It’s World Mental Health Day today and I’m sat in a rather lovely room in the Royal College of GPs with my union Unite.
This weekend I was representing Reading in Düsseldorf and last night I was in a meeting as I will be tomorrow and Thursday.
I choose to be this busy; being a councillor and union rep on top of my paid employment but I can only maintain this amount of activity because of a lesson I learned about 6 years ago.
About 6 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. This can happen to anyone and it happened to me. I did a course of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which made me re-evaluate my levels of activity. I did a lot of work for other people but took very little time for my own self care.
Like physical health you need to actively look after your mental health. If you’re feeling mentally unwell go to the Drs, tell a friend and seek help. Talk about how you feel and, importantly, take time out for yourself.
So now I make sure I plan in a quiet afternoon, a meal with friends or a trip to the fun fair with my children after all, adults can ride carousels too!
You need balance and you need to take care of your mental health so on World Mental Health Day make the promise that you will.
If you need help with your mental health speak to your GP. The following charities can also help: