Throughout October for Mental Health Month, we’ve been asking our community what hope means to them and why. We’ve had some incredible submissions so far but we also set our team members the task of sharing how they inspire hope for themselves and others.
Here are Libby’s tips as to how she remains hopeful during difficult times:
For me, it’s always inspiring and reinvigorates my hope for my future when I self-reflect on difficult past experiences and how far I have come in my recovery journey from previous crises. I know that when I reflect like this in a safe and distanced way without getting too involved in previous distress, I can recall the strength and resilience I had to face each day and improve my well-being.
I always find spending some time outside makes me feel hopeful. It’s been difficult in the last few months of pretty awful weather. But seeing the world continue to go on reminds me that like everything, bad times will eventually pass and that there will always be a new day tomorrow and new opportunities.
Talk to others
I’ve always found sharing your story useful, as I always feel hopeful to hear about how other people have overcome barriers. I think sharing our stories is also hugely important in normalising mental health distress and reducing stigma.
Seeing how much more common it is for my friends, family and colleagues to talk about their difficult periods and share their stories makes me hopeful that the world will continue to become a more understanding and accepting place for people living with mental health issues.
Starting a new project
I’m usually a person who finds it really frustrating when I’m not good at something as soon as I try it. But I do find starting new projects or hobbies always makes me feel hopeful as they can give me some purpose, structure and a reason to get up and start doing things. Even if it’s short-lived or not a lifelong venture.
I always find getting involved in something in my free time, like volunteering for research or a committee, makes me hopeful as I feel like I’ve tangibly contributed something to improve things for others. And I usually get to talk to people with similar experiences and views as myself.
Here is how Julian remains hopeful:
Whether you’re feeling positive or not. It can just be bullet points, not even long sentences.
Do something for someone else
Whether random acts of kindness or structured volunteering, doing things for others can help us be grateful for the things we do have, take us out of our chattering minds for a while, and connect us with others in an authentic way.
Just take the first step
Don’t try to envisage achieving the whole thing. Momentum can generate hope in your life.
Express gratitude daily
Mentally or in a journal, make a note of three things at the end of every day for which you are grateful, big or small.
For more ways to prioritise your mental health, and to keep up with our current #BeingHopeful campaign for Mental Health Month, subscribe to our newsletter HERE.