Social media has given us SO much to be thankful for during this lock down, but I am conscious it is never the full story. It’s more important than ever that we’re aware and open about our mental health and allow space for the people we care about to be honest about theirs.

Seen as it’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek I’m going to try and take off the mask and talk a bit about what’s actually going on with me in a bid to remind people it’s OK, in fact it’s vital to talk and keep working on ourselves regardless of what we’re going through. FEAR NOT, this will not be upsetting, it’s about working on who we are and how we can grow even when our brains might be working against us. More to follow…

It was also International Coaching week last week and I’ve spent the last 18 months training to be a coach. Despite having a fairly major wobble throughout that time it has enabled me to keep identifying and progressing on my goals. It’s also given me some light-bulb moments to shine a light on my own mental health journey too.

Along with a video each lunchtime for the next 7 days I’ll be posting articles, videos, resources and contacts relevant to each video which might be of interest or help you with your journey as they’ve helped me with mine.  While this is no doubt the most self-indulgent thing I’ve done to date, I’m hoping that talking about my journey might encourage you to talk about yours.

Welcome to Opening Up in Lockdown – Day One! I’ve spent a fairly large part of my life hanging onto a role I’ve written for myself. It’s something I’m sure we all do to some extent. It’s only been with a spell of anxiety and trying to embrace a growth mindset that I’ve really started to come to terms with just how much playing this role takes it out of me and what I might do to start working on it.

The more I talk to people about where I’m at the more I hear from others their stories and see their strength. It’s never a weakness to accept our vulnerabilities. Today is about the importance of articulating. Getting what may be bouncing around in our heads formulated into full and proper words. So that we may confront it, disagree with it or use it to our advantage. What is going on and what do you want to achieve?

Further reading:

The ‘Minds At Work’ website is a great set of resources for managing anxiety and generally coping with the current crisis as well as a diary of online events to help plan your days if you’re struggling!

Have a look on the NHS Website to help work out what you’re going through – While it might seem an obvious link – it took me a long time to accept the feelings I’ve been having and even longer to google them. Reading up and realising that what you’re going through has a name, that there’s research and treatment for it can genuinely help, not only to come to terms with reality but also to start figuring out what’s the next step to working on it.

“I think everybody should talk to everybody”. Can you remember when you were a child and could just say what you wanted to people?! No me neither, but still I love this video as it reminds me of the simplicity of conversation to connect us. On some level I think most of us just want to connect and be heard.

Got something serious going on and not sure where to turn? The Samaritans have been going 70 years and answer a call every 6 seconds. They are waiting for your call so don’t wait, call 116 123.

Today has been about talking. By being honest about what is going on or what you want, you make it real. In doing so you begin to build your tribe and the people who can share experience, hold you accountable and remind you that you’re not on this journey alone!

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