Mental Health Talk newsletter – Issue 6, 15 November 2019

By Jeremy Godwin.

Let’s Talk About Mental Health is a weekly podcast that is about much more than just talk – talking about mental health and wellbeing is a start, but we need to do something about it. With that in mind, welcome to Mental Health Talk: the weekly 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… Self-Care. It’s all about why you need to make time for self-care every day, and how to choose self-care actions that are the right fit for your mental health and wellbeing. Listen here:

Alternatively, 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). Looking for old episodes? Head over to the Episodes page of the Let’s Talk About Mental Health website where you can stream episodes (via Spotify) without having to leave the website – because life is too busy to waste time searching for a podcast!

Oh, and please hit that ‘follow’ button (like the one in the player above) because the more followers my podcast gets the easier it is to help other new listeners find it (search engines are only interested in stuff that other people are interested in!). Thanks 🙂

A VERY BIG ‘HELLO!’ TO NEW FOLLOWERS!…

Hello and welcome to all the new Let’s Talk About Mental Health followers who have joined over the past few weeks – I really appreciate you taking the time to listen/read/follow! If you have any feedback or ideas for future topics to cover, please get in touch on Instagram or Facebook and share Let’s Talk About Mental Health with your friends/family/co-workers/random strangers in the street. 🙂

In Mental Health News This Week…

Every week I like to share a few articles about mental health and wellbeing that are a bit thought-provoking and I try to find the right balance between optimism and practical advice… which is a real challenge, I have to admit! With that said, here are three articles I found this week that I wanted to share with all of you:

  • How does temperature affect mental health? (Medical News Today, 11 November 2019) – This might be a tough read for some (trigger warning: discussions of suicide) but it’s an important one especially for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere who are heading into summer; this article talks about a recent study that has found links to warmer temperatures and in increase in mental health issues, possibly due to the sleep disturbances many of us experience when the nights are warmer (I know it all too well). Read the article here.
  • Five myths about mental health (News.com.au, 11 November 2019) – It’s Movember , a month when men grow moustaches to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues (no, seriously!). It might sound funny but it works, with coverage in the mainstream media shining a light on important issues which is especially important given that multiple studies show men are less likely than women to seek help for mental health issues. This article in one of the Australian tabloids provides a good starting-point conversation around the various mental health myths that are out there – read it here. (PS: Myths suck. Except the Loch Ness Monster – that’s just entertaining! If you are experiencing mental health issues, go and have a talk to your doctor. Now. I’ll wait.)
  • Physical activity may protect against new episodes of depression (Science Daily, 5 November 2019) – Getting motivated to engage in physical activity can be really challenging when you’re in the midst of serious depression (I know from experience), but perhaps this article can serve to add just a tiny bit of extra incentive to get up and do something. A study from Massachusetts General Hospital researchers in the USA can reduce the chances of having new episodes of depression. So as safe and secure as that couch might feel, a daily walk around the block might just be the ticket to improving your sense of wellbeing. Read the article here.

Article of the Week…

9 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health Today (Psychology Today, 27 October 2015) – It’s a slightly older article (well, four years old) but is a quick and easy read filled with practical advice for stuff you can do right now to improve your mental health. My favourite? #9 – “Go to bed on time”… It wasn’t until I started having a set routine for sleeping and waking every day (and sticking to it seven days a week) that I started to see a real improvement in my mental health and wellbeing. The odd late night might seem like a good idea but it’s potentially doing more harm than good – sorry to be the bearer of bad news! Read the article here.

YouTube Video of the Week…

How to quickly get out of a rut: In a rut? it happens to the best of us, especially if you’re struggling with your mental health. This video by the Better Ideas channel (by Joey Schweitzer from Canada) gives you some quick ideas for how to get out of a rut (it’s almost as though that’s what the title of the video said it would be about…!). Are these ideas for everybody? No, and he makes the point at the beginning that he’s not trying to be a substitute for professional treatment (Favourite quote? “I’m not a doctor, I’m just a dude”). Note: This is a sponsored video so there’s some promotional stuff about SkillShare at the end but it’s pretty short.

My 3 favourite pop culture things this week…

I sorta-kinda love pop culture… I mean, I have no idea who half the people are on the music charts anymore (I am not kidding – the other day I looked at the UK iTunes chart and sat there going “who the hell are these people?” for five minutes #aaargh!), but I have a deep love for the creative process so I decided to share that love affair here. Plus, stuff that makes you happy is good for you (that is my excuse for this part of the newsletter, and I am sticking to it…)! With that said, here are the things I am excited about this week:

  • The Crown, Season 3 (TV Series, Netflix) – I know, I know, it’s not even out yet (released 17 November) but I am very, very, very excited for this. I have mixed feelings about the Royal Family (love the Queen, meh on most of the others) which is a pretty common sentiment here in Australia… so this combines the fascinating story of the longest-serving British monarch in history with two of my all-time hands-down favourite actresses: Olivia Colman (as Queen Elizabeth II) and Helena Bonham Carter (as Princess Margaret). So now you all know what I’ll be doing on Sunday!
  • Rick and Morty, Season 4 (TV series, iTunes/Various platforms) – I have no idea when we’re getting it here in Australia (what the hell, Netflix?!) but there is finally a new season of Rick and Morty after a two year break and I for one could not be happier!
  • Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life (Book) – I love Kitty Flanagan, Australian comedian and actor, and I have just started her latest book and already can’t stop reading it (except when I have to put it down because I’m laughing too hard). Not sure what to expect? Here’s Kitty’s own description of the book which pretty much sums up its humour: “488 Rules for Life is not a self-help book, because it’s not you who needs help, it’s other people.” So dry, so funny. #MoreKittyPlease

2 Instagram Posts That Made My Week…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 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’m going to be really up-front here: I don’t usually buy in to the whole celebrity-life-advice thing. I totally appreciate people using their platform for good, but a high profile doesn’t instantly make you qualified to dispense advice, especially when it comes to mental health and wellbeing. But this post from @oprahmagazine by Jada Pinkett Smith is the most straightforward and intelligent piece of advice I have read in ages. “Have the courage to say what you need in the moment. Most people aren’t mind readers. Two things will happen: You’ll either get what you need or realize that the source you are asking doesn’t have the capacity to deliver. Both are gifts.” Expect to hear me talking about this a lot further in future episodes of Let’s Talk About Mental Health!

Speaking of good advice – advice on how to really listen by @werenotreallystrangers, an account that makes me think and feel things 🙂

1 Quote to Reflect On…

You probably know by now that I love a good quote to reflect on (just please NO WALL DECALS! Lol! #IKnowIHaveIssues), so to finish up here’s one I love this week:

“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.”

Virginia Satir

Next Week on Let’s Talk About Mental Health…

Next week’s topic will be Let’s Talk About… Baggage – I’ll be talking about what it is, why we can sometimes end up being weighed down by unresolved stuff in our past, and how to set it free (like a biodegradable balloon or a wayward insect trapped in your car). Podcast and written version available Monday morning (Australian time). Podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and others (see my Podcast page for links) as well as an audio-only version on YouTube.

Random cat photo/video of the week…

Why a random cat photo or video of the week? Because it’s Friday and that’s what the internet is for! Enjoy 🙂

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 any page on the website. If you have any ideas for what you’d like to see/hear/read more of on Let’s Talk About Mental Health or in this Mental Health Talk newsletter, get in touch with me via social media using the links below. Take care of yourself and remember: be kind to others, you never know what their struggles are so!

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Let’s Talk About Mental Health © 2019 Jeremy Godwin

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