It’s World Mental Health Day today. You wouldn’t feel ashamed to tell anyone you had sprained your ankle or had a sore throat. Yet we still layer our mental health with taboo and cultural patterns of secrecy and stiff upper lip.
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❇️According to figures from the World Health Organization – depression and anxiety are set to become the world’s 2nd biggest health burden by 2020. That’s basically now. A crisis matching heart disease for its effects on society. And yet, if we are allowed to begin to SEE our mental health in the way we’re encouraged to see our physical, perhaps we can help ourselves move away from this crisis by empowering ourselves and – crucially – noticing in others and coming from a place of support and understanding.
❇️ Everyone has physical health. Everyone has mental health. You might experience blips in each of these, throughout your life. And for each, it’s about learning the tools to keep them optimum in your day to day. It’s ok – normal – not to be ok all the time. It’s how you handle it long term that affects your mental health. You can control what you take on board in your mental challenges just as you can your physical. And you can aim to work on your mind as on your body. If you have an injury, go to phsyio. If you have a mental health crisis, find some way of counselling your way through to heal.
❇️ Lengthen your spine through Pilates, stretch your brain through mindfulness. A star jump here, a gratitude list there. Medicate and/or meditate. There should be no shame.
Happy world mental health day. How are you today? What do you do to maintain your mental health?
My essential mental health toolkit is:
❤️ Green space
❤️Being OK with not feeling OK all the time
❤️ Connection – seeking support rather than hibernating in hermit land (which is often what my mental health gremlin tells me to to do when feeling low).
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