#littlethings – And it’s you they add up to

We all have our good days and our bad days, our ups and downs, our rainy days, and the days where the sun shines warm on our face. Most of us have our little coping mechanisms for the tough days, be it a coffee with a friend, a warm hug from your partner, writing a few lines of poetry or painting a picture. The little things. In life it’s the little things that make it all worth it so they say. But sometimes the tough days start to take their toll, and the coping mechanisms just don’t seem to work as well. The sun stops shining and things start to feel dark.

Depression is now something that is widely recognised, and there is a wealth of information and support available, but for the purpose of this blog, I’m talking more about the days where you just can’t get yourself out of the dark mood, or you haven’t the courage to reach out and talk to someone. The stresses and strains that are constantly at the back of your mind, annoying you and dragging you down. It could be lack of sleep, financial worries, trouble in a relationship, the list goes on. As the saying goes: ‘It’s Ok not to feel Ok’, and sometimes we all need a helping hand.

The Health Service Executive is running a new initiative called #littlethings, and we are delighted to get behind it and help to get the word out. In essence, the idea behind the initiative is to stress that mental health and nurturing a positive mental attitude is something we all should be concerned with, it’s not limited to people who would only seek help when in real distress. Sometimes even the strongest of us are troubled, and can’t find the courage to ask for help. The strong online presence of this initiative allows you to find help in private, until you have the courage to reach out.

The ‘little things’ at the heart of the initiative are referred to as acts of ‘self-care.’ The things that are proven to help us feel better through the tough times. Examples include the usual suspects such as healthy eating, cutting down on alcohol and talking to someone when the going gets tough. It also includes suggestions like getting out and spending time with others, and looking after yourself when it comes to getting enough relaxation and sleep. Many people take a more holistic approach to this such as meditation and relaxation. The point is, to find something that works for you.

A website called www.yourmentalhealth.ie has been set-up with lots of useful links. It includes an online directory of support services and information on mental health in Ireland. One single emotional support freephone number has also been set-up. The number is from the Samaritans and is 116 123. I have shared a couple of videos below, of different people sharing their stories, and their little things.

We are always here to support our customers, and your local GP will always be happy to help.

It’s amazing how good I feel once I’ve shared something or got something off my chest and I find if I don’t, they niggle at the back of my mind. I hope once you’ve read this you will take the time to address your ‘little thing, and find a better ‘little thing’ to replace it. We have no reasons to let it bother us anymore, help is at hand.