Mental Health Talk newsletter – Issue 7, 22 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 great start, but we need to do something about it as well. 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 is out now on all major platforms and is called Let’s Talk About… Baggage. It’s all about what baggage is, why we can sometimes become weighed down by unresolved stuff from our past, and how to work through it so you’re not carrying it around for the rest of your life. Listen here:

Alternatively, you can read the written version 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 take a moment to 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 🙂

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:

  • Workplaces making millions of Australian workers mentally unwell, new research suggests (News.com.au, 19 November 2019) – Workplaces can be toxic environments for mental health and wellbeing – hell, even the good ones aren’t without their faults. This is a brief article talking about recent research around mental health and workplaces with no great surprises in the data; if anything, it’s worth it just for the infographic with 11 Ways to Improve Worker Wellbeing – print it out and stick it up in your lunchroom, or take it to your boss and have an open discussion about how your workplace can contribute positively to the mental health and wellbeing of those who work there. Read the article here.
  • Sounding it out: ‘Listening to white noise put my life back on track’ (The Guardian [Australia edition], 17 November 2019) – Opinion piece (with some research cited) about the use of white noise for positive mental health. I swear by my white noise machine at night and have noticed much better sleep since I started using it in 2015, and good sleep can contribute to improved mood/better mental health. Read the article here.
  • Just what the doctor ordered: Take a yoga class and depression, anxiety improve (Science Daily, 13 November 2019) – Research from Boston University School of Medicine has found that yoga can have a very quick positive effect on anxiety and depression, and over time the effect continues to grow. I mean, we all kind-of knew that yoga was good for you but this takes those theories one further and shows conclusive evidence of its ability to improve your overall mental health and wellbeing. Namaste! Read it here.

Article of the Week…

7 Ways To Lead A More Satisfying Life (Success, 11 January 2019) – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the more satisfied you are in life, the happier you will be. How do you increase your satisfaction? By taking proactive steps to increase things that make you feel satisfied and decrease things that make you feel dissatisfied (wow, that almost sounds like common sense!). Get tips in this quick-read article (find it here).

YouTube Video of the Week…

The Happiness Advantage (Shawn Achor): Not a new video – in fact it’s a few years old now, being from 2011 – but I made a decision this week to revisit this personal-favourite TED Talk and decided it was something I had to share here. I first came across this when I was studying positive psychology as part of my degree back in 2014 and it’s a really simple introduction to a field close to my heart, because it focuses on what contributes to happiness and all the other good stuff that makes up the human experience. It’s probably front-of-mind for me at the moment because I’m looking at going back and doing some post-graduate studies in positive psychology next year… anyway, this is an engaging and humorous look at the science of happiness. Key takeaway? 90% of your long-term happiness is predicted by the way your brain processes the world – which is a big theme of the work I do in Let’s Talk About Mental Health. Watch it here:

My 3 favourite pop culture things this week…

Pop culture! Look, I’m not going to try to keep up with what’s popular with anyone born this millennium, but there’s still plenty of stuff to entertain those of us who are slightly more mature in our years 🙂 And I believe that good high-quality entertainment can serve to improve your mental health and wellbeing if you’re struggling – I got through the worst of my depression and anxiety in 2011/2012 with a combination of medication, therapy and RuPaul’s Drag Race/Real Housewives of Beverly Hills/The I.T. Crowd. Here are the things I’m loving this week:

  • Disney+ (Streaming service) – I may (stress ‘may’) have signed up for Disney+ just so I could catch up on all the Treehouse of Horror episodes of The Simpsons… but I can certainly see the appeal of the service because there is a lot there. Is it worth it long-term? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, please excuse me while I go and watch my favourite-ever Simpsons episode (which happens to be ’22 Short Films About Springfield’).
  • The Man in the High Castle, Season 4 (TV series, Amazon PrimeVideo) – I’m not going to lie, I struggled a bit with this show after its initial first season, which was brilliant, but I’m genuinely excited to see where it will go for its final season. If you haven’t already seen it, The Man In The High Castle imagines a world where the Nazis won World War II – but glimpses of our timeline, where they lost, slip through every now and then. A fascinating premise and let’s hope this final season gives this show the send-off it deserves.
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (Book) – I’m six months late to the party for this New York Times bestseller, which is a rom-com about the son of the US president and the prince of England falling in love. It’s good to see a book about same-sex romance turn into a bestseller, and Amazon Studios have purchased the rights for a movie version. Be warned that there are some bits that are a bit saucy, but on the whole it’s a charming story that will restore your faith in love (and yes, I’m a bit of a romantic so I loved it).

2 Instagram Posts That Made My Week…

I continue my daily love affair with Instagram, the social media platform for the highly visual. A word of advice: don’t waste your time following accounts that make you feel shitty about yourself; instead, fill your feed with inspiration and humour (because what you choose to put into your mind, body and spirit will directly affect how you think and feel). With that said, here are a couple of posts I loved this week:

Because I know this experience 100%. I often come across as a happy and optimistic person, and I am, but I also live with anxiety and for a long time I struggled with depression. You never know what’s going on inside someone’s head, so be kind – put out into the world the type of kindness you would like to receive (and make sure you’re being kind to yourself at the same time). Regram via @thebehappyproject.

Because that is exactly what my cat does at three in the morning, even though she’s 16 years old. Regram via @cabbagecatmemes.

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:

“Obstacles do not block the path, they are the path.”

Zen proverb

Next Week on Let’s Talk About Mental Health…

Next week’s topic will be Let’s Talk About… Stress – I’ll be talking about what it is, why it happens, and how to deal with it, both at work and at home, along with how to manage your mental health and wellbeing every day in order to reduce the effect stress can have on you. 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 of the week…

Why a random cat photo of the week? Because it’s Friday and that’s what the internet is for! Apologies if you’re a dog person. 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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