- Madeleine Cowey
Blue any day
Happy Blue Monday!
I was scrolling through Instagram and all the posts captioned "its okay to be sad! #bluemonday" drew my attention to the day today. Apparently, today is the most depressing day of the year, according to a random pseudoscientific equation. And some day late June is the happiest day of the year.
Mind, a Mental Health charity in the UK has instead started the hashtag #BlueAnyDay, which I think is a great idea, highlighting that depression and mental health can strike any and every day of the year, and nobody should be led to feel bad about their poor mental health. As this Guardian article by Anita Sethi so well discusses, mental health issues still need to be dealt with better, not just telling people to "Cheer up" on every other day of the year and today telling them that they should be depressed, but actually trying to make a difference, like Mind does.
I think today is a good opportunity to instead raise awareness for mental health disorders, and if you are struggling feel free to give the article a read as Anita gives a few tips on what helps her through her depression and anxiety.
(Can we also quickly note that blue is a great colour and in no way makes me feel 'blue' - Blue skies are everything. And continue...)
I've never had any diagnosed mental health problems, for which I am so grateful, but everyone has down days and I am definitely one who thinks these days and moments are perfectly natural and fine, and instead of pushing such feelings away we should try to process and deal with them.
I don't always follow my own advice here, and I do often push my feelings aside, try to hold my chin up and act like all is A-OK when really I'm dying a little inside. I think this is a natural response, for often when you do show emotion you get people on the street telling you to "cheer up love" or that "it might never happen!" (those people really grind on me), and sometimes you can scared off from opening up about your feelings because people often don't like talking about difficult/uncomfortable topics. Sometimes you don't talk about things because you don't want to upset your loved ones. Everyone has their limits, and a lot of people won't be comfortable talking about their feelings, or having tricky conversations, and that is okay. But, I think we should all at least accept that it is okay to feel down, and it is okay to seek help and to not be happy all the time, and should feel comfortable about reaching out if that's what we need. Try not to fall into the deep dark pit of sadness, because it will become deeper and darker and nobody wants that. You deserve more than that. Everyone deserves to be helped out of that pit. It's a shit pit.
There is so much pressure now especially from social media to be happy and perfect all the time, and no matter how many times you hear it, sometimes it is impossible to remember that the pictures we see are just that - snapshots, and people generally pick the snapshots of their lives where they're looking their happiest, their best, and doing exciting things. Nobody's life is like that 24/7. Even the jolliest of pals have down moments. If we were all as happy as our social media pages show all the time then, well... that'd make me very happy but it's not reality. I like to believe you could be 100% content in life, but there's no way of avoiding down feelings. They are what make us human, and able to feel empathy and all the lovely stuff.
This topic is fairly fitting because I was feeling quite down last night. I was struggling to sleep, and when that happens usually my mind starts working at 100mph and it gets even harder to sleep, and then I start thinking about everything that's stressing me out, i.e. my exams, and when I do that I tend to start thinking about my sarcoma. Not a great route to take. I've always done that - once I'm stressed about one thing I'm suddenly stressing about everything.
But I guess a lesson I've learned from reading about Blue Monday, mental health and just from writing this blog now is that it's okay if I get sad about things. Having cancer is shit, and there's no way I can just ignore it and not let it get to me. Here's me admitting something I don't admit often enough, often not even to myself: I'm scared, and I wish it would go away.
Alas, it won't. Luckily enough, I'm in Rome, I am of good health at the moment, have wonderful friends and family, have enough money to by myself pizza and gelato if I want it (or a salad if I'm feeling together), and I'm currently all warm in a fluffy jumper I got for Christmas, typing up a blog which I very much enjoy, and drinking tea. I'm grateful, and I'm happy, and every so often it just takes me reminding myself that I'm okay, but also, it's okay to not be okay. (see images: bad day, good day. bad day, good day. We have both - it's okay, and out of our control!! - mostly).
I'm not sure if I've made any sense, but it makes sense to me...
If you have any questions or ideas on the topic, after some technical difficulties, I THINK I've sorted the comments section!??! I hope, anyway. So yeah please comment and discuss and yada yada yada.
Final words on the topic?
Take care of yourselves, treat yourself as you'd treat a friend, and don't punish yourself for having feelings. We're only human.
Maybe make today a happy day, if you're feeling down - do something you love. Practice self-love, have a bubble bath, do some yoga, have a hot chocolate, (or read my blogs?? Tips to cheer someone up? EH?EH?????)
Look at me go with all the blogs I've written this week whilst I'm meant to be revising! Look at me GO!
p.s. I think I've linked the Guardian article and the website for Mind properly in this post. Please tell me if they don't work!!
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