot seem to shift a low mood I have a few pointers that have helped myself out when I am at a low point. I actually decided on these tips after being in a funk this morning – my mood has improved since doing a few of these so I thought I would share. Here goes…

Play some music…loudly

Okay yes, do keep the neighbours in mind but nothing makes me feel better than turning on some of my favourite music loud and singing at the top of my voice. Music has always been a great escape for me and I have always preferred it loud. I have only in the past couple of years really started to appreciate music and what it can do for the soul… what got me going today was Aretha Franklin (with the royal philharmonic orchestra)

Have a shower

Get clean, get dressed, do your hair and make up, put on your favourite outfit. Make you look like you. I can’t recommend the shower enough. It is an uninterrupted 10 minutes of your day where you can just have a moment to yourself. Shave your legs, armpits even your nether regions if it makes you feel fresh then do it I say! You will feel much better afterwards. Instant refresh.

Go for a drive

What did I do before I drove? Now I get in my car and just drive, sunroof down (watch out for any build up of rain water…no? Just me then!) Music, again, loud but sensible loud you know? The freedom of driving is enough to lift anyones spirits. If you don’t drive, get out for a walk (I should really do that more…) plug in your headphones and just walk, around your local town or village or into the countryside. There is something to be said about being in nature. Fresh air, birds singing and bees a buzzing. There is nothing better than being near nature. It is good for the soul.

Talk 

To family, friends, someone at work. If you are having a tough day chances are someone will be able to cheer you up or put some words of wisdom your way. Everyone has their tough days so you will be rare to find someone that has never had something hard to deal with. Share with others. We are different in our own ways but it is amazing how similar we can feel, it is something we will never realise if we don’t pipe up.

Hug someone

Okay maybe not a total stranger but a loved one, a good friend someone you work with. Human contact is hugely important in day to day life. Putting your arms around someone can be a huge comfort. A physical act of kindness to make someone feel loved and appreciated. Isn’t that what we all want?

Pret a manger

Okay this one might just be for me, and of course there are other food and drink chains available but come on! Get down to your local Pret, if you have never been before what have you been doing with your life…? If I can’t tempt you then check out their instagram here.

If Pret is not your scene (btw their soya lattes are boss) treat yourself to your favourite food, chocolate bar or buy some new clothing or a new plant. Something small that will make you smile. It really is the little things.

Change your scene

Even if it is just out into the garden, a change of scenery can go a long way. Or you can. Getting head space from whatever is troubling us can help hugely.

Step away from the social media

We are all guilty of it. Scrolling endlessly through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and comparing our lives to others. Stop. This is something I never seem to learn. I think if social media was in our lives less we would all benefit from it. But unfortunately it seems to be here to stay. Step away from it, when you are feeling low, and do something different. Read a book, go out for a coffee or dance in your pants just escape from it as much as you can. Social media is like marmite, I love it but it can get sticky and consume everything in its path.

Of course it is easy for me to write these tips down, actually putting them into practise is another thing entirely and something I struggle with too when I am feeling low. Life isn’t meant to be rosey all the time. We are meant to have difficulties and our low days so that we really appreciate the good days and the good moments. Its a battle I feel I am constantly fighting, reminding myself everyday how lucky I am to be who I am and to have the people in my life that I do and to have my health. It is a constant work in progress.

I realise too these tips won’t simply cure depression. Even though I wish it could be that simple. If you are suffering with mental health the best advice I can give you is to seek out help. Talk. Talk to anyone that will listen. It is the first step to take. Here are a few helpful links;

The NHS website has a huge list of helpful links here

Mind is an amazing mental health organisation.

Anixety is also a huge part of mental health which I haven’t really touched on but here is a useful link for anyone suffering with this.

If you know of any other useful organisations please leave a comment below so that others that might read this can follow any other links.

I hope these ramblings have been of some comfort for you if you are going through a difficult time. Please comment below with your views or experiences, lets start a discussion.

Thanks for reading. Wigmore out.

 

 


Posted in Family, Illustrator, Lifestyle, Mental Health
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Leave a Reply