365 days of self care

It seems strange that I don’t have time to write more posts on here. My last post was in June and what have I done since then? Time has flown by so fast, that I’m not even sure. Nevertheless, I’m here now. Hoping it serves as my therapy for the day.

It’s been a tough few weeks, mentally. I’m tearing my hair out, still trying to be offered a job. Somewhere. Doing something. Anything. Anywhere. Yesterday was interview number sixteen and I’m crossing every finger, toe and body part, that I get the job. At the rate I’m going, I wouldn’t mind taking a job as a rubbish collector…

Let’s stop wallowing in pity for myself. Let’s talk. There’s a fantastic social media campaign at the moment that I think has just about kept me going. If you get a few minutes, go on Twitter or Instagram and find #365daysofselfcare – it’s been set up by the Blurt Foundation. The basis of it doing just one thing every day, to help care for yourself.

The idea behind the campaign is that dealing with mental health issues, is overwhelming. It’s tiring and affects every aspect of your life. If you can do one thing today, tomorrow, the next, to help yourself, then it might make dealing with anxiety, depression, OCD etc that bit easier.

I’m a marketing geek so I’ll put it in marketing terms. The Blurt Foundation has got their market segment down to a T. Everyone lives their life online, these days. It’s so easy to share with the world what you’re doing, what you’re eating, how you’re feeling. A picture is worth a 1000 words. Maybe this is why this campaign is working so well.

The Blurt Foundation wants people to do one thing every day, for 365 days. No matter what it is – going for a run, read a book, make a healthy lunch – posting a photo on social media for others to see, will be a way to capture your moments of self care.

So why is this campaign working so well? Thousands, maybe millions, of people live with mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD, are just a few issues that we are living against. Many of us are living with these issues, but suffering in silence. Sadly, there’s still a huge stigma around mental health. I for one, live with depression. No one I work with knows that, and I secretly hope they never find out. In the real world, many people see mental illness as a weakness. The comments I’ve heard in my office make me feel sick. The jokes they make about suicide. The comments like “I haven’t got time for people who are depressed”. It makes me so angry, but I have to just take it all in.

The #365daysofselfcare campaign is helping those who are suffering with mental illness, realise that they’re not alone. Take it from someone who lives with the demons in her head, mental illness is a very lonely place, at times. When depression hits, I can feel lonely even if I’m surrounded by people who love me. Seeing someone else has spent the evening in bed, like I often do, or seeing that someone else has forced themselves to tidy their house, because their depression has tied them down, is a comfort.

It’s a comfort to know that I’m not the only one who sometimes feels like crying for no reason, knowing there are people who like me see it as reward-worthy having eaten three meals that day. It’s a comfort to know I’m not the only one.

Mental illness is a long and lonely path. It feels like that dark tunnel is never going to end. By doing just one thing a day to help my wellbeing, I am beginning to see the worth in taking little steps. It sometimes feels like depression is going to swallow me, whole. I’m beginning to see that I can prevent this. Even when it feels inevitable, I can do little things to make this horrible feeling seem not so scary.

The Blurt Foundation has kept me from breaking thus far, and I am so happy that this campaign is going so well for them. It’s great that so many people are getting involved, and I love this new community that has emerged. Thank you, thank you, thank you.