IT is okay NOT to be okay. #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Happy ‘whatever day’ this actually is. Such strange times.

I was initially asked to write my articles about positivity, compassion, empathy etc. At the moment I am mostly okay, however, last weekend a horrible dark cloud hung over me for quite a few hours.

The day before I had spent a few hours on a Zoom call with two of my best girlfriends; chatting, giggling, gossiping, checking each other were okay.

It left me feeling like I was on cloud nine, everything was going to be okay, in time.

Then, that night, my mind started churning with ‘what if it's not going to be okay’?

Also, even though I enjoyed the chat at the time, I started feeling out of control that I couldn’t physically be with my friends and family etc.

I am very much a ‘people person’. I have also been called an ‘inappropriate hugger’, as I just love hugging people! I’m very tactile, I love meeting people and actively listening to what they are saying.

Due to my mindfulness training I feel I can handle almost anything. However, this lockdown is hard to handle. I feel frustrated that nothing I could do was stopping my mind from whirring with thoughts and worries. I think because I was supposed to me mentally strong, I SHOULD be able to handle this...

I forgot one of the number one lessons in Mindfulness is BE KIND TO YOURSELF.

This is what I always tell people when they are feeling out of control. Just for a few hours I forgot to listen to my own advice. So what did I do? I took a deep breath. Then I took a few more. I allowed my brain to have a little ‘pity party’ then I started to concentrate on things to be grateful for.

Just a few then I relaxed and finally fell asleep.

This week is National Mental Health Awareness Week – there are lots of online places to seek help and advice if you’re struggling. Please remember it is okay NOT to be okay sometimes. Be gentle on yourself. Accept help if it is offered. Hopefully, it won’t be long before we can hug our friends and family again.

I know I will NEVER forget this period of time and I will NEVER underestimate the joy of being with people again.

Please stay safe –The greater your storm, the brighter your rainbow will be.

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