Guest entry in the HeadBlog from Angus Robinson, it’s a good’un!
I am having lunch with a highly successful business owner; we are talking about what I’m up to. I tell him about Headtorch and the great things we’re doing.
I often use the analogy that like physical health, all of us have mental health. We may not have mental ill health, but we all have mental health.
“You have mental health” I tell him.
“I seriously doubt that”
“Would you agree you have physical health?”
“Of course, although it’s not great”
“Ok, so you have physical health but not mental health?”
“I told you, I do not have mental health, sounds like a load of b****cks to me!”
This got me thinking – do we all have mental health and if so, are we doing something to keep mentally healthy and fit? After all, we all have physical health , which can be good, average, poor or whatever it is. Many of us spend a lot of time, effort and money keeping physically fit and healthy so are we doing enough to also look after our mental health?
Let’s dispel the first myth – we all have mental health. With our physical health, we can catch colds, sprain our ankles, or dare I say it, get man flu. The thing is, it varies and that’s okay. The same is true of our mental health, it also varies and that’s also okay.
Looking after mental health is just as important, if not more important, than looking after physical health. The two are closely intertwined.
So here’s the question I want to ask – what have you done recently to look after and improve your mental health?
There’s many options out there: it could be as simple as relaxing; having a walk; listening to music; having dinner with friends; or there are more in depth methods such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, coaching or counselling.
Whatever works for you, when did you last do it?
If you do things like this, do you do them on a regular basis?
When the pressure’s on, do you remember to keep doing the positive things in your life or do they get put to the wayside?
It would be an interesting thought to have mental health gyms, places that we would go to specifically exercise our mental health. How different would life be if this was both acceptable and commonplace? Somewhere people could go and do specific exercises together, where like circuit training or boot camp, they could support and push each other. Any regulars to gyms or boot camp will tell you one of the great things about them in addition to keeping fit, is the camaraderie and support of your fellow participants.
How do we bring camaraderie and support to looking after our mental health?
When we started the Headtorch journey, the taboos around mental health were very visible. We would ask “put you hand up if you have mental health?” and get very poor responses, a room full of pockets. Yet now it seems like things are changing; more people are willing to acknowledge that they do in fact have mental health. That’s fantastic, and even more fantastic if you look after it on a regular basis.
“I have mental health, and a mountain bike”
So go on, give yourself a break.
Do something today, tomorrow, next week and all the weeks after that.
Do something to look after your mental health.
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