Mental health awareness week saw such an outpouring of support and solidarity that we thought we would dedicate a blog to it. We saw so many inspirational quotes being posted over social media, with the overwhelming messages being about looking after ourselves, cutting ourselves some slack, and, most importantly, asking for help if we need it.
We’re huge advocates of all of the above at Makin’ Monsters, so we thought we’d bring you a roundup of some of our favourite quotes that we picked out over the week.
So many of us find it hard to look after ourselves. We have so many people around us to look after that the tendency can be to put them, as well as work, first. Suddenly, we find ourselves going downhill. If this sounds familiar, try spinning the idea of self-care on its head… if you can’t look after yourself for you, do it for those around you. Why deprive them of the best version of you? Instead of being tired and run down, take time out for yourself so you can give those around you everything you’ve got. And, in time… you might just find yourself doing it for yourself too.
This quote comes from Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and reiterates one of the key elements of Buddhism – to focus on the present rather than the past or the future. Easier said than done though, isn’t it? Our past influences our present, and we can’t help but wonder, and sometimes worry, about the future. But, in anxious moments, focusing on the present can bring the calm that is needed. Distracting yourself by doing something you enjoy can help, or you could try the Five Sense Grounding Technique where you name:
- FIVE things you see
- FOUR things you can touch
- THREE things you hear
- TWO things you can smell
- ONE thing you can taste
This exercise brings you into the present and allows you to stop the cycle of worrying.
Has anyone ever commented on something you’ve done, that you’ve seen as totally normal, but that has made a difference to them? Maybe it’s been when you’ve left a job, which you didn’t think you excelled at… only to find people were really sorry to see you go. Or maybe someone told you the smile you gave them that morning was just what they needed in the midst of a tough day. However small or large, we make positive differences to people’s lives constantly… and we should stop to realise this, and, more importantly, give ourselves credit for them. That way, maybe you’ll have more confidence in the fact that you make a difference… and that you matter.
The world was rocked when we heard about Robin Williams so tragically taking his own life. Well-known for his amazing talents, playing a range of roles from Mrs Doubtfire to John Keating in the Dead Poets Society, he was regarded as one of the best actors and comedians of all time. He entertained people for decades. Yet nobody knew the true extent of the battle he was fighting behind the scenes.
While we naturally reach out to help people who are visibly struggling, we sometimes miss those that may be hiding pain with a smile. Make sure you remember to check in on friends and family who always seem ok to make sure they truly are. And, if you find yourself putting on a brave face too much of the time, then our final quote may apply to you…
Do you need to ask for help? It takes a lot of courage to do it, but making that step is the only sure way to getting the support you need. Confide in a trusted friend or family member, or contact a professional. Your GP can be a good first port of call and, in many cases, there are self-referral options they can direct you to. Or there are charities like Mind or the Samaritans that offer amazing support.
As we always say here at Makin’ Monsters, we are not trained mental health experts, but we try to create a space that breeds solidarity and support. Mental health awareness week showed that we can pull together and help each other by sharing our experiences – so let’s keep that going. We’d love to hear if any of the quotes above really resonate with you… let us know in the comments below.