It is really important to take notice of tomorrow, as a reminder that we all have mental health and this needs taking care of and nurturing as much as our physical health. Some of us may be suffering more than anyone knows, we put on a smile and keep going. This can be helpful at times, when we feel like we really need to get through something, but this shouldn’t be the way we live daily. By talking more about mental health and speaking about it in an open non-judgmental way, we can all feel safer to take care of our mental health and make this the norm. When I say non-judgmental I mean of course not towards others, but I also mean not towards ourselves. We tend to be our on worst critiques. It is OK, not to be OK and to have a bad day.
At the moment just going out the door can be stressful and triggering, if you consider one factor of this, most people are wearing masks. Although there are guidelines around safety for this, I would like to highlight how this can also be a trigger for many people and impact on mental health and previous trauma. Communication is broken down into more than just what we say, last time I check it was broken down in the following way (Please forgive me if these numbers are slightly out, they are accurate to my knowledge) – 7% words spoken, 38% tone of voice and 55% body language. Consider when we are out, we often smile at people and get a smile back, now when we are out we cannot see these non-verbal signs of friendliness and no threat. We can feel unsafe and unsure about others. So with heightened stress of the pandemic our amygdala is working in overdrive, the amygdala is looking out for danger to keep us safe, therefore many of us (not all) are picking up constant signals that we are not safe. This isn’t necessarily a massive flood of stress hormones where we have an explosion of emotion, although it can be, it can also be a constant feeling of low (ish) level stress which is exhausting! It can make us irritable, forgetful, tearful, feel isolated, feel angry, disconnected, the list goes on. This is just one factor of how the current pandemic is impacting on many people. I am sure you can see who these behaviours can then impact further on our wellbeing, relationships, studies and work,
So please be kind to yourself, if you can be open about how you are in your mental health it can increase compassion and understanding from others. I have often found when I have opened up and said actually I am not OK, this is met with understanding and kindness.
Maybe tomorrow for Mental Health day, you could do something nice for yourself, do something that will make you feel good, that could a be a walk, yoga, seeing a friend, a large zoom meeting with extended family, pampering yourself, it could be decluttering or getting organised in some way, reading, snuggling up and watching TV (I did this one last Saturday all day, after a very busy working week, it was amazing and much needed) or any self-care activity that resonates with you, as we are all different and have different needs.
If maybe you are feeling quite well you could extend some care and connection to someone else. If you know someone is struggling, maybe a bit more quiet than usual, send a text, suggest meeting for a cuppa, meeting for a socially distanced walk, that little bit of connection and kindness could make a massive difference to them.
I have plans of self-care and connecting with others J
While I sadly am still not able to offer yoga classes still, here is the link to my yoga for mental health video which I created and shared during lockdown. Please feel free to have a go and give yourself some space to gently move, be still, breath and relax, enjoy.
Take care of you,