This is my piece of solidarity for anyone else living with mental health problems. We’re facing something potentially really bad right now, so if you’re struggling with it in any way, these tips are for you.
Remember your strength
Uncertainty of any kind is not good for those of us with mental health problems. We have to deal with too much uncertainty internally on a daily basis. When something big happens either personally or politically, it can send our brains into overdrive. What you’re feeling is real – but it is also predictable and it can be managed. All of the coping mechanisms, personal growth and supportive habits you’ve built up haven’t suddenly vanished overnight. You can weather this.
Your support circle hasn’t vanished either. Reach out – talk to friends, talk to family. If you can, try and mix in a few topics unrelated to the Referendum here and there. Everyone has something else going on. Something happen at work? Know someone who’s getting married? Saw a weird-looking pigeon? It’s good enough for now, start talking.
Turn off the news
I don’t mean permanently, it’s generally a good idea to be involved in world events. But the news is also about money (lots and lots of money) and plenty of papers and news programmes will run pretty much anything to keep you watching. Don’t put yourself through more than you have to.
Make a first step
Sign the petition. Go to the meeting. Apply for the job. Take a walk. Help someone else. Today can be the day where something good did happen. You’re still here, the world is still turning. Make stuff count.
Don’t neglect your health
You need your strength. Keep eating well, keep moving around. Even if all you can manage right now is opening the curtains (or not even that if the house opposite is plastered in campaign posters), just keep doing whatever you’re doing to look after yourself.
I’m repeating this point again – if you crash today, if things get really bad, tell someone. All of the people who cared about you yesterday care about you today. Call The Samaritans on 116 123. We will get each other through this, I promise.