Today is world mental health day and it has been amazing to see so many people on Instagram sharing personal stories, messages of support and raising awareness of mental ill-health. Here is my contribution to ending the stigma…
I have suffered with poor mental health on and off throughout my life. Sometimes it has been caused by what was going on in my life at the time, other times it has seemingly come out of nowhere. I have come to accept that I may have ‘wobbles’ every now and again, they are pretty much a part of who I am. I know that many people won’t share this experience and some people may feel that this is an extremely pessimistic way of looking at things. But to me it feels incredibly liberating. At one point I went through a cycle of feeling better, thinking I didn’t need to worry about my mental health anymore, getting unwell again and then feeling like a huge failure. Accepting the possibility that, whilst I may be well now, I may feel wobbly in the future has helped me to learn how to look after myself. So whilst it may never completely go away, I get better at dealing with it. As mind explain in this video, “mental health is just like physical health. We all have it and we all need to look after it.”
So how do I look after myself? Well, making sure I get enough sleep (at the normal time), eat breakfast and go outside everyday are pretty important to me. But honestly, probably the most important thing I do to keep myself well is crafting. After the last (pretty difficult) six months I have realised it is so important for me to make time to make things. It helps me to relax, slow down my thoughts and feel connected to other people.
I know this is something that will chime with lots of other crafters and that is just one of the many reasons why I feel proud to be a part of this community.