08 Mar Helping each other
We live in a society that values being busy and stressed. We are celebrated for spinning plates and achieving lots of things. Often we are unaware of the pressure we feel to keep going, to keep producing, to keep doing.
More research is bringing to light the direct connection between being busy, or even perceiving ourselves to be busy, and ill health. An excellent researcher/clinician/writer I came across at the weekend who explores this is Dr Gabor Maté. I’m reading his book ‘When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress’ at the moment and it has some amazing insight into the mind-body connection. His work builds on the documentary I shared in last week’s blog.
Overall, it’s becoming really clear that we need to address our levels of stress. I’d argue stress is one of the biggest threats to society. So far, I can’t see that tackling it has been hugely prioritised by the more powerful organisations and institutions, and so I believe we need to take matters into our own hands.
What if we championed and empowered each other to take proper care of ourselves? What if we celebrated the massage we had, or the fact that every night this week we’ve left on time. What if that was the thing we spoke about rather than the next overburdening task we have to do?
So here’s an idea. Find three people in your community (at work, family, friends, neighbours) who want to be part of the anti-stress movement. Ask them what they are hoping to do for themselves to self-care, share with them what you are intending to do (or not do – self-care can be sitting still and just being), and then hold each other accountable (in a kind and compassionate way of course!) Celebrate with each other when you have a self-care win. Change the narrative. Stress and busy-ness aren’t things to be celebrated or what’s commonly known as ‘humble bragged‘ about. They are damaging and I think it’s time we took charge, and started to help ourselves and each other.
Sending love and all power to you.