You might have clocked our Five Ways to Instantly Feel Better post and wondered why we had gone ahead and published it. In the modern world, it seems that although awareness of mental illness is getting broader, understanding of mental illness is not; there is a huge difference between knowing something exists and truly understanding it, by the way. With the rapid expansion of the internet it would seem that an open dialogue would make this understanding immediately in everyone’s grasps, whether you know someone with mental health issues or yourself suffer, but some fail to reach the knowledge that self care is imperative for all. Suffering from mental health problems is exactly the same as any other illness; regardless of which illness it is, they can render you incapacitated, immobile, physically sick and mentally drained. So why is taking a day off to look after yourself seen as problematic or pathetic? Because, in short, if something is invisible then people can choose not to see it when it suits them.
Even if you don’t suffer from a diagnosed mental health illness, many of us have days where we are not quite ourselves. Where we struggle to get out of bed, carry on with our days. There doesn’t have to be a source, a bereavement. But if we continue to force ourselves to repress these feelings then they will only manifest in increasingly severe and yes, sometimes physical, ways. It seems sad that physicality seems to be the only means of garnering belief and empathy. A physical representation of the pain that is felt on the inside. Without being dealt with, and instead ignored, this pain can take over every day life. Especially in the internet age where perfect lives are live streamed directly into our hands, making our own sadness and anxieties seem increasingly isolating and prevent us from actually making progress be it with diagnosis or self care.
Self care days are important because they are a way for you to tell yourself that you matter, you are valid and your problems are important too, even in a world where suffering is documented every day. Some days need to be dedicated to you, not to comparison with perfect Instagram models and piling work load. In a society where worth is measured by productivity and grading it can create a massive stigma against any time off that simply revolves around feeling better. You would never question someone with the flu for not coming in to work, why question someone who feels suicidal? Or has had a panic attack? This stigma around the inauthenticness of mental illness needs to be popped. This distrust of the pain that we cannot see needs to be fought.
The question is not only do we go about popping the stigma, but how to we practice self care when we are constantly told other things are more important? Neon Moon firmly believes that the journey to self love is possible but long and the key to reaching this milestone is to put yourself first in a society that constantly tells you that you are not worthy of that position. Ask for help, you deserve it. Treat yourself, you need it. And most of all, love yourself.
You are worth all the love in the world. Love, Neon Moon x