Mental Health With a Chronic Illness
Mental health always exists. It fluctuates. To a degree, it is non-comparable from person to person. Something that I’ve learned over the years is that everybody’s feelings and experiences must be perceived in perspective to their own lives. What feels like a big problem for me, may not be a problem for you and of course, vice versa. It took me a while to understand and appreciate this particularly when I was really unwell but, it is certainly valuable to understand for both other people and, yourself.
Psychologist, Dr Julie Smith recently posted a brilliant video to help highlight and understand the commonality of mental health problems amongst us which is a brilliant recourse that everyone can learn from. The video can be accessed here (on that note, certainly follow her for some brilliant and hugely insightful content within the mental health sphere!).
I think it’s fair to say that 2020 has been challenging on varying levels for us all (*note, so can every other year be). While some have stressed over the availability of loo roll, others have stressed over job security and keeping a roof over their heads (everything in perspective, remember!).
This month (October), hosted mental health awareness day. Again, mental health and mental health problems are things that exist all year round and rightly deserve to be acknowledged as well as treated correctly all year round.
I could use this space to voice how my mental state has been and has inevitably been impacted over the past few months but personally, I don’t find reading other people’s problems helpful.
At a time where the media & internet is being flooded with tips and tricks for wellbeing, keeping positive etc (which is great by the way, I am certainly all here for it), I want to use this little space for the month to keep it short and sweet and acknowledge the flipside of how overwhelming that flooding of information can be if you’re going through a spell of feeling not so great for whatever reason that may be or in fact, for no known reason at all.
I am no expert. I haven’t got my own mental health management down to the tee (who has always, really?) but, what I have done is try to take some time to recognise what triggers making me feel not so great and instead of what I usually do (and is very easily done) which is to half acknowledge these things and just get on with them – instead, I’ve tried to take the time to be proactive… To sit with those feelings, acknowledge them and to recognise what helps me overcome them. Then, I’ve made (and continue to make) the time to actually do those things that help! (It sounds really simple and in fact, rather stereotypical but, it has been working which after all is what matters, right?). This is something I’ve found that has been helping me – if you’ve read this, try it and subsequently it works for you too, absolutely brilliant! If you have other methods that you’ve found that help you, even better.
A short and sweet one this month. Everyone is different but I feel the key is to take the time to block out the outside world, the opinions of others and instead, understand yourself, what works for you and what makes you feel good. It does take time and I feel, it is a continuous journey.
Finally, it’s ok not to be okay at times too. Take some time for yourself. You’re not being greedy. You’re not being selfish. You’re being you, human.