Tuesday 16 June 2020

#TBCSmiles June 2020 70 Months...

How are you getting on? How is your mental health doing? The UK has been on lockdown now since 23rd March, it's been 12 weeks, and we don't yet have a clear end in sight, so it's certainly not the most comfortable position to be in. 

This week is Loneliness Awareness Week. You don't have to be by yourself to be lonely. Right now we all miss those people who fill our lives. We all miss our mates and our family. We miss the school run and seeing other adults in the playground. We even miss going out to work. We miss a stroll to the corner shop, waving hiya to everyone we meet, or hanging out at the park. We miss people. 

Shielded people may feel you have lost 3 months, and if you live alone or have spent a lot of that time alone, especially if you usually go out most days for work or any other reason, that will have felt an especially long time, unable to escape from your own home. 

two small boys climbing over a fallen tree to attempt escape from their garden

One of my younger boys has struggled the past few days - that's why this post is a day late. He needed me yesterday. He was due to go back to school for 2 days this week, but the number of cases in our area is too high, and it's been put back until next week. He is feeling it. He misses his friends. 

I am lucky, I have my 2 young boys and a grown up son here, as well as my partner. We have a good relationship and can talk for hours, but I still miss my friend coming round to work at my house. I miss her understanding what I mean when I complain about something blog related. I miss my older kids popping over. I miss the mums in the school yard, and doing the library once a week. 

At times we all feel lonely. I even have choices about who to hang around with at my house, but if I still feel it, I have all the sympathy in the world for most of the rest of you. 

This week we really should be aware of loneliness - our own, and everyone else's. There are many things we can do to help, which don't have to involve face-to-face meeting and are suitable for human beings of all ages:
1. Call someone. If they're busy, good on them, arrange to call another time and use the time to ring someone else.
2. Video call. It's all the rage now, they're all doing it. If it feels too much like work, put on your pyjamas and get a bowl of crisps or a refreshing beverage, move the computer over to the coffee table and relax. 
3. Write a letter. In the olden days we used to do this a lot, and every letter through the door was an exciting thing to receive. The post today is just bills, circulars and catalogues. Imagine if it was pictures drawn by grandchildren and a real handwritten message from someone who cares. 
4. Send a gift. Just about every company which is a bit clever has online gifts, and they don't have to be in any way expensive. Just a bit of something to cheer someone up. 
5. Do some gardening, clean the car or paint the fence. Being outside will give you fresh air and vitamin D, and you can say hiya to everyone who passes. 
6. Go out and paint the landscape, walk the dog, paint pebbles with smiley faces and go and distribute them around your area. Chalk a drawing or messages on the floor outside your house. Email, message, join an online choir, offer to man a helpline for an hour a week, join a local group with a local aim, and if you can't think of at least 2 more, then you aren't thinking hard enough.... 

Time for this months smiles - because we all need smiles. 

We might have a UK lockdown, but that hasn't stopped us making smiles. You've shared some awesome ones again this month, and loads of people seem to have had birthdays! A lot of people have taken advantage of their gardens and local area - I hope when this is over, that we all continue to appreciate everything we have on our doorsteps. 

Huge thank you to everyone who joins in, and anyone is welcome. Just share your smiles with the community on Instagram by tagging them #TBCSmiles - and that's also where you'll see all of them together, and there are thousands. Here are just 9 of those shared this month... 

TBCSmiles June 2020 YOUR Smiles collage of 9 big grins

These grintastic human beings were shared by (and may feature):

We made lots of smiles too, although many of them were with barbeques or fires outside in the evenings, so I don't have lots of photos, but I do have some lovely images safe inside my head... 

TBCSmiles June 2020 Our smiles

If you are struggling with your mental health, through loneliness or because you are worried or for any other reason, there is ALWAYS someone to talk to. The NHS England Every Mind Matters website has lots of genuinely practical advice, and if you need help to reach that point, The Samaritans are there 24 hours a day to offer you support. Don't be alone. People have their hand out, reach out and take it. 

1 comment:

  1. Poor wee soul, the little ones have had to cope with so much upheaval and have taken the most in their stride, but it is hard when they are told one thing for it to be taken away. Lots of wonderful smiles and a beautiful collection of smiles too. Lots of love xx


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