Talk about Mental Health
Why is there such a stigma about mental health? And more importantly why are we not talking about it.
In the past couple of months, we have lost incredible talented souls to suicide. Or they have overdosed on booze and tablets. I personally, lost a friend whom I never thought even had it in him to take his own life. These beautiful people where in their 40’s some in their early 50’s. I have struggled with anxiety for most of my life, luckily, I have had so much therapy and can function with the anxiety I carry.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has wreaked havoc with our mental health. The fear of the unknown, many people lost their jobs, sense of purpose and so many couples got divorced. I know that my anxiety was at an all-time high during lockdown, I was terrified. So many young people died, friends lost both their parents and then there is the long covid effects. Regardless, of what you believed it was a hard time for most of us. And I am certainly not afraid of admitting it.
It brought mental health to the forefront, and we all started to realize that mental health is vital to your wellbeing.
In this day and age, where life is expensive, time is little and we are all working so hard to pay off our cars, bonds, medical aid, children’s school fees etc. We only take time to care for ourselves when our bodies give up! Like for instance, if you have flu, you rest. You take medication and get into bed and rest, so you can get better. But we solider through anxiety, deep depression and insomnia.
Let’s talk about the constant “keeping up with Joneses”, this is also another contribution to mental illness. There are so many pressures to what you wear, how you do you make up, how you flat iron your hair, what size you are? What car you drive? What address you have? The pressures of life are just too much to take on.
For example, in the early 80’s remember those Peter Stuyvesant adverts, of the actors on yachts smoking, smiling, without sunblock running on the beach. How skew they were? They made smoking so cool, sitting in the sun without a lick of sunblock. This caused a number of cancers. I cringe when I watch this, however, when I young and impressionable, I looked up to these people. And thought they were so cool.
Even if you are in the depth of huge debt, you have to maintain this fake life just to fit into society, social media and the world. Well, I don’t keep up with anyone. I live my life in my own lane. I don’t flat iron my beautiful curly mop of hair. Most times I don’t wear makeup, except for a good lippy. I drive a car I can afford and live in a darling house that is within our budget. All those pressures can literally put you into a mental down spiral. And I will never allow that to consume me.
Recently, I joined TikTok, to share my photographs and to find a likeminded community that loves travel and photography. I was appalled by the utter rubbish on there. And our youth is addicted to that fakeness. The mockery just to get more followers. There is hardly anything on there that provides value to your day. You also without warning see the most horrific videos of the wars, child abuse and crime. Just desensitizing us further. Or playing on our mental wellbeing, if you are an empath like me.
I have chosen to stop going through Facebook, Twitter and only post links to my photography because sharing it gives me joy! Stay private, the world out there is evil. Keep your special moments and life dreams to the people who love you.
It is time, we talk about how we are feeling, rate your mental health each day and share it your loved ones. Take a nap if you are feeling overwhelmed, take a walk-in nature to ground yourself. Hug your mother, your friend, or even a stranger. Touch is integral part of life. Check in with a friend who is quiet, it’s those ones you need to worry about.
Life is beautiful, find that beauty and keep it intimately within yourself. Give when you can, but always remember to save your energy for your bad days too. Don’t allow others to drain you, take advantage of your time. We have so little time on this earth.
Remember to recharge your battery.