Mental Health Week occurs in October each year to coincide with World Mental Health Day on October 10th. The focus of this week is ”to promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community, encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhancing the coping capacity of communities, families, individuals and increasing mental health recovery.” This is essentially a great way to bring awareness to a lot of hidden issues and I admire the concept. However, I still feel that we have a long way to go before mental health issues can be expressed more freely and lose the stigma surrounding them. Ultimately, we need to work on ourselves first before we can help others.
Isolated and cold
Empty and broken
Yearning for calm
From the internal storm
Falling deeper into the abyss
Not caring how far
Longing for eternal slumber
I penned these words over a year ago whilst feeling I was at ground zero but they still resonate with me at different points in my life. When I’m ok, they seem to be written in a foreign language. But when I’m at my worst, they describe how I feel so well it’s confronting.
While Overall Wellness is about keeping ourselves “aligned” and working on maintaining a relative “balance”, we also have to acknowledge that there are times when we need to stop and spend time to heal before moving on. I feel I need to share these raw and personal moments about my current and ongoing battles as a reminder that the road to wellness is not a smooth and hurdle-free one and that we are, after all, human.
Even before starting Overall Wellness I had been struggling with depression and anxiety while projecting the persona of the superhero mum who could do everything singlehandedly. I thought that I could help myself and others by focusing on different aspects of healing the mind, body and spirit, kind of like group therapy. And it's been working intermittently. But sometimes, it becomes so overwhelmingly difficult to promote wellness while I feel the total opposite – leaving me numb and unable to do even the simplest of tasks. Healthy mind healthy body is not a whimsical happy-go-lucky phrase. You need to work on the mind first and foremost. Your body will not respond nor will it function at full capacity, in its ordained and balanced way if the mind is troubled, distressed, fatigued or anxious (or all of the above!). Healing your mind and maintaining a healthy mental state needs constant adjustment, reflection and trying different approaches to see what works for you.
For now, I'll be concentrating on strategies to deal with my emotions step by step and sharing as I go. More importantly, I will be relearning the art of self-love and self-care because you cannot give something you don't have inside.