So, “R U OK?” day has come and gone, and with this week, 9th-15th October being Mental Health Week, and today being World Mental Health Day, I thought it appropriate to post my next blog post……
Are you still enquiring, asking, noticing and listening to those around you, that simply may not be ok? It is fantastic that as a collective, we have a day where mental health issues are at the forefront of discussion, society genuinely takes the time to ask those around them if they are ok, and people living with mental health issues feel it is ok to speak up about not being ok; but what about today? Yesterday? Last week? Or, even tomorrow?
I still ask. It doesn’t even have to be friends that you ask. Just this past weekend, when about to step into my car at the local shopping centre, I noticed a lady standing at the front of her car crying. I asked her; ” r u ok? Is there something you need, something I can do? At first, she just stared at me, but then smiled and said “No I’m not, I will be, and there’s nothing you can do, but thank you, thank you for asking.” I said my good-bye, left, and hoped she really will be ok. Would I have been able to help her? I’m not sure, but I definitely would’ve tried!
And, if I’m to be openly honest, not always am I ok………I’m just now learning that my feelings are not insignificant compared to others, and it is ok for me to feel whatever it is that I am feeling, be it sad, hurt, lonely, betrayed, let down, or even as happy as a pig in mud; just because a life experience for me may not “appear” to be as big, bad, sad, or significant as others, it is still big, bad, sad, or significant to me. It didn’t matter what the feeling is/was, I would not allow myself to feel it, because you see, my favourite mantra was, and if I’m still being honest, can sometimes still be, “ I AM NOT WORTHY!”
For as long as I can recall, I have been a fantastic comparer. I’d compare myself to nearly everyone I came into contact with. I’d pick up on their energy, be it good, bad, or indifferent, and compare my little heart and mind out. I’d put myself down, criticise myself, speak badly about and to myself, and judge myself to the point where I’d strip myself bare of all self-confidence and worth. This is where the mind/ego is a very powerful force……it can make you believe anything, and that’s where mental health issues reside and rear their ugly heads when we are at our most vulnerable.
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but heck, I’ll say it again, IT IS EASIER TO BE NEGATIVE THAN POSITIVE ONCE DEPRESSION AND/OR ANXIETY SETS IN……..the emotional and mental strength required to lift, sustain, and keep me positive, when any of the above sets in, at best, is down right exhausting!
But, I’m making changes; this is my year to get me right! Or, as right as I’m going to be for now anyway.
I am investing in myself; discovering new things, revisiting old or past hurts, rediscovering things and letting go of whatever no longer serves a positive purpose in my life. Writing, either through my gratitude diary, journaling, or here on my blog, helps me put things in perspective. Taking time out of my day to journal, or write, really keeps me focused on “the attitude of gratitude”. Acknowledging the positive things (even if it as little as three) each day, by far overshadows the negative! I also meditate, walk, I use EFT Tapping, I sing, silly made up Katrina original songs to my kids (they secretly love it 😉), practice yoga and Pilates, I make a conscious effort to only surround myself with positive people, in positive environments, and just recently…..……allow myself to feel through breath.
Through yoga and meditation I have learned the art of breath. When I am feeling anxiety kick in, I turn to my breath. When depression has set up camp for however long it takes me to move it on, I breathe. Allowing myself to breath through the anxiety, a panic attack or whatever feeling I am experiencing, helps me reconnect to who I am. I reconnect with my mind, my body and spirit/source/universe/God (insert whats applicable for you). It can be hard work, to the point of exhausting, but I want to be ok, I will be ok.
“I’m not yet where I should be,
But I’m no longer where I was……”
So, keep asking the question; “R U OK?” If you are a sufferer,(and I know from experience, it takes courage) ASK FOR HELP. For me it was a statement to a few trusted people……“I need your help!”, but most importantantly, as a society, we need to keep talking about mental health, be mindful of each other, don’t be so quick to pass judgement……….
Until next time; practice kindness always and, take care of you.
PS; my favourite breathing techniques are; Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing), and/or Basic Pranayama, if you get a chance, check them out 💜