Today is Mental Health Awareness day. Talking about mental health is more important today than it has been any other time. Why? Today we have accessibility to every aspect of the world, we are aware of what happens in each corner of the world within a spilt second. The deteriorating world around us is the world our children have access to over the internet or through social media.
From a young age children are being influenced and their lives are being confronted to images that in the past we would never have seen as a child. The stress of daily life and the lifestyle that we live increases the chances of us suffering from anxiety or depression. This can hit at any age and any stage in our life. It is no longer just conformed to the lonely elderly or the overworked adult, it is now part of the lives of young teenagers, children and parents.
We all live a fast paced life and with that an increased level of stress. Unknowingly these are all the tiny elements that can lead to our mental health deteriorating. It is so upsetting to hear all the stories this week especially on families that have lost someone close to them due to mental health problems. The worst was hearing that even though we talk about mental health in the media and in the medical practice it is still a taboo subject amongst certain ages in normal society. Where people will not be able to talk to their peers or confidants about their struggles in their daily routine. Mental health is a commonplace and should be treated like that in society therefore people shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid to talk about their experience on a daily basis with anyone.
This year Mental Health Awareness is looking at approaching the subject in a new angle called ‘Surviving to Thrive’. They are looking at ways we as a society can help each other and ourselves to beat and overcome our stresses and mental health issues that we encounter daily so that it doesn’t increase to become a risk to ourselves.
I recently have started to feel the stress of life. With a daily tantrum-ing 4 year old, 9 month old little one who only knows how to scream for most the day, a new business, running the daily chores of life being at home and the impending return to part time work has made me feel less me and more a servant of life. I feel pulled in different directions and have started to lose myself. Some days I wake up on edge, so any little thing will tick me off, but I still get on with everything, because if I don’t do it, who else will. Some days you want to just hide and not come out of your little hole, so that you won’t have to face the daily trudges of life. I always feel like escaping such a busy life, the running around, daily grind, unhealthy lifestyle and environment and just re-learn to relax – enjoy the life we have with the people we love before it’s too late. Sadly that is easier said than done. After self-diagnosing and speaking with the GP we figured I was suffering with anxiety as my breathing was being affected when I would stress out. I was told about MIND, a charity that explores different mental health issues and how to overcome them with various techniques. I have put a point to take some time out for myself at least once every 2-3 days. Not the best but it’s better than nothing. This could be anything from taking an uninterrupted bubble bath to reading a couple of pages from my book, something I miss doing. I have also been stepping away from situations that begin to stress me out (tantrum-ing 4 year old being one) and letting daddy or someone else around to deal with the situation.
Being a parent, or just a human full stop is hard. With so many complexities around us and time restrictions we don’t get a second to even scratch our heads. We are having to re-teach ourselves to focus and not get caught up in the fast train. Having to provide and be present at all times has shortened our enjoyment of being us and unknowingly we are stressed all the time even in our sleep. Not being allowed to switch off and take a break – even closing our eyes for 10 minutes without any distraction has caused us to go into overdrive leaving us with more grey hairs, less free brain space and higher levels of being ‘on the edge’.
However, by taking baby steps and working together as a society from workplace to social space we will be able to battle this illness the correct way and in good timing. So make sure to talk, talk to each other, don’t be embarrassed or afraid, because talking may just help the one you are talking to about their own issues concerning mental health.
Mental Health Awareness Help Lines: