This Saturday is World Mental Health Day.
Based on research by the mental health charity ‘Mind’, more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) have said their mental health got worse during lockdown (mind.org.uk).
In their words — “prioritising mental health has never been more important than it is now”.
There will undoubtedly be many discussions, posts and articles about mental health over the next few days. I don’t really feel qualified to contribute, other than being open and honest about my own experiences.
So… can I talk personally for moment?
Over the years, I’ve learned that taking care of my own mental and emotional health has to begin with an inwards focus. My capacity to help enrich the lives of other people is limited, until I first learn to accept and appreciate myself.
I’ll try to explain…
I can outwardly affirm, help and show kindness to other people, though be inwardly motivated by a need for affirmation and kindness myself. Put another way, I help others because I myself want and need help.
Alternatively, my affirmation and kindness towards other people can be the overflow of acceptance and appreciation I have for myself, expecting and needing nothing in return.
They may look the same at face-value, but come from a different state within.
The first, ultimately, has an ulterior motive — helping myself — whereas the second is an expression and overflow of health that already exists within me.
I hope that makes some sense.
If there’s one thing that’s truly changing things for me, it’s learning self-acceptance. Accepting who I am, with all my perceived imperfections, and showing up regardless — in boldness as my whole self.
This, for me, has been a critical doorway towards an increase in mental and emotional health.
As my late grandma used to say…
“In acceptance lieth peace”
I, my and me
I realise and appreciate there are many angles and complexities to consider.
If anyone’s over-thought this stuff — I have. If anyone’s said “not me” — I have. If anyone’s wanted to hide from the world — I have.
But, so I keep telling myself, it cannot all be about “I” and “my” and “me”. And yet it so easily and subtly becomes so.
For me, a key part of self-acceptance has been to acknowledge my need for other people, and (critically) that other people also need me. We’re all part of a bigger picture. We can’t do life alone — we need community.
And, at the heart of all this — I need to stop thinking about myself so much.
In the words of C.S.Lewis….
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
Trust and hope
Moving a step further…
True community is founded on trust, something we all need more than ever right now.
And, perhaps most of all, we need hope. I know I do.
So — as you and I look towards World Mental Health Day 2020, maybe we could each take time to reflect on the areas of acceptance, trust and hope in our own lives? What would an increase in each of these mean for you, and those around you? And, how could we each play our part in causing this to become a reality?
YoungMinds (youngminds.org.uk) is a charity with a mission to “make sure all young people get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s challenges”.
Yesterday, they posted the following on their Instagram feed…
Knowing things get better
Planning for the future
Being awestruck by nature
Feeling and sharing love
Fighting for a cause
Believing you are not alone.
All about us
A group of us are looking at ways to talk more openly and often about these things, through something called MakeLifeClick.
MakeLifeClick is reimagining online community. We’re values-led, with a vision to serve the wellbeing of all.
Central to the community is a collective of people we’re calling The Hub.
In the words of someone in The Hub (repeated from last week):
“I do believe very few people have truly maximised their potential and found their true path. Many like me just follow the standard steps toward a goal called “happiness” without challenging them. MakeLifeClick seems to be the perfect place to ask and start answering some of these bigger questions.”
If you’re interested in exploring this kind of life stuff, please have a read of the vision and respond to the invitation at makelife.click. We’d love you to join us!
The preview launches 2 weeks today, Thurs 22nd Oct.
Get in touch?
Fancy a coffee and a chat about people, purpose, vision, business ideas/opportunities and perhaps even life in general? Drop me a message — you never know, we may have a few things in common…