Here at Our Personal Co, the inner worlds and our mental health are subjects close to our hearts. We believe that everyone deserves a happy, healthy life and, to mark World Mental Health Day (10th of October), we wanted to talk about something we’re passionate about: getting help.
There’s an old saying that: “it takes a village”. Other than the occasional hermit in a cave, humans are social creatures. Even the most introverted or least social of us need the support of others, of a village, in order to thrive in life. Mostly we don’t actually live in villages these days. The bad news is that this means that it’s up to each of us to build our own village. The good news is that this means that we can choose to populate our village with the family, friends, associates and professionals who lift us up and help us build and maintain thriving lives.
That’s a bit of an odd start, we know, so what does all this talk of villages have do to with mental health?
So many of us look around and wonder if we need help. We wonder: Do I need help? Really? How do I know if there is a “real” problem or if I just need more sleep, to eat a few more vegetables or to toughen up?
Hold on, OPC, you were blathering about villages, now you’re talking mental health. What’s going on here, where’s the continuity?
We’re getting there, we promise.
If you are sad or struggling or even just mildly concerned, we’re here to make sure you know it’s okay to ask for help. In fact we want to encourage you to do so because we want everyone to be able to enjoy the wonder of life, even in 2020. If you’re feeling bad, thought any of those questions or even just wondering how you could make your life better, then it’s time to start building soft places of support into your village. We know how hard this step can be but the lovely news is that you have more of the rest of your life in front of you now than at any other moment after it and you don’t need to do this alone. Even the hermit had support before they got to the cave but getting help doesn’t have to be huge or imposing or scary.
Maybe what you need really is help to eat your greens. It’s hard to be happy if you feel physically poor but you’re not alone, especially with the innovations of 2020. Build your village to include a delivery green juice service or buy pre-cut/ pre-cooked vegetables. Ask a friend to remind you to add in fruit or greens next time you’re out together. Maybe you need better sleep so your support network needs to include a sleep coach or an accountability partner. Maybe your village needs more information on just why sleep is so important to the maintenance of the human organism. Maybe you’re struggling with what brings you joy and motivates you. Maybe you need to do some personality tests (Enneagram, Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, Myers Briggs) so that you know yourself better and can structure your village and life for better success and …maybe it’s none of these things (although we could probably all use more greens, better sleep and to know ourselves better) but that’s when how you construct your village becomes so important.
A good mental health professional is a vital addition to every village. You wouldn’t try to heal a broken arm without a doctor or a chipped tooth without a dentist so it makes no sense try to diagnose, let alone heal, the mind or soul or psyche alone, especially when there are professionals trained in this healing. Include them in your village along with your dentist, GP and your hairdresser. Use them to help you know yourself and ease into the habit of seeing them for your regular check ups with your GP or dentist. They’re then there to help you to work your way through whatever you are feeling, you know what to do if things get difficult and you have their help to build a thriving, wonderful life.
You may need to try a few to find a good fit. You may need to do it quietly if the people in your living situation aren’t supportive but by taking that step, by adding all the professionals needed to support a happy and healthy life to your village and realising you don’t need to suffer, let alone suffer alone, you begin to lay down the bad and build a strong foundation for a fantastic life.
So when should we ask for help? Now, my dear, but it can be a gentle, loving and soft support to help you feel really good in the world. We encourage you to build your village, to reconstruct it if you need to, and use it as a support network to build a thriving, amazing life, especially when you need help. A good village will raise you up and celebrate in the good times, support you in the scary times and have your back in the times when it takes everything in you to be brave…like reaching out for help. You deserve to thrive, and these are the first steps on that path.