On World Mental Health Day 2020, in a year that has truly been like no other, I took some time to reflect. To reflect on the year that has been. To reflect on where I was at within it all. And to reflect on how our attitudes towards mental health and caring for our mental health, have and have not changed within 2020.
Some thoughts from that reflection were…
For each of us, every emotion, thought, word and belief we have shapes our wellness, our energy, our vitality.
We are highly tuned into and responsive to our environment and the people around us. Sometimes these influences nourish us, sometimes they drain us.
Sometimes it’s easy to set boundaries around ourselves, and sometimes it feels like we are exposed and raw to the world.
I know to be true for myself that often when I need my boundaries to be at their clearest, is when I struggle most to identify them, to name them, to action them. The boundary anchor comes up, and floats along, until I am able to grasp hold of it again and settle it firmly back into the earth.
This year has taken many of the structures that we drew on for support, certainty and predictability, and made them less accessible. Whether this was social time, access to gyms and yoga studios; the freedom to leave home whenever and to go however far we pleased, and so many more.
That choice…whether it is something I would have done or not…became irrelevant in the face of the cold hard fact that it was no longer an option. Or, it was an option that came with greater risk than before.
And…this landscape of new norms, new rules, new risks, and new ways has been ever changing, morphing…mercurial and hard to keep up with, let alone make sense of.
This year has opened up space. Space for reflection, for grieving, for slowing down, for sitting with the unknown, for consolidating, for questioning…
To you and to myself…whatever the ways your feelings, thoughts, words and beliefs have shown up this year…they are valid, they are okay, they are part of figuring out a whole new landscape.
It is okay to realise that some of the spaces, people, and patterns that once served you well, no longer do. I have definitely felt that this year. Stopping, stepping out of the rat race, and looking from a little more distance…I saw new things…actually, all that getting up and ‘keeping on’ was doable, sure. But at a cost. And that cost was my health, my wellbeing, my happiness, my flourishing. The bar was at surviving, and now, with some space, how could I take that bar and set it at thriving?
‘It’s doable’ is not the motto I want to live by. ‘I’ve just got to get it done’ is not the way I want to approach the things I do in my life.
Instead, I want to get familiar with ‘that’s not for me’; ‘I choose to do this because it helps me thrive’; ‘why am I feeling like I’ve just ‘got to get this done’?
And, to remember…it is okay…and often vital…to step back...from news, from asking the big questions, from people who cross your boundaries...and to nurture your energy, your wellness and your vitality. To give yourself to space to find what you need.
And it is completely okay to say…
‘I don’t know’
‘I need help’
‘Can we just sit here?’
You are learning and relearning. You are building a new landscape of paths and skills, through which the future will again feel a little more familiar, a little more anchored. A future that is more balanced, a bar that is set from a place of wholeness and choice.
You are growing…xx