Mental Health Awareness Week: what is there to smile about?

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Always 💛🌈

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This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 18- 24) is taking place whilst we are still living through this wearisome zeitgeist which feels as though it may never end, and will inevitably etch permanent marks into our lives. 

Countless layoffs across businesses, concerns for front-line staff and wellbeing, the impact on BAME communities and financial or career apprehensions are undoubtedly dominating our thoughts. 

The need to be physically touched (aka skin hunger) and simply enjoy someone else’s company without digital resources is more indispensable than any of us might have anticipated. Everything feels intense, anxiety has increased for some and the foreseeable future is vague. 

To take a step away from all this negativity, we have complied a list of happy news from around the world as we all need a bit of cheering up right now. Check out the list below for a genuine *smiley face* beyond keyboard emojis:

  1. Hundreds of cities worldwide make streets into cycling and pedestrian walkways – with plans to stay that way.
  2. India’s annual carbon emissions fall for the first time in four decades.
  3. The US approves plans to build the nation’s largest solar project in the desert by 2022.
  4. Two people in Pune have taken an initiative to provide the simple right to clean and safe public washrooms.
  5. A 54-year-old man from California with 1% chance of survival is released from hospital after two-month COVID-19 battle.
  6. Teen in New Mexico finds $135,000 next to an ATM and turns it in.
  7. Two teens in Arkansas found and returned $600 in cash. Minutes later, an elderly man returned looking for it.
  8. Britain’s loneliest dog who had been searching for a home for 10 years finally gets adopted.

Here’s a mental health tip from the MESA team: grab a notepad and write down anything troubling you right now, no matter how minor it may seem. 

It doesn’t have to be Coronavirus related, it could be anything including concerns you had before the pandemic. It could be relationship predicaments, it may be love-related distress, it could be completely self-centred dilemmas. 

Once completed, wait for a day or two then revisit each point and add the steps you could potentially take to resolve it. For some of the points you have written, you may not have a solution, but at least you’ve penned it down, and at some point in your life you will naturally adapt and find a way to deal with it. 

Just remember, nothing lasts forever and this too will pass. Whatever you’re feeling right now, it’s valid, your thoughts and feelings matter but you will come out of any melancholic headspace you’re in and radiate positivity like never before. 

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