Share The Joy with awareness
Kindness is something that I really try to embed into my every day life. And also into our 7 year old’s daily life (not forgetting hubby too!). We’re only human and so some days take more effort, more thinking about.
I’ve been following The Kindness Calendar from MakeTodayHappy and I find it works really well to focus on one thing which I then write about in my Share the Joy post, and I link up to the #ShareTheJoyLinky. This week, my act of kindness that stood out was…
‘Spread awareness on social media of #WorldMentalHealthDay.’
And as always, this got me to thinking…
There’s a little bit of a double irony here – stick with me.
Social media is so widespread now that I frequently see posts about mental health in people’s feeds. Yet social media, while it encourages people to share and interact both in their own homes and when out with friends, is also quite isolating. We all know that you can’t convey tone of voice or expression or the twinkle (or lack of) in someone’s eyes by reading typeface. So we often pop an emoji in there too. Yet, this has also become the norm and I believe the intention of adding some warmth or tone or expression with an emoji has actually become ‘cold’ at times.
I shared a status on my feed this week and it said this:
Which is great and is encouraging people to actually talk and not communicate with emojis or status updates alone. As a blogger, I’m as ‘guilty’ as anyone of living my life digitally. Yes, the online world is here to support and since I experienced depression and anxiety over 10 years ago, the taboo of mental health has been somewhat broken. We talk about it. Actually talk about it! It’s not hushed up or talked about behind closed doors as such.
The broken stigma
Coupled with this broken stigma, people are talking about theirs and others’ mental health. People recognise that it’s not a physical condition in the traditional sense and that you can’t see it. So there’s the double irony you see – I helped to raise awareness on #WorldMentalHealthDay by sharing relevant and poignant posts and pictures digitally. When I had depression smartphones didn’t even exist. Counsellors did though, and that was my saving grace. To be honest, I’m not sure which way my recovery would have gone if I’d had access to social media. Would I have been more inclined to take things the wrong way in my heightened state of sensitivity? Would I have found support in the online world? I may never know. (I say ‘may’ because I’m a firm believer that once you’ve experienced depression, it’s always there somewhere. In short, I never rest on my laurels when it comes to my mental health).
A good thing
What I do know though. Any talk of mental health, of sharing experiences and offering support is definitely a good thing. I could talk about mental health until the cows come home. And the more we talk, the more we spread awareness and the more we are saying that anyone can experience depression. It’s not fussy and anyone who thinks they’re immune may have their ‘immunity’ tested one day. Let’s continue to smash that taboo and keep talking, keep supporting, keep raising awareness and keep sharing mental health awareness.
Let’s keep raising awareness of mental health
Are you following any sort of ‘kindness’ calendar? Do you feel that the online world has helped your recovery or stalled it? I’d love to hear. Please do leave a comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere.