Bell Let’s Talk Day is a wonderful initiative. If for no other reason than it encourages the sharing of stories by people who would not otherwise be invited to a public platform.
That day has ended.
Tomorrow is February 1st, and routine will command us once again: public transit commutes, workplace deadlines, supporting our children’s endeavors, grocery shopping and wishing we had one – just one – more hour with our blankets and pillows.
Tomorrow, the shine of feeling supportive, and the terror of public revelations, will have set ahead of the February sunrise.
364 days to go until Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019.
The real value in “raising awareness” about such mental health issues as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts is in hoping the glow of a 24-hour education has a long shelf life. How to you get more sustain out of the note?
That can only be achieved by individual mindfulness; something I have recently, and now seemingly constantly, begun working to improve and, though, as my psychologist says, “Perfection is not the expectation, it is a goal you are working towards over the period of a lifetime.”
While personal mindfulness can bring a type of inner peace, it can also help a person recognize how much they are clouded by their own judgment towards others.
Here are, in my opinion, the more important inner lessons to be learned from Bell Let’s Talk Day, which have nothing to do with texts and hashtags:
- Don’t judge without context: You have no idea of the story behind a person’s behaviour.
- Don’t seek gossip: Where there is gossip, there is a victim.
- Mind your own business: Most things are irrelevant to your daily life. Unless it’s offered, it’s it not of your concern why someone was fired, why they called in sick, or why they were arguing on the phone.
- Mind your jealousy: Happiness is not out there, it is in here. Their car, or their house, or their vacation will not bring you peace. However, peace can be inches closer by being happy for others success.
- Be compassionate: Can you replace your frustration towards someone with feelings of compassion? Try to understand why they are behaving the way they are; are they frustrated? Scared? Stressed?
- Don’t assume: Nobody is who they seem. Just be grounded in who you are, and work from there.
- Slow down: Drive in the slow lane, sit quietly in a room, and put your fork down between bites. Appreciate this moment.
- Put yourself first: (Again, stealing this one from therapy) A “Yes” for someone else should be a “Yes” for you. If it’s not, say “No” and be comfortable with that decision.
You cannot control whether someone chooses to share their struggles, but you can quietly try to alleviate your own. The process is so slow, I know. Years, perhaps. If ever I come close, I’ll write about it.
Until then, I’ll keep reading books, and attending therapy, and stealing advice. And, on January 31st 2018, I’ll share blog or two, and fire off some tweets, and wonder and hope whether someone out there actually had a year of feeling better.