As you may have noticed by now, Lucky Things blog is a big supporter of wellbeing. Feeling well isn’t just about your physical health but also your mental wellbeing. During January there’s a day called Blue Monday. A day in January where people may feel a bit blue, down or low. Or just plain depressed. Read more to find out about why 2016 was an interesting year for us. One we’ll never forget. Here’s seven reasons why we need to talk about depression ALL YEAR ROUND…
- Everyday people…The thing is that feeling low doesn’t just happen on one day a month or on certain days of the year. It can be an everyday feeling. Depression doesn’t have an expiry date. It becomes part of you and your life.
- Depression isn’t just a winter thing…Many people suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) where less daylight affects your mood. But this doesn’t mean depression hits in during the winter months. People assume that as soon as the sun is out or Summer months are here, people stop feeling depressed. If only we could switch depression off like a light switch. Depression is here to stay through all seasons come sunscreen or snow boots. It’s something that affected last year for us and so that’s why I talked about three things I learnt from 2016 in my YouTube vlog.
- Lifestyle changes…We often see certain lifestyle achievements or milestones as positive things. Things like getting pregnant, having a baby, moving house or starting a new job. Events that all deserve congratulations cards and messages. But they can bring with them heaps of emotions, stresses, unexpected feelings as well as different kinds of depression. Life events can also trigger anxieties and depression. I write about my PND experience in an attempt to help remove the stigma, share some insight and maybe help others out there suffering from something similar. So it’s important to keep an eye out for each other although we may be celebrating momentous occasions.
- Something for everyone…My view is that most people suffer from some form of depression during their life. It just affects people at different levels and in different ways. For some it can be a few moments or for months. It can also be a constant feeling you have to deal with during your week. Some people may also not register when they’re feeling depressed.
- The stigma remains fierce…Lots of people are unable to talk openly about their depression due to the stigma about the illness. If we have a physical illness, people seem to understand it better. It’s something they might be able to see and so they might also feel better equipped to support someone. They may also be able to see more of a recovery process. But depression along with other mental illnesses can be feel more invisible (although there can be some visible signs). Also, what will people think if we talk about depression? Will they worry that they will be viewed as less capable, less successful or less interesting? So if we’re able to, it’s important we all talk about our own mental wellbeing experiences to chip away at the stigma. Slowly and surely, over time we can keep breaking it down.
- Share, share, share…By sharing your story with one person, you never know who you might be helping along the way. That person could be going through something themselves or they might know someone who is going through a low time. By sharing you also open up all kinds of support for you. So it’s not always about keeping calm and carrying on. Sometimes you need to speak up if something doesn’t feel quite right. I’ve become more open about our experience of depression as a family. At one of the Mothers Meeting events on brand last year, I explained why Lucky Things blog is passionate about wellbeing as I experienced PND and my husband suffers from his own depression. Not at one moment did I feel judged by the crowd. In fact, one other lady came up to me afterwards and told me her mother-in-law suffered from the same condition my husband manages pretty well. It was amazing to have her quick acknowledgement and brief support when she didn’t even know me. Sharing doesn’t have to be talking openly in front of a large group, or writing about it online. Just speaking to one compassionate person you trust can make a difference to how you feel. It also gives people the opportunity to be open about their own wellbeing stories.
- You’re just looking after yourself (and others)…By talking about depression and all year round, you’re taking steps to look after yourself and others. You are not admitting a failure or declaring a weakness. In fact, you’re being strong, bold, resilient and courageous. Not everyone is able to express those qualities. In December I came across the Mothers Meeting podcast Let’s Talk About Depression. It’s a thought-provoking chat about every day depression and pretty inspiring hearing other mothers’ stories. For me there were tears of relief when I listened to others talk about managing their own depressions. Also, BBC Three online has featured a insightful piece on The many faces of depression. It shares eight different experiences of depression (some of you may recognise my superhero). I’ve learnt a lot about the different shapes and sizes of depression from this BBC article. As John Legend says, experience is a great teacher. I strongly believe the low times make us more equipped in life. They also make us value certain things and give us a different outlook. Life is full of ups and downs so it’s essential we take care of what’s important – our mental as well as our physical health. We go to the gym or yoga to keep fit. So why wouldn’t we also want to look after our hearts, souls and minds?
What are your initial thoughts on this blog post? Do you have any views on managing depression or helping our wellbeing? Do you think the seasons make depression worse? What will you do or try to look after your mental wellbeing this year? It’s an important topic to many of us, so I’d love you to share your comments…
Thanks so much for reading this post as I’ve been meaning to write it for a while now x Sunita