The other day, I had to sort out an issue with my phone. The battery life wasn’t quite as it was in comparison to a few months ago and I wasn’t happy. I sat in a queue waiting for the next technician, a queue that lasted several minutes, and over a period of around 20-30 minutes, answering several questions and trying out different solutions, the issue was eventually resolved.
If you’re interested, it was some third party apps that were draining the battery. But you didn’t come here to read about my mobile phone woes, no. So what’s the point, I hear you ask?
After I ended the online chat with the technician it got me thinking, imagine if we looked after ourselves, our minds, the way we look after our technology.
The moment there’s something wrong with our tech it feels like the world is about to end. Call it addiction, call it a first world problem, call it whatever you like, but we all know that if we were to drop our phone, crack our screen, even find that the battery life isn’t quite what it used to be, we’re on it like a rocket. Researching possible issues or glitches, even how much it’s going to cost to get it fixed! We talk to our friends about it, moan about it on Facebook, we might even send a passive aggressive tweet to the company.
So why not treat our minds the same way?
Our mental and physical health can be fragile at the best of times, let alone when we are in crisis, and yet we treat our (replaceable) tech better than we treat our (irreplaceable) selves. Our tech will have insurance, virus protection, screen protectors, a top of the range case or bag. Sure, this is likely down to the fact that you can’t replace a £500 phone or £800 camera at the flick of a switch if it breaks, but you can’t replace a thirty/forty/fifty-something year old brain either! So what’s the difference?
Let’s be honest, in comparison, we hardly look after ourselves. We begrudgingly attend smear tests, we prioritise endless housework over reading a book, and when was the last time you really told someone how you were feeling? Why are we more embarrassed to talk about ourselves than the piece of metal you hold in your possession thats perhaps crashed several times this week, has a crack the size of an iceberg on it, and cost you a pretty penny for the pleasure. Now THAT’S embarrassing.
It shouldn’t isn’t be embarrassing to tell someone you’re struggling or to seek help, it IS embarrassing to value your phone more than your mental health. So perhaps the next time you’re legging it upstairs because your phone is at 1% why not think about the last time you took yourself upstairs (or to the GP) because YOU were on 1% battery life.
Get rid of old and unused apps
You wouldn’t hold onto an app if it was draining your battery or taking up storage, would you? So don’t do the same with toxic relationships or clothes you no longer wear. Get rid!
It’s easier said than done to suddenly switch off to the daily routine, but what I’m talking about is sticking some cartoons on for the child(ren) for a few minutes (half hour) whilst you “take a basket of washing upstairs” (aka sit on the end of the bed playing angry birds).
This isn’t some preachy statement about suddenly doing yoga at midday with a link to the latest green smoothie, I’m telling you to spend that last 30 minutes before nursery/school pick-up to read a chapter of a book. Heck, even leave an hour earlier and go grab a coffee!
So let’s go back to the issue with my phone and change a few things…
The other day, I had to sort out an issue with my phone mental health. The battery life wasn’t quite as it was I was feeling more tired, often tearful, anxious and low, in comparison to a few months ago, and I wasn’t happy. I <went to the GP and> sat in a queue waiting for the next technician doctor, a queue that lasted several minutes hours, and over a period of around 20-30 minutes who knows!, answering several questions and trying out different solutions, the issue was eventually resolved listened to.
Remember, you are not a machine!
I understand that some of the points I make are weak comparisons, the NHS is struggling and the funding for Mental Health Services in the UK have been slashed, but if there is something, anything that you can do in the meantime to make sure you’re looking after yourself – not in a #SelfCare kind of way, but in a #ICan’tDoAnotherBedtimeI’mTakingTheDogOut kind of way – then do it.