The following is a guest post from Niko Sadlowski. A mental health advocate who wanted to share his words to encourage other men to speak up and understand it's perfectly normal to feel different. If you feel inspired by Niko's words then head over to his blog and follow him on social media; https://theapparently.com/
Hi, how are you? How are you coping with your highs and lows? Do you care about your mental health? How are you dealing with stress and pressure? We live in the fast-paced world, often being pushed by society and social media. Be better, stronger, richer, more ripped, have better cars, a better paycheck, better everything. Bombarded with goals, achievements of others, we are constantly feeling not good enough, even when we don't have reason to do so.
When is enough?
Do you ever think about your life? When is enough? When you will stop looking for more, looking on the other side of the fence, where you think the grass is greener? I'm nearly forty, got a mortgage, ok car, kids, lovely lassie, an amazing job which I love and somehow I feel that I could be more...but more what? Rich, successful? This is exactly what I need to be careful about - why do I have to be anything more than I am right now? Do you feel like you have to be more? What if the answer would be "No" - you are enough, got enough, live your life, be happy and stop chasing this rabbit, stop your rat race and live.
Look after yourself, don't be ashamed of your mental health
We all have better and worse days. Like me, today, feeling crap mentally. Feeling lost, teary, ugly, not good enough by any standards. But you know what? I give myself permission to feel this way, to lay down in bed, reaching out to my loved ones and telling them - Hey, I have a bad day, hard time, want to cry, just sayin'. It will pass. Give yourself time to feel this way, leave all the projects and stay away from everyone if you need to. Try to remember that rain will pass and clouds will clear. I have been taking quite large doses of my antidepressants for the past 2 years and I wish to be free from it, but you know what? I can't, not yet. I'm not strong enough. It saddens me, but I've learned my lesson as I tried to bail out in my meds myself. I fell, crushed into pieces.
Small things, big moments
Look for things that make you happy, take a break from social media, leave your mind at ease. Try to focus on things that make you happy. I like to walk hills, I love nature, spending time with children and my amazing partner. I am also able to write to my pals, sometimes it's enough to say - I feel low, horrible and down. This is enough for them to text me back - We are here for you- and that's what I just need. It's ok to drop everything and focus on your wellbeing only. With no pressure, no goals, to put everything aside for this time being. Take a book, watch some movie, sleep, meditate or just do nothing. We all would like to have great blogs, a great following, success stories. But when you feel low, ready to give up on yourself, try to give up on other stuff and keep yourself close to people who love and understand you. Period. Maybe look for small changes, slowly find your comfortable place in the world. For you, to be just enough, happy, loved and cosy.
It's good to speak up, talking about mental health struggle is not a sign of weakness, it's a strength. We all have been quiet for too long. Let's start this conversation flowing. I'm here, you're here, it means that you are ready to talk.