Mental health and wellbeing matters: tiny steps

Coffee image for Film Stories' regular mental health column
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A few words about those days when life feels like it’s ganging up on you – and how to try to get through them.

A very warm welcome to the small part of the Film Stories site where we breathe out and try and take the world in a bit. To stop and have a chat about mental health, about wellbeing, about all the things happening. It’s a series we run every week, and comfortably gets the lowest traffic of everything on the site.

But that’s not the point. The point is that it’s here, and that even if this article is of no use, there may be something in the archive that it.

This particular piece is a recurring theme really, in that it’s not got anything specific at heart, aside from the fact that life has a habit of piling things at our door. And then, when everything is piled at your door, you still have to go out and face the world, with everyone else seemingly assuming there’s an equilibrium in place.

Just this year, I’ve known people my age struggling with significant health challenges, very difficult work positions, their own mental health and a lot more besides. And the thing is, they’ve little choice but to put their game face on and keep pushing on.

A couple of things on this, though.

Firstly, it’s not weakness to open up about things being testing. You might not get a lot of help, you might not get a lot of support. But at least people know.

Secondly, a regular line here: sometimes, getting through the day is enough. It’s a tiny step forward just to hold the line for another day and find your way through. Don’t take value away from that.

Thirdly, you’re not going to solve everything in one day anyway. You might not even solve everything at all. Some things are just shit, and you can’t fix them, even though people think you can. Even if nobody around you can accept that, it’s worth making sure you do. That you don’t set impossible goals for yourself, and that you find a way forward.

Fourthly, you are a human being. There are limits to what anyone can do, you included. It’s worth remembering that. It’s not built into any of us that we can cope with everything, no matter how bulletproof we may appear.

Plus, ultimately, everybody at some point is entitled to a smile. Even you. Try to take some solace during the frustrating times from the fact that a tiny step is often quite a big one really. It just never looks like it at the time.

You all take care and look after yourselves. This column will return next week.

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