Mental Health Awareness Week NZ is coming up at the end of September, and it's all about reconnecting. So here are a few ideas on how to go about it, and how to recognise who, what and where makes you feel good:
· Cast your mind back. Think back to the last time you really had fun. What were you doing? Who was there? Is there a person, activity or place that features that you could try to get back to?
· Is it healthy, or a temporary distraction? One way to tell is by asking yourself whether it feels good afterwards. Drinking or drugs, driving too fast – these might feel exhilarating at the time, but it’s afterwards that you’ll likely feel awful. Conversely if it’s good for you, you’ll probably feel good after!
· Is it a safety behaviour? Another useful tip to discovering what makes you feel good is to check whether it is only a sense of relief or safety you’re feeling. Leaving a party, avoiding the gym, watching TV in bed… they’re all pretty comfortable. But do you feel better when you push yourself out of your comfort zone a little?
· Be honest with yourself. While it may be tempting to simply go along with other people’s interests we’re all different, and it’s ok if festivals aren’t your thing but a cooking class is. Trying something new is wonderful, but it’s also great to know what really interests you. You might prefer the country over the city, quieter personalities and one-on-ones over parties. What do you love?
· Make connections through your favourites. The benefit of doing things you love, is that you’ll probably meet some likeminded people. Who have you met when doing what you enjoy?
· What about connecting with an old friend or colleague? It can feel nerve-wracking when you feel you’ve left it ‘too long’. Try and take one tiny step by sending a message, and see what happens. Also think about how you’d feel – would you be upset if you heard from an old mate?
· Consider the old-fashioned approach. Our pandemic communications depended heavily on messages, emails, Facetimes and other screen-replacements. It’s understandable that in-person catchups can feel daunting. Be kind to yourself and remember the other people are likely feeling the same. Reconnecting in person can be really rewarding, in a way a text can’t always compete with!
Here at Fleetcoach, we’re very interested in mental health, because it’s so closely linked with the way we conduct ourselves behind the wheel.
Have you got any ideas of people or places you’d like to reconnect with?