In the run-up to World Mental Health Day last Monday, we asked the Pneuma Team to share their go-to mental health quotes and advice. We posted some bite-sized versions - like this one from Cara - on our social media channels...
but here are the full responses from the team members:
Paul, PWP - "We should emphasise the need to look after our physical health, basic needs as a 'foundation' to ensure good mental health. “Look after yourself first, the world can wait a little while.”
Cara, PWP – “We do not realise how strong we truly are, until being strong is the only choice we have got”. Often, when we are going through struggles, we feel weak. We feel as if life is battering us down. We feel vulnerable. However, despite the struggling, we continue to try. 'Trying' may look like getting out of bed and brushing our teeth or it may be walking into the office with a smile on our face. Regardless, you are trying and that is so very strong of you. When the storm ends, I hope you take the time to reflect and be proud of yourself. You overcame a dark period and I hope that provides you with the hope that you will continue to do so, over and over again."
Oisin, PWP – “The sun taught me no matter how many times you fall down, keep rising; and the moon taught me that it takes time to become full.”
Zara, PWP - “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift that’s why it is called the present”- we are all in life together through the good and the bad days- in our good days we find happiness, in our bad days we find strength and experience and always remember after every storm, a rainbow follows."
Georgia, PWP - “Best advice I think I've ever received is that you aren't what you feel and that metaphor of the thunderstorm always stays with me. You're feeling anxious right now, it doesn't mean you're an anxious person. You feel sad right now, it doesn't mean you are sad or will always be sad. Difficult emotions are part of every person's experience, but they are temporary, don't define you as a person and they don't determine the future. Like a thunderstorm, they can feel intense, wobbly, seem to be unpredictable and out of our control at times - and sometimes it can feel like you are in an endless season of stormy weather, but the wind calms down after a while, the summer comes.
You wouldn't go out into a storm, without checking the weather first and grabbing an umbrella or raincoat to help shelter you (or just choosing to stay in and cosy up with a cup of tea until it's passed!). Whilst you can't control whether it'll be stormy, you can control how drenched, cold or wobbled about you get by it. So noticing your emotions, allowing them to exist, sharing them with someone, choosing a bit of rest or self-care or seeking some support with tools to manage intense feelings when they come is just the same - we all need these things as our own "emotional umbrella" or "emotional anorak" I prefer.”
Declan, PWP – "I envisage a society in which mental health problems are an acceptable and in some ways valued part of the human experience."
Louise, Manager – "HOPE stands for…
H – Hold
O – On
P – Pain
E – Eases"
Leona, Senior PWP – "When things get overwhelming, remember: One thought at a time, One task at a time, One day at a time"
Colin, CEO – "An important piece of advice I could give which goes against most of the wider social narrative that is around these days but, when people say trust your instinct or follow you heart, I would say 'listen to your heart or reflect on your instinct but you should not always follow this. Most of the greatest areas of personal growth will be in 'feeling the fear but doing it anyway.' taking risks, getting out of your comfort zone and doing things that challenge you. Once you understand that fear is not to be feared your life starts to open up.'
If we are talking about the 'what I do' bit. Getting outdoors and engaging in exercise is the number one reset. Going for a run after work or going on a long cycle I find is like turning off the computer and switching it back on. I feel physically, emotionally and cognitively energised. Usually a reset to start the weekend."
Pneuma - "Looking after your mental health should not be something left for special occasions, or only addressed when you start to feel down.
Every day is a mental health awareness day, whether you are a service user or a staff member. Positive mental health is a commitment to understanding and valuing your emotional world, it is gaining an appreciation of the people, circumstances, thoughts and events that enhance your life and those that negatively affect you. It is understanding that everyone has the right to be safe, free from guilt and fear, and to have the opportunities to grow and experience a meaningful and rewarding life."