Mental Health Awareness Week

I generally love an awareness day. I like the gentle reminder to focus on something or pay attention (my word of the year) to an issue. Mental Health Awareness Week is one that I try to take part in, but also call out the ‘fakery’ I often see.

This week is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. There will be lots of ‘helpful’ graphics circulating about how you are enough and it’s OK not to be OK. Just be aware.

What they may not offer is any practical support or guidance. You can probably tell these are a pet peeve of mine. My rule of thumb is – before you tell someone what they need, think if you can help them achieve that goal. If you can’t, maybe keep it to yourself?

Despite having qualifications in psychotherapy, life coaching and many other things and fifteen years teaching in mental health recovery, I still need support sometimes with my mental wellbeing.

Pithy one-liners, pretty images and funny memes can be part of a structure that keeps you up (I have some wonderful quotes on my desk). However, most of us also need safe spaces to talk about what’s on our minds, workplaces that are flexible and considerate. Plus physical/practical help with aspects of real life and individuals or communities that make life worth living.

This week in particular, rather than just sharing those graphics, think of ways you could actually make a positive impact for yourself or others?

Reality Wins

I thought it would be good to practice what I preach. So this is what I’m actually doing this week to remind myself about the importance of wellbeing…

To positively impact a friend, I offered to have their kids after school for tea and drop them back just before bedtime. It allowed them to attend a conference and have time when they got home to grab a cuppa before having to ‘Mum’ again.

For myself, I signed up to ‘Eat Like a Goddess’ with the wonderful Susannah Alexander. This is a 12 day focus on wellbeing, including nutrition and self care. I’m not able to do it for 12 days straight, which is fine. I hope to renew my love of cooking (beige kids foods can really depress this).

What are you doing this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek?