Here in the UK the past week has been Mental Health Awareness Week and I would like to reflect on a couple of things that caught my attention.
The first thing is to be prepard to show your vulnerability. Many of us hold things back not allowing others to see how difficult our lives are. Sharing our problems often allows others to see our human side. It rarely diminishes us in their eyes but takes away the burden to be strong all the time. It can open up a network of compassion.Showing your own vulnerability can allow others to share their own.
Linked to this we should remember that we are a social animal(or perhaps a social animal in waiting if a teenager). Our wellbeing is often linked to how well our relationships are working. This is not just relationships with partners but friends and colleagues. These are so important to us. Not only do they help improve our well being but also may assist our physical as well as mental health.
There is a cause and effect between relationships and mental health that goes both ways . When one is depleted the other suffers and struggling in a relationship this can make our mental health worse, and when our mental health declines we can find ourselves struggling in relationships. We need to break this cycle
An individual who is depressed is likely to become very introspective and self-focused. Contact with normal social networks at home and work starts to decline. At first it is the peripheral relationships that suffer but before long this starts to have an impact on central core relationships, with close friends and family. A depressed person finds it hard to make space in their life for friends and it can be hard for friends to find a way in. Low mental health doesn’t just impact the individual but also on the entire social group within which they operate.
Problems in a relationship can severely deplete mental wellbeing. Most of us assume things will just get better and often it does. It is important to stay mindful of how your personal psychological wellbeing is being affected and to seek help if things are not resolving fairly quickly.
One of the key ways we can look to lessen the effects of pressure and low mood is to seek out relationships to nourish the networks that we already have. It is important at times of strain to make time and space for yourslf and social network. Reaching out to people just to keep your social network alive is an important part of maintaining your own wellbeing and making tough times easier to handle. Making a point of emailing someone you have a light-touch relationship with can help that relationship flourish, for example, by deciding to share more about yourself. We seem to have come full circle. There is rarely one answer to mental health issues everything is interlinked.
Another area to look at is the relationship with ptets and I will be posting about that within the next ten days. There will also be a follow upomn the sleep blog as well.
So bye for now but any comments please post them here.