Wellbeing & Mental Health Matters: random acts of thankfulness

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In our spot on the site where we chat about things to do with mental health and wellbeing, a

Hello everyone, it’s Wednesday and I hope it finds you well.

This past few weeks I’ve not been in a good place. My brain has been buzzing at 3am, my mind fretful and anxious about all kinds of stuff out of my control. I panicked about a virtual medical consultation, thinking my consultant would see me as a time-wasting malingerer, making page after page of notes pre-interview so I couldn’t be caught out with medical malarkey.

When they told me that my basket case of symptoms showed there was very definitely something wrong with me, even if they don’t yet know what, I cried with relief. Then felt pathetic. Unfortunately, they don’t have Dr McCoy’s tricorder diagnostic tools at the ready just yet, so back to hospital I go for multiple tests. One of which sounds like a trial from Dune, involving placing my hand in a bowl of ice.

In the small hours of the weekend, when sleep was elusive, it struck me that at that precise moment of my restlessness that a supermarket packer would be putting up my order for delivery the following morning.

I had a moment of absolute gratitude to all packers at 3am on Saturday. They’ve made it possible for me to shield since March, and not put myself or my loved ones at risk. And I want to say THANK YOU, in capital letters, for working your asses off in through unsociable hours. You’re amazing.

There’s been an emphasis on thanking people, such as key workers during the pandemic. Some of this good sentiment has faded into cynicism and plain old weariness as the months drag on. People are tired and worried, and there’s the added burden of what the heck to do at Christmas. I found it was worth stepping back and thinking about those people who are remote from you in life, but whose actions are working to benefit us all.

There are obvious candidates, such as Marcus Rashford and the goddess that is Dolly Parton, one school meal and vaccine development at a time. But there are others, such as my consultant taking time out to listen to a grumbling, prickly patient, worried about being fobbed off (though perhaps their revenge is an ice bucket best served cold). The person who subbed a bacon quiche for my husband’s veggie quiche, bestowing on me all of its maple smoked goodness.

There are the teachers leading the kids in dance across the road from my study window in a weird combo of ‘Viva Last Vegas’, ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and the Baby Shark song. I may have been shaking my ass when attempting the first draft of this article.

And so forth. So many people to send a smile to. A small task – think of someone that may seem remote from you, but who’s actions have made a positive impact on your life. Send them a little bit of thanks through the cosmos.

I found that thinking of the positive acts of kindness of others helped to soothed my 3am fractured mind a little, and drifted off to sleep content. That may have been in anticipation of the imminent arrival of more bacon quiche, but hell, let’s do whatever we need to do to get through these days.

Wherever you are today, whatever you are doing, a huge THANK YOU, from me. Take care.

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