Did you know that this week is mental health awareness week? At least in the UK anyway, in the USA they’re taking the whole month. And so I thought now was a really good chance to share some mental health related goodness in the form of a whole series of posts about ‘Actionable Advice’.
Why Actionable you ask? Weeeeeell I think we really need it as a community. In the last couple of years, people have done an amazing job in reducing the stigma of mental illness. People ‘coming out’ as suffering from depression or anxiety was such an important step to making people feel better. I remember when I was a little confused kid and I learnt that Stephen Fry also had depression and oh my god it made me feel so much more normal.
But… it brought me comfort for about a second. And then after that I thought. Hang on… if tonnes of people are out there similarly suffering why isn’t there more advice!? Why aren’t there more directions and things to do? Why isn’t there a step by step plan for me to follow!?
I couldn’t find much in the way of clear directions. Other than go to a therapist (which I have done in the past and encourage everyone to try) and take antidepressants (which I also have done and just happened to have a bad experience with) there was little advice out there which went beyond the vague “Identify problems”, “practice self love”, “raise your self esteem”.
And although I now understand what these mean, when you have low self esteem and someone tells you to raise your self esteem you find yourself screaming “HOWWWW!?”.
Sooooo, every week throughout May I’m going to be sharing actual things you can do if you’re less of a ‘take a long bath and chill’ sort of person and more of a ‘I’m going to follow this step by step proactive plan’ sort of person.