A year ago I was wrapping presents for my Dad’s birthday. He was easy to please. His favourite aftershave (the one with the ship on the bottle) and some other small items would do.
Then the Coronavirus arrived.
Two months later (the first peak) I was wearing PPE and saying goodbye to him.
The one thing I regret not doing was recording his voice.
There are photographs. There is even that unopened aftershave. What I didn’t get around to doing was recording one of his anecdotes about his life in the Caribbean. Even a familiar story about life in London would do. there was always going to be the chance to do it tomorrow.
(Feel free to like and share if you enjoy this post)
This is the time of year when we make changes. Getting healthier; making savings grow; changing our job: these all feature on people’s To Do lists.
Maybe you made a 2021 Resolution yourself (if so, how is it going)?
The hardest part of making change happen is taking a first step, having stood still for a while (weeks / months / even years).
The biggest obstacle to getting started can be other people, especially when they are important or influential figures in our lives. There are ways around people who want to block our growth.
Take a look at my video on the subject via Youtube if you need to think about working around the people getting in your way. What strategies do you use to keep moving forward? Don’t forget to comment, like, share and subscribe if you enjoy what you see.
Twelve months ago, who knew we would have to deal with Furloughs, Social distancing, Funeral planning ?
The Covid-19 era will end. But during this roller-coaster ride we owe it to ourselves to do one thing; look after ourselves.
Luckily, looking after ourselves is the theme for World Mental Health Day. So on Saturday 10 October it makes sense to make time to look after number one. Doing this makes us better prepared to support other people.
How have you managed to keep it together in 2020? As I take stock this October my life isn’t perfect, but I have stayed mostly upbeat since March by:
Connecting to others.
Obviously, there is more to looking after ourselves than that, but this is a start.
What are the actions you take to manage your wellbeing? Feel free to leave a comment and continue the conversation.
2021 is roughly four months away. The next eight months have to be a happier than the last eight, don’t they?
I mean, how many happiness points out of 10 would you give 2020 so far?
7 out of 10? 6? 5?
Here’s a tip if your 2020 happiness score is 4 out of 10, or less.
Make the most of the people around you. After all:
Are all good people to ask for support. It is legitimate to lean on others from time to time, just like they lean on you.
In my experience taking a deep breath and asking for help is the first step back towards happiness. Whoever you talk to will be able to help you reconnect with the qualities that make you smile, feel pride, enjoy your day.
Here’s a quote from Mahatma Gandhi which I like:
Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.
Hopefully 2021 will be full of those moments.
Meanwhile, who do you turn to when you need to get back into harmony? Leave a comment, or Tweet @RogerD_Said
Black Lives mattered in the 1960s when the sign my parents came up against when apartment hunting in London said ‘No Coloured. No Irish. No Dogs’.
They mattered in the 1970s when a member of the public could say they wanted to speak to a White member of staff, rather than my Dad (and have that ‘reasonable’ request honoured by management) .
They mattered in the 1980s when on a degree course someone could refer to a third party as a Black C*nt (and then add, ‘no offence mate’ when he saw I had heard what he said).
They mattered when George Floyd said to police officers, ‘I can’t breathe’ and called out for his mother.
These are different sized examples, some big some smaller in scale. They take place at different times, but all contain the same message: being from an ethnic minority means being less than equal, in some people’s eyes.
So here we are in 2020, still needing to take substantial steps to level society up. All because those steps were not taken 60, 50 or 40 years ago.
Here are some steps we can take to embed improvements in this generation:
Accept the principle that Black Lives Matter does not mean other lives don’t.
Agree there is enough equality to go around and that the inter section between ethnicity and any other personal characteristic matters too.
Act today to take personal responsibility for making one change in the world around us, which makes things better for everyone tomorrow.
What goal will you set yourself to make a difference? How will your actions show you are a leader when it comes to making change happen? You can comment below or Tweet @RogerD_Said if you prefer.
So, here we are and MHAW has just ended and men have spoken up. However, the conversation about better mental health continues. Luckily, we have tools available to us to improve our health, as well as the support to help us keep going.
Here are three more steps to better mental health.
Ask ourselves what is going inside and how we feel about it. Is everything good? Or is there more anxiety and darkness than usual? The greater the disturbance the less successful our relationships and productivity.
Build up our personal networks, so we are connected to people – family, friends, professionals – who understand our situation and can support us when we need it. Being able to support them is a bonus!
Continue these conversations. It is important to keep having those conversations about positive mental health and to reduce the stigma sometimes associated with these conditions.
How do you address your mental health needs? Feel free to add your voice to the conversation with a comment below.