World Mental Health Day

So this morning I opened my MacBook and saw smoke coming out of it. As if the lesson needed to be learnt, smoothies and data ports do not mix.  Best case scenario it will cost a few hundred to worst case scenario I’ve to buy a new one. Plus the hour travelling into the repair shop on top of it. I didn’t sleep great, had no coffee this morning, received a membership cancellation email over the weekend as well too.

Going through all that you could naturally assume I’m in a bad mood. That’s a shitty Monday, right?

Well, also this morning:

    • I got to wake up in a warm bed after spending a great Sunday with my girl.
    • I got to romwod with my step cat while he once again attempted to destroy my iPad (let alone be lucky enough to have one, I got it as a present!)
He thinks he's people!

He thinks he’s people!

    • I’m lucky enough to own my job, with a business partner I love, and get to work with people who entertain and inspire me.
    • I got a gift of some liqueur from Scotland because I talk to people about burpees!
    • I’ve fresh metcons coming my way later!

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So an inconvenienced hour and some “bad luck” versus that? I think I’m okay.

All this can read as one of those posts that say life isn’t what happens to you, it’s what you focus on. But more than that I was inspired to write this as I’ve been thinking lately that I genuinely don’t identify myself as having depression anymore. Which is probably something. And if it can offer hope to someone who is stuck in a hole with seemingly no avenue of escape, well then it’s worth it.

So what got me to this point? I’d like to say it’s one thing, one magic switch and then BOOM! You’re free of your demons. And if I could boil it down to one thing, it is gratitude. I’m not saying “just be thankful” and everything is okay, your dark cloud/big dog is gone. What I will say is that gratitude starts building up the defence against rumination. It’s a start. Little by little you build up an appreciation of how good you have it. Or if you don’t have it that good, you can be thankful it’s not worse, and than can begin to inspire you to slowly build the life you want.

Meditation has also been a big one for me, and it’s taken time for that to seep into my daily life. I’ve talked before about “Stop, Breathe & Think” as a great app to start with. I’ve got to say if you want to go deeper (Phrasing boom!) the 10% Happier app is an absolutely brilliant exploration into mindfulness and how it can have real life, practical benefits.

I’m also not naive enough to believe that all the shitty days of my life are behind me, nor am I ignorant of the challenges I face in day to day life and how they can take their toll. What I feel I’ve reached is a toolkit of abilities to withstand the storms, and a knowledge that while you do not know what’s coming, it’s not the end.

When Mental Health is brought up, we often just turn the conversation to Mental disease or illness. We talk about depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc. What’s left out is raising our happiness/fulfilment levels. Figuring out what makes us genuinely satisfied – time with good people; building your feeling or control; and your own physical health (nutrition/sleep/exercise – the mundane that’s so potent yet ignored building blocks of contentment.

But, for God’s sakes, if you do feel trapped, unhappy, unfulfilled, empty, suffocated, panicked, whatever, reach out! If not for yourself reach out so that you can liberate someone else who is suffering in silence and doesn’t know how to express what’s wrong. I mean that!

Hope this helps! Now go be nice to yourself!

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