Well as my first ever post for TWOM (and first of the new year!) I thought “New Year, New You” was a fitting title. Of course, wellness and wellbeing should be everyone’s aim whatever your day or doings, but we can get a little sidetracked along the way, so January is a perfect time to re-check the ‘mental-map and regain our bearings, so to speak. So Happy New Year to all, and feast your eyes on this week’s round-up!
#1 “Critical Inner Dialogue”
This is a blog post by a good friend of mine Ben Vale (@BenValeHyp) which he posted last Summer, however I have shared it with so many people it is a message (and mantra of sorts!) we could all learn a little something from.
“On the surface, the statement many of us grew up with, ‘treat others as you’d want to be treated’ holds true. Would you rather be criticized or coached? Would you rather pick apart all of your negative traits or focus on and strengthen your positive aspects?”
It is a wonderful read, and really does make you want to re-evaluate your treatment and talking to the most important person in your world….you!
To read more; please visit Ben’s blog here.
#2 9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier.
Inc.com is predominantly a business-esque site; however it has some great articles on general happiness and how-to’s, including this one. I think it’s safe to say we can all make a few minor changes to our lifestyle to make some major differences.
“Happiness is the only true measure of personal success. Making other people happy is the highest expression of success, but it’s almost impossible to make others happy if you’re not happy yourself.”
I really do think true happiness is something that is underrated in life. We spend so much time worrying about those around us we neglect, and often feel guilty about looking after ourselves. I for one used to be that person, but after taking little steps every day, I found that I do indeed matter, and am much happier as a result.
To read more about habits to be happy; click here.
#3 Alcohol message ‘is confused’
Sometimes (and even I’ve been guilty of this many a time!) the “tis the season to be jolly” message focuses very much on the jolliness aspect, and a few too many vinos are easily sipped and slurped and before you know it the bottle has disappeared before your eyes. However, it’s a rather slippery slope, and easy to spread out into the spring.
It’s important to remember that alcohol not only affects your physical health (as this article from the BBC outlines rather clearly), but it can also have a rather huge impact on your mental health.
They key of course, is finding the area of ‘socially savvy’ over “socially sober”, which Michael Mosley puts rather well in his article. Finding the happy medium, be it with alcohol or other areas of our every day existence, is always a positive way to be.
To read more click here to be taken to the BBC website.
#4 Debt is affecting our mental health, say three in four
A far too cool-a-rapper for me to know the name of once said, “I got ma mind on my money and my money on my mind” and I think that is always most definitely the case at this time of year. The ‘red’ of Santa has proceeded to move to our bank balance.
“Our advisers deal with nearly 8,000 new debt problems every working day so we know debt can play a strong part in relationship breakdowns, ill-health and problems at work. It’s easy to understand why so many people try to ignore debt problems hoping they will go away, but that’s not the answer…Take action as soon as you think there may be a problem. There’s a lot you can do to help yourself so don’t bury your head in the sand.”
It’s a difficult time for society as a whole; and its important that we look after ourselves but those around us also. Money and mental health all too often are hand in hand, and this article by the Telegraph offers some great tips for those in need in how to manage it and see the light at the end of the financial crisis tunnel.
To read more about finance and mental health; click here to visit the article on the Telegraph’s website.
#5 Charles Walker MP: ‘I’ve made peace with it. I’ve got it off my chest’
Last year Mental Health awareness took leaps and bounds further than it has ever done before, and a large part of such success is down to Charles Walker
MP who spoke out during the ‘Mental Health Debate’ in the House of Commons (the first of its kind) about his own trials and tribulations with OCD.
I think this piece in the Guardian really highlights one of the key issues with Mental Health. Sometimes the focus should not be about what everyone else thinks of you; it is about what you think of yourself:
“Everybody has been totally wonderful. I should have done it years ago,” he says. “I’ve made peace with it. I’ve got it off my chest, everybody knows. Once it’s out in the open, it’s not an issue any more. And it’s kind of lost its hold on me. I still wash my hands far too much, I still dance in and out of rooms, I still drive my wife and children mad on occasions, but actually, in a sense, I’ve got the upper hand now in the struggle.”
Sometimes, it’s not societal stigma that causes us the most grief, it is self-stigma that holds us all back. Treating any condition as an ‘add-on’ to who you are is never healthy, but accepting that’s part of the many pieces that build you into being…well, you – is all part of the journey. Trying to fight something so fundamental in your make up is, quite frankly, a waste of time and energy. Taking that step in saying “this is me, and its okay” (much like Charles has) is a step I can vouch makes a significant step towards sanity (whatever that word really means, anyway..)
To read more about Charles’ story, visit the Guardian here.
…and a little (topical) something to make you smile…..
Okay, so I saw The Hobbit over the Holidays and to put it simply – it was awesome (though jeez, three hours?! I had to be rather tactical with my soda drinking…) and well worth a watch. I am a self-confessed geek, and it has prompted me to re-read all the complete classics of Tolkien.
On top of which, I also kinda love Christmas. Don’t get me wrong – decorations should be left til December (though if it makes you happy having them in early Autumn…why not!) but the wrapping of presents, the rapping of seasonal karaoke (both equally terrible in my case), and the smiles of all those around you… it just makes you feel warm inside!
So when I saw this picture, I think it summed up this festive season nicely for me. Apologies if you have to then Google to understand the reference, but I’m hoping the majority of you do, in which case… you’re welcome – and more importantly…when shall we have it?
Happy New Year everyone – may it be all things fabulous and fruitful!
Sarah Mitchell is a Freelance Social Media Executive and Writer, who is passionate about mental health, blogging, and all things Lego and Disney. Never one to turn down an adventure, you can find out more about her on her Blog “General Gubbins” or via Twitter (@Smitchalot)