I own a bunch of blazers, some with no padding at all in the shoulders and others heavily padded but not in a comical way. I was sitting down staring at my scanty wardrobe ironically filled with clothes I cannot wear everyday and a thought popped in my head and this post title was born.
Image from Pinterest
This week is #mentalhealthweek and if you’re an avid reader you know I’m all about mental growth which is a huge part of mental health. If you’re new here , you’re very welcome. Grab a bite or a drink and go through the blog. There’s something in it for you and you can only find out by reading.
I don’t know why I chose this caption but it’s funny how everything always relates to something else even when they are obviously from different times and what not.
The shoulder pads are a metaphor for people and even ourselves. Let me explain with this story. When I was about 14 years old I remember being so excited about an event. I planned and prepared. The night before the event I fell ill. That’s an example of being a shoulder pad. When I least expected to be betrayed by my own body I was. Same applies to us as people. You as a person are not just a person unto yourself. You’re a sister, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a best friend a brother, an uncle, a father , a nephew and the list goes on and on. For you to be able to perform your duties to the best of your ability and in these various categories , you have to have it together mentally.
Prioritise your mental health above trivial things. Prioritise your inner peace. Prioritise yourself!
You’re a parent and all you think about is how to give the best to your children. You’re sad , upset and lashing out for no particular reason. HALT, check yourself. Have you taken out time for self care? That alone time you’ve been craving with your spouse or by yourself may just be what you need to get back in the right head space.
You’re a young adult, a teenager, a fresh graduate, a young mum, newly wed or about to wed. You log into any of your social media platforms and you see people your age going places you can only dream of, buying things your present bank account can not afford even if it is multiplied by 100 . Most people you started school with have graduated and are sharing their photos online. You’re two years behind schedule. You had a child before you were ready and now you can’t seem to get it together. Gradually you’re over sleeping or not sleeping at all, over eating or not eating at all, overworking or not working at all. HALT! Take time to breathe. consider that time and chance happens to everyone and social media is really about highligting ones highlights. These exotic photos do not directly translate to exotic lives. they are just photographs.
You’re in your 30s or 40s, no kids yet, no spouse , not even a prospective spouse. You’re feeling lonelier as the days go by. You feel like you might be retiring this existence forever alone. You barely even have it together financially. HALT! Pause take two steps back. You’ve come a long way to undermine everything you’ve been through up to this point. You matter and your dreams are still valid no matter what it looks like now. Take out a day or two. Treat yourself to your favourite things. Think back to the things that brought you joy before now.
You’re older now, your children have left home in search of their own. Your wife may have left, your husband too. you feel empty and incomplete. HALT! .You are not alone. you’re not your current situation. You’re not too old to play. Never too old to make friends, never too old to join new clubs and societies. You’re definitely not too old to seek companionship but in all these, prioritize your mental health.
An empty jar cannot fill an empty glass so fill yourself with love and care so that when you share with others you have enough to carry you through the tough days. We all have one. Show up for yourself so when others need someone to show up for them you will be able to. Do me a favour and imagine everyone you know or care about showing up for themselves, what a wonderful world it would be right?
If you need help seek help, ask for help and knock on the right doors to get the help you need. Know your triggers and avoid them.
Love, Chidimma Akubue ❤️