Saturday 15 May 2021

May 2021 81 Months #TBCSmiles

It's Mental Health Awareness Week. Never in my life has everyone been so aware of mental health. We're in the middle of a pandemic - we all know exactly what it means. We even know we have to check on our own mental health... at least I hope we do. 

Mental Health is really important. Take time out when you need to. Image is a photograph of a young woman in an infinity pool with trees in the background and a setting Autumn sun

Over the past 15 months we've had more than enough reminders of just how important mental health is. We stayed home, missed out, delayed and deferred to try to protect our own physical health, but it has cost us all. 

None of us will forget this time, and the longer it continues, the more it frustrates us. The lack of control is hard to deal with. The uncertainty over what will happen next. The inability to see those we care about. The fact we don't have those casual interactions with people we may not even know. It's been lonely and hard.

Anyone who has had a particularly vivid dream they can't quite hold on to, or a traumatic or painful experience, will begin to understand just how good the human brain is at forgetting. No-one would ever have more than 1 child otherwise (and I had 5).

When we look back on this time, when life has righted itself, and everything is mainly back in its place, we won't actually remember all of the hours spent wishing we were together. We won't recall just how lazy we became about wearing real clothes, and a bra. We won't remember just how scared we were when we realised last year that it was actually happening, and the nights spent comforting someone who struggled. And we won't remember just how many times we did lateral flow tests, or self-isolated, or heard that someone was in hospital. Every moment someone snapped at us or said something stupid because they were scared or confused will not matter. We won't remember hours searching the supermarket for toilet rolls, or scrolling through the TV channels looking for something new to watch. We'll remember Tiger King.

We will remember dressing up for a zoom call, and the first time we were able to go out with friends. We will remember the hugs when it felt safe enough that you wouldn't harm someone you loved. We'll remember that some of us cried with relief when they were vaccinated. We will remember just how much other people mean to us.

We will remember that while we were apart, we were very much all together. 

Take care of yourself, and others. When you ask if someone is okay, mean it. If there's a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, check in on them. If you are struggling, reach out. Don't be scared, we get it. We understand how you could get to that point.

Take time out of every day to forget COVID exists. Play a game, watch a film, do some baking, chat about anything and everything else. When life gets too much, be easy on yourself, and remember mental health time is important. When you turn back to face real life, take it in small chunks, one bite at a time.

You have already proven you are stronger than you think.

Making smiles is a fantastic way to boost your mental health, and every month people share their smiles with the #TBCSmiles community over on Instagram. ANYONE can join in, and you'll always be welcome. Just tag any photo which has a smile.

Here are 9 of the biggest from last month: 

TBCSmiles  May 2021 Your smiles

These fantastic corkers were shared by the following Instagrammers: 

My family have also made lots of smiles this month. We know all too well how important mental health is. I started collecting our smiles as the proof we can do this, and the reason why we do. They are also the best contagious thing ever... 

May 2021 a collage of photos showing smiles from my family over the past month

If you are struggling, reach out. It can be the hardest thing to do, but you won't regret it... 

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful and wonderful collection of smiles. Hugs xx


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