Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Time to Talk.
Today, 6th February 2014, is Time to Talk day. But not just talk about anything, today is time to talk about mental health.
We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. Our mental health can struggle at times, just as our physical health can, but we tend to ignore our mental health unless it breaks down. Believe me, before I was very ill people didn't ever ask me how my mental health was doing, and I never thought much about it either. Yeah I felt sad, I had various problems with my mental health for a long time, but it wasn't really talked about, or when it was it wasn't talked about as mental health. Often people ask you, "howr you feeling?", and we say "yes, I'm fine, just a bit of a cold" or "No, I have the flu (insert other physical illness rather than flu here)." We rarely say "yes, but I've been depressed." Or "No, I've been struggling to manage my emotions in helpful ways."
Take a minute to think, How is your mental health?
Not talking about mental health makes it harder to talk about when people, or yourself, do become ill will a mental illness, because people are shocked. Like when people die from suicide and the people around them had no idea they were feeling that way, they wished they had a chance to help. I'm no better at asking people than you are, not that I'm scared to ask my close friends how their mental health is, I just don't always think to ask, and they don't think to say, just as I often don't.
Who can you ask, today, how their mental health is?
Furthermore, and actually most importantly, when was the last time you talked to God about your mental health? About your worries, how you deal with stress, or mental illness? I'm sure people often pray, asking God to help them get over physical illness, or to help them find ways to manage it. But do we do that with out mental health? Instead of shoving it under a carpet, or deep down inside us, we should talk to God about it. He created our brains, our mental health, as well as our physical health. He knows what we need, he loves us, and he wants to be a part of our mental health. God loves you incredibly, and he wants you healthy, so let him help you look after your mental health. Also, just to add, mental ill health IS NOT A SIN. Sometimes we sin and our ill health has led us to be more vulnerable in that, such as self harming or drinking too much or sleeping around. But having a mental illness is in no way a sin, and you shouldn't feel guilty or condemned about it.
Take a moment and chat with God about your mental health. (If you don't believe in God that may be hard, but totally worth a try, because God will hear you.)
Finally, here are some tips to keep your mental health healthy:
Talk about your feelings, to friends, to God, to your family.
Eat well, nutrition can link to how your mental health is as well as your physical health
Keep in touch regularly with positive people in your life, who can help you see things differently when your mental health is struggling.
Take a break, changing scenery when emotions are high can help, even just for a couple of minutes.
Accept who you are, know your strengths, know your loved.
Keep active, exercise can help with your mental health, but be careful not to go overboard, or to do so if there are physical complications or you are struggling with a restrictive eating disorder (then consult a doctor first).
Drink sensibly, alcohol can really affect your mood and mental health.
Ask for help when you need it, from God and those around you, none of us are superhuman, and God can do everything!
Do something your good at, it will boost your confidence and help you feel content and happy.
Care for others, keeping those relationships strong helps all involved.
Remember, everyone has mental health, some of us struggle with it more than others, but it's OK to talk about, in fact, it's great to talk about.
For more information on mental health, visit:
Mind - http://www.mind.org.uk
Rethink mental illness - http://www.rethink.org/home
Minds like Ours - http://mindslikeours.co.uk
Beat - http://www.b-eat.co.uk
(And more, which can be found on these sites).