• Rebecca West

Mental health is not a sprint

Your journey, your pace.

Don't sprint the pain away

In our current climate it seems that we are both at the start and finish line of Covid - 19. Neither at the end of the pandemic and yet at the beginning of forming a new normal. In a similar way, we can feel like this within our own mental health, in that one day we may feel focussed and confident in achieving our goals and another day want to hide under the covers and avoid everyone in site.

This is why mental health is not a sprint to the finish line, nor a special pilgrimage for the privileged threw, it is a life journey we all undergo full of twists and u - turns that all come and go at there own pace. It is not a race we should compare with others, but a path we all undertake and can at times feel ill equipped to journey in.

Pain is something we will all experience in our lives and yet in western society we seem to have all sorts of culturally acceptable ways of avoiding and numbing the pain. Whether it is pain from childhood trauma or pain from financial debt, it can really impact our mental health and take us off course. Yet pain is not something to rush through or neatly tidy away, it is a feeling we need to acknowledge and have the courage to identify as real and in need of tending to.

Pace the pain out

Pacing pain out rather than sprinting through it can make the difference between short and long term healing. Sprinting through pain may look like ignoring those tension headaches because your boss is pressurising you to do overtime or splurging your credit cards on expensive cloths because it will give you that instant gratification you need. But in the end, both coping mechanisms will only increase the pain and keep you in a hurtful cycle of avoidance and anxiety.

Pacing through pain may look like slowing the need to's in your life, like work and family and allowing the I want to's in, like going to sleep earlier and making yourself an appointment with the hairdressers. When we slow our bodies down our minds finally catch up and body and mind begin to harmonise, like the left and the right leg setting you into a rhythmic jog, rather than a flailing sweaty mess!

So why not begin to slow down, take a breath and set aside time to check in with you today.

Stay Blessed, Stay Safe, Stay Paced.

Becky West

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