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Thanks to the Tyla team for having me on board and for being involved in this year's Happy Place Virtual Festival.
We all know that the nation's mental health is on the decline with stats showing a worrying rise in anxiety, depression, OCD and other mental health related issues. You might know someone who has suffered or is suffering. You might even be suffering yourself.
The numbers are big but the conversation is still small in comparison. There's been a surge in discussion around mental health in the public domain over last ten or so years but on a day-to-day level, tangled up in personal relationships and a fast-paced life, these conversations don't always feel easy.
It's not easy to tell your family you have feelings of depression. It's not easy to tell your boss you're drowning in anxiety. It's not easy to approach a friend who you think might be having a tough time of it. None of it's easy, but it's entirely essential.
We need to share our stories, connect with empathy and shared pain, discuss, dissect and get curious about all aspects of mental health and how we can improve our own.
We are all dealing with mental health issues, no matter how small they may appear, and this year has thrown some curve balls that have seen even the most robust affected. 2020 has disconnected us from those we love, been witness to loss, pain and injustice and created a very blurry, unknown future.
As women we are navigating a modern world that at times can be unforgiving and cruel. We are given ideals of beauty and size and told what we could or should be achieving. The button nose on your Instagram feed, the seemingly perfect parent in your magazine giving tips, the unrelenting style of your favourite female celebrity, the brands that showcase legs for days. We are bombarded with imagery and captions that make us compare and then despair, taking our mental health along for the ride.
It's imperative we read positive, uplifting stories, digest a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, and hear others talk openly about how they navigate the modern world as unique, honest, flawed humans.
We are all flawed. There is nothing wrong with admitting that. I'm a generous, selfish, driven, pragmatic, impatient, kind and caring control freak. We can be many things and that's OK but what we do not need to be is perfect.
Accepting myself as I am is liberating. I'm not 100 per cent there yet, but I'm certainly on my merry way.
Keep talking, keep getting serious and keep accepting.
Happy Place Festival is a a month-long schedule full of passionate people promoting mental and physical wellbeing running until July 12th. Find out more at happyplacefestival.com
Featured Image Credit: Happy Place Festival
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