Mental Health Talk newsletter – Issue 3, 25 October 2019

By Jeremy Godwin.

Hello and welcome back to another edition of Mental Health Talk, the newsletter that takes the Let’s Talk About Mental Health conversation further by sharing inspiring and practical stuff related to mental health and wellbeing! Let’s get talking!

This week on Let’s Talk About Mental Health…

This week’s episode/post of Let’s Talk About Mental Health (out now!) is called Let’s Talk About… Priorities. It’s all about how to become crystal clear on what’s important to you so that you can focus every day on what actually matters to you, and why it’s an important part of good mental health and wellbeing.

You can read the blog here or find a direct link to listen on your preferred podcast platform here (including an audio-only version on YouTube) .

A Quick Note (A.K.A. Jeremy’s Soapbox)…

A quick note before I go any further… here in Australia it’s Mental Health Month and there have been a number of mental health weeks/days around the world this month – and it’s taken me until 25th October to comment. There’s a reason for that: I believe that all mental health awareness is important and beneficial, however it needs to be more than just one week or one month a year (which is why I do the Let’s Talk About Mental Health podcast and blog every week). I mean it when I say “because the more we talk about it, the easier it gets.” So it’s been fantastic to see lots of stuff in the media over the month of October, however let’s keep the conversation going beyond this month.

This article in BBC Science Focus magazine raises some great points about the need to not only raise awareness of mental health issues, but more importantly to ask why so many are affected (1 in 5 in Australia & New Zealand, 1 in 4 in UK & USA). Awareness is great but let’s ask why more often – conversations you’re going to be hearing a lot more of on Let’s Talk About Mental Health!

In Mental Health News This Week…

Don’t stress, your ATAR isn’t the final call. There are many ways to get into university. (The Conversation, 22 October 2019): It’s HSC (Higher School Certificate) exam time for Year 12 students here in NSW, and even though I’m 43 I can still remember how horrendous the stress was. The good news is that failing these exams isn’t the end of the world (I know from personal experience!) – this article talks about what students can do if they don’t get the tertiary entrance score they need to get into university; even though the article is targeted at students, there are excellent lessons for all of us about bouncing back. Read it here.

Anxiety is often physical, but its symptoms can be surprisingly easy to miss (ABC News, 21 October 2019): An excellent article about the physical symptoms of anxiety. Read it here.

Inside the anti anti-depressant movement (The Face, 14 October 2019): A lengthy read focused mainly on the UK; as someone who was on anti-depressants for several years and who stopped taking them several years ago (gradually, and with my doctor’s guidance) I’m well aware that the ‘to medicate or not to medicate?’ question isn’t black or white. Read it here.

My 3 favourite pop culture things this week…

Here’s some pop culture-y things I’ve been loving this week – never forget that it’s the little things that make you happy which contribute to good mental health and wellbeing, so make time to have fun every single day!

  • TED Radio Hour by NPR (Podcast, multiple platforms) Full of fascinating topics, it’s like a TED talk on the go and there are some episodes relevant to mental health and wellbeing (such as last week’s ‘Rethinking Anger’).
  • Gruen, Season 11 (Factual TV series, ABC & ABC IView in Australia) – Now in its eleventh season, this Australian show (hosted by comedian Wil Anderson) shines a light on the tricks used in advertising, marketing and branding. Why is that related to mental health and wellbeing? Because Gruen deconstructs the way brands try to get into our minds, which helps to remove some of the power advertising has over us (especially since some ads seem to go out of their way to make us feel bad about ourselves just to sell products)… and on top of all of that it’s just a great laugh (you know, the best medicine and all that stuff). I look forward to Gruen every year – we’re halfway through the season so jump on it now if you want a smart show with a humorous edge.
  • Me by Elton John (Book, available in print and eBook) – a deeply fascinating autobiography by one of the biggest artists of all time. It’s a no-holds-barred look at the life of someone who has dealt with many struggles, including his sexual orientation and drug addiction, and well worth a read.

2 Instagram Posts That Made My Week…

I’m a highly visual person so I love Instagram. I understand the criticisms of it but, like any tool, how social media affects you is completely dependant on how you use it. I choose to follow accounts that inspire me and/or make me laugh and I don’t compare my life to others, and I have no hesitation in hitting ‘unfollow’ if an account is heading to the dark side in terms of content or overall message. My morning wake-up ritual involves a strong cup of coffee (or four) and a wander through Instagram to wake up my creative juices before I start work, so I decided each week to share a little of that process here by including two posts that made me think, laugh or feel some kind of way. Enjoy!

I absolutely love @themindgeek‘s Instagram account – run by Irish psychotherapist Sarah Jane Crosby, every week she delves right into tough topics related to mental health and pulls no punches. This week she’s been talking about ‘The Mother Wound’, which is really resonating with me as someone who has a very difficult relationship with my mother. This simple “mental note” post was a welcome reminder this week – thanks Sarah Jane!

Continuing on the theme of healthy relationships, US therapist and writer @nedratawwab posted this straight-talking list of things related to being healthy in terms of relationships and boundaries. Nedra’s posts are always insightful and inspiring, and I highly recommend her IG to anyone looking for practical advice!

1 Quote to Reflect On…

You probably know by now that I love a good quote to reflect on (just please don’t stick it up as a wall decal! Lol!), so to finish up here’s one I love this week:

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

Epictetus

Next Week on Let’s Talk About Mental Health…

Next week’s topic will be Let’s Talk About… Priorities – I’ll be talking about how taking the time to assess what is truly important to you, and then making that your primary focus in order to shape your life around what really matters (instead of meaningless nonsense), can lead you to better mental health and wellbeing. Podcast and blog available Monday morning (Australian time). Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts and others (see my Podcast page) as well as an audio-only version on YouTube (Note: Apple Podcasts coming soon – still trying to sort out some technical issues!).

Until Next Time…

Thanks for reading! If you liked this newsletter and you haven’t already subscribed to Let’s Talk About Mental Health, please do so at the bottom of the page (or on any page of the website). Take care of yourself and remember: life is short, so make the most of it!

LET’S TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH.
BECAUSE THE MORE WE TALK ABOUT IT, THE EASIER IT GETS.

Let’s Talk About Mental Health © 2019 Jeremy Godwin

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