This post is going to be a bit of a ‘throwing words at a page’ one, so bear with me. I started out by thinking that I wanted to talk about Mental Health Awareness Week, as I have seen quite a few posts surrounding this topic over the last couple of weeks. I believe that it is an important week to be raising awareness across social media and slowly breaking the stigma surrounding mental health.
First of all, I think it is incredibly important to be talking about how anxiety, depression, stress, sadness, loneliness could be impacting on your day to day life, and showing people that this does not define you, and with support, there will be a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. But personally, I think it is important to be talking about the symptoms of mental health, as I don’t feel as though I properly knew or understood until about six months ago.
I did see this picture on twitter a few months ago and I have been meaning to talk about this in some way. Personally, this picture struck me, because six months ago, I would have regarded most of these ‘normal feelings’, even if I was feeling down and experiencing them myself. This is from misunderstanding how to deal with these kinds of feelings properly, in the last couple of months, I’ve found my outlets, writing, reading, yoga for example. I’ve even started to attempt some running! The reason why I’m mentioning my outlets is because if I’d realised how they help me feel more positive sooner, I would have started to do them sooner, which would have helped and maybe prevented my feelings from ‘bubbling up’.
This week I have had second year exams, which have been stressful, but I feel as though through understanding what works for you in terms of managing stress will be helpful. There’s no ‘top tips to avoid exam stress’ because each person will do it in their own way, the same way that people deal with mental health in their own way. Tonight, I began to feel stressed about my upcoming exam and worried about my previous exam, which I know can be classed as a ‘normal feeling’, but as this began to be excessive, I followed Russ Harris’s defusion technique in his book “The Happiness Trap”. The technique worked for me as I used the defusion technique of “Thanking your Mind”, before deciding I wanted to focus on this blog post instead.
So… it’s been a ramble and I am in no-way an expert or a medical professional, but I felt that Mental Health Awareness Week needs to be talked about and profiled so that future infrastructure will enable more support for Mental Health services as research that has been undertaken has shown that stress is a key factor in experiencing a mental health problem over our lifetimes.
Links on Mental Health Awareness for support are below: