Am I doing enough? A question I find I have been asking myself repeatedly for as long as I can remember, but even more so lately. But what is 'enough'? We all have different definitions of what 'enough' is; enough friends, enough time, enough work, enough money. Whatever it is, we all have different opinions on how much is enough. We are continuously told to strive for better, to aim for the top, but as humans we find it very difficult to acknowledge that what we are doing is good and accept that it is enough. Whilst there will be circumstances where we will need to 'better' ourselves for others, as parents, as carers, as professionals, at the end of the day, ultimately we should strive to better ourselves for ourselves but not at the detriment of our health.
So what initiated this post?
It was actually during a podcast I had recorded with the lovely Mike for 'Open Journal' which you can find here. I was asked what I was doing for Time to Talk Day, and right now, the answer is not very much. That for me feels absolutely gutting. As someone who adores the campaign and work that Time to Change do, I wish I could do a big fancy event but it's just not feasible. Last year I had set up my own event in a shopping centre which had gone well, many resources were handed out, conversations had and lives impacted. Months back I had ambitions for a conference style event involving numerous schools, however unfortunately I ended up really unwell again and everything took a seemingly sudden stop. So in the midst of a difficult period, here I find myself fighting with guilt that I am not doing what I want to be doing, what I feel others expect me to be doing. I am fighting the guilt over feeling I am not doing my best, not campaigning about something I am so passionate about in the same way I have done in the past. However, having spoken to a few pals about this I have noticed that I am definitely not the only that has felt this way. Which, hearing from friends I feel like I am constantly saying 'You are more than enough, you are doing your best and that is enough', but I remain so critical of myself.
In a world of social media where so many people are posting their filtered highlights we can find ourselves comparing these to our behind-the-scenes gag-reels. We find ourselves comparing our achievements to those of someone else's. Even now, writing this I find myself comparing myself to other's blog posts, other's writing and even my own writing when I was feeling more well and I could write with more ease and less brain fuzz.
So where am I going with this post? Honestly I have no idea, and my thoughts seem to be bouncing around but very slowly at the same time... basically I just wanted to highlight some small things, with little time available, that you could do this Time to Talk Day that would make a big difference. It is so important to realise that the actions we carry out, might not always be huge, they might not always be visible, they might not be widely recognised but they will matter all the same. The small things, really do make a huge difference, whether that's in raising awareness, supporting a loved one, or just general day to day conversation - your voice holds so much power. It's important to remember, that when we are feeling like we aren't doing enough and we wish we could be achieving something that someone else is, that there is very likely someone that is thinking the very same about you. You are doing your best, and that is all anyone can ever ask of you, including yourself.
So what ways can you get involved in Time to Talk Day on February 1st if you only have a short amount of time available?
1. Find out more about Time to Talk Day here.
2. Support a loved one, you can find some tips to do so here.
3. Have a conversation about mental health, you can find tips do get the conversation started here.
4. Take time out to connect with a colleague, find a step by step guide here.
5. Download materials to get your workplace talking, you can find downloadable resources here.
6. Support the Time to Day campaign on social media with downloadable photos found here.
7. Finally, put your health first, make time for self-care, whatever that means to you.
That's me for today, I apologise it was a little all over the place today, but hey that's life! I hope you all have a wonderful Time to Talk Day. If you are not feeling well, or in the best place this Time to Talk Day please do remember that it is simply a day. Every day is a good day to talk about mental health, please do not put pressure on yourself for this one day, this is not the only opportunity that you will have, there will be plenty more - your health comes first.