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Reflections from Mental Health Awareness Week. How are you doing?

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Tori_Scope
Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,503 Disability Gamechanger
This past week has been Mental Health Awareness Week. I think it's important to take time sometimes to check-in with where your mental health is at. I've listed a couple of things to think about below. Feel free to think about these quietly to yourself, talk them through with a loved one, or of course comment here on the community. Please also feel free to add your own reflections, thoughts, and prompts. 

If you're struggling with your mental health, please don't hesitate to reach out to the community for some help and support. We're all here for you :)

How are you doing?

A simple question I often find difficult to answer. It's easy to brush the question off and say that you're 'fine', or 'things could be worse!', but it's really important that you take the time out every so often to be honest with yourself about how you're really feeling. Perhaps you're doing better than you've given yourself credit for, or maybe you'll noticed that things are a little worse that you'd realised.

What are you grateful for?

We all love a good moan, but it can be a good mood lifter to consider what you're grateful for at the moment. It doesn't have to be anything big, just something that you're thankful for. It could be a pet, loved one, activity you enjoy, having somewhere safe to live- anything!

What do you like about yourself?

If, like me, you find it almost unbearably cringey to say nice things about yourself, that's a sign you should practise! I'll take a deep breath and get us started: I like that I can have a good sense of humour about things.

What's something you'd like to work on?

It can be useful to recognise the things about yourself that you need to work on too. I know that I could be better at making an effort to see my friends, as I usually let them organise meet-ups. I know that seeing my friends improves my mental health, so it's important to me that I start to work on this. You're always going to be a work in progress, and no one is perfect. 

How are you feeling about the future?

The future can always feel a bit daunting, but many people are feeling especially anxious at the moment as things are starting to change, and everything is still so uncertain. How are you feeling about the future?

How do you tend to cope when things get difficult?

There will always be times in life where we have to overcome challenges and difficulties. What are your usual coping mechanisms? How difficult do you find it overcoming or living with these challenges? 
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Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,796 Disability Gamechanger
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    My MH has been all over the place in recent weeks, like a roller coaster if i'm honest, despite the medication that I suspect i'm getting to used to now.
    I'm grateful for having a wonderful wife.
    I like the fact that I am loyal to my friends.
    I'd like to work on always thinking I'm right even when I know I'm probably not.
    I tend to retreat into my shell when things get difficult.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • Caz_Alumni
    Caz_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 621 Pioneering
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    A really valuable post @Tori_Scope. Thanks for sharing this one and highlighting Mental Health Awareness Week. :)

    Definitely some really important questions to reflect on there. Including 'How are you doing?'. A good one to remember to ask ourselves and ask each other as well!

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  • johntotnes
    johntotnes Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Right now I feel like I’m doing really well. I feel like I have a lot of positive things going on in my life. I don’t feel like I need to make any drastic changes to my life. I’m aware that I often lose sight of this though and feel frustrated with where I’m at. Like recently I came home from one of my voluntary shifts because of a panic attack. This left me feeling lost and worrying about the future. I’ve since been back and though it wasn’t easy I made it through the day and felt proud of myself afterwards. 

    I’m interested in the question regarding the future. It’s not something I think about very often. Sometimes I feel like it would be good to have some specific goals for the future. I used to be more like this when I was younger. But as a general rule I tend to go with the flow and don’t worry too much about the long term.

    I’m extremely grateful for all of this. Mostly I am grateful for my health and well being. I try and take a moment when I get up and go to bed to remember this.
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @johntotnes

    Thank you for sharing that with us.  It's good to know that overall things are going positively for you, but I can appreciate how having a panic attack left you feeling a bit lost.  Thankfully, it sounds like you were able to manage it through coping techniques, but here's a link to MIND's advice sheet around Anxiety and panic attacks just incase you ever need it.  Is your GP aware that you sometimes experience panic attacks?  If not, and it continues to happen, maybe consider giving them a call.

    Mental health is such a biggie in society and I think we're all sometimes guilty of saying, 'Yep, I'm fine!' when actually we aren't.  Our community and the Scope team is always here - without judgement - so if anyone is feeling a bit wobbly, please let us know.  We really do want to help  <3
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  • Vanesa
    Vanesa Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    I'm thinking about doing some voluntary work but I'm scared. I'm not feeling confident about anything at the moment
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Vanesa said:
    I'm thinking about doing some voluntary work but I'm scared. I'm not feeling confident about anything at the moment
    Volunteer work sounds super, what sort of voluntary work would you like to do? There's plenty of choice. Is there a particular aspect of it that makes you feel unsettled?
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  • Vanesa
    Vanesa Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    I get anxious easily
  • Vanesa
    Vanesa Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    I was thinking about voluntary work just to help me meet people and build up my confidence
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,503 Disability Gamechanger
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    I can also tend to retreat into my shell when things get hard or stressful @woodbine. I can be a bit of an ostrich. I've been trying to encourage myself to face problems more head-on in recent years, with occasional success. Do you think that's something that affects you, or something you'd like to work on? 
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,503 Disability Gamechanger
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    That's a great reason to volunteer @Vanesa. I've found that past volunteering experiences have helped me to gain some confidence in meeting new people and having a bit of responsibility. I think part of it is about finding the right opportunity, that'll offer you the right level of support. Do you have any ideas in mind of the kind of role you might like to try out? 
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  • Vanesa
    Vanesa Community member Posts: 5 Listener
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    I'm.not sure but maybe in a shop or cafe or help/support group
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,503 Disability Gamechanger
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    That sounds good @Vanesa :) I'd hope that those would all be supportive environments to volunteer in. Do you have any previous experience?
    National Campaigns Officer, she/her

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  • Katharine_Alumni
    Katharine_Alumni Community member, Scope Member Posts: 66 Courageous
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    I love this post, thank you! I also retreat into my shell when things get tough, go quiet and sometimes snap or get teary. I also often (not necessarily when things are particularly bad) plug in my headphones and listen to music as an attempt to ground me and help me come back to a more even track. @Vanesa that is really great you want to volunteer and I agree that shops/cafes and support groups would be wonderful places to volunteer and learn new skills. Are these environments somewhere you have worked in before or would it be new completely? Are there any places nearby you could contact about the opportunity?
    Katharine McKnight
    Careers Adviser, Career Pathways
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
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    My mental health is fine at the moment thankfully. Something I find helpful in maintaining it is meditation and in particular one-pointed meditation. The method I use is to count exhalation breaths from one to ten, breathe in breath out one, breath in breath out two etc and bringing my attention to the breath as it enters and exits the lower point of my nose. All of which may sound tedious but if done for a few minutes can calm the mind wonderfully, that is the least benefit of such meditation. Note; don’t alter your natural breathing at all, just breath naturally without effort.

    So I use that method for grounding, and it can be done on public transport or in the home. Good for combatting stress as well. ?

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

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