Mental Health Awareness Week
Being able to pursue a creative passion as a source of income has always and will always be a privilege to me. To be able to create not only alone but to have the courage to share that with others, particularly within the context of Imaginary Millions, is a joy. However, in a time where two in three people suffer with some form of mental health issue both inside the work sphere and outside, sometimes that privilege can end up feeling like an enormous burden, and more often than not, one that you’ve placed on yourself.
Given that the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘body image’ it’s clear that mental health issues are not simply confined to the creative industry. There are a number of triggers that can spark a reaction in us. However, in a creative industry where in most cases not only are we our biggest critic but we are also subject to a host of critique alongside that, it’s key to find a way to work healthily and effectively for yourself.
I myself have been working towards a career in music for the last 6 or so years if memory serves and for each of those years I have struggled with some form of anxiety. The lows will of course manifest themselves in a number of ways and with life and social media moving as fast as it is, it can be hard to take the necessary time out to actually do something about it. The urge is always to keep pushing on, ‘it’ll calm down eventually’, ‘I won’t feel this way forever’, blah blah blah. It’s taken a few low lows for me to even start thinking about doing something about it.
A big driver for me when trying to slow down the anxious feelings and breathe a little is to plan ahead and visualise my goals. If I can see it, I can probably do it. It may not always be talking to friends or taking a bubble bath that does the job – although these things can help. Sometimes it’s just finding the reassurance in and reminding myself that worried or not, I am capable and I’m where I am for a reason. Thinking about accomplishing the goals I have is a great way for me to quell the storm that can be my mind from time to time.
This month, whilst the world and the news is also taking a closer look into how each of us may or may not be affected by mental health issues, it’s a great time to sit with yourself and listen or create. Even if this is something you’re doing for the first time, it’s important to continue checking in with your mind beyond this month. After all, the only real question mark swirling around our minds should be as simple as ‘what’s possible from here?’