Mind the Mind

Mind The Mind

Join the Conversation. It’s Mental!

May brings Mental Health Awareness week (10-16) and just in time too! Only last week a friend calls me shouting, ‘Covid-19 is all part of plan to RULE THE WORLD by Bill Gates!’. I’m thinking … Bill Gates?! Everyone knows it’s Mark Zuckerberg.

People are going crazy! Oh sorry – I shouldn’t say that, it’s not politically correct. Instead, I’ll use the word LOCA, (crazy in Spanish), that’s OK isn’t it? Cause of the song? ‘Living la vida loca’? Such a great song about mental health! Thanks Ricky Martin, you made it cool to be crazy!

I should know. I suffer from depression, which in case you’re wondering is like going on a terrible date. You’re exhausted, can’t wait for it to end but you’re expected to say, ‘everything’s great’!

Today one in every four people will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives (WHO study). That means in every game of LUDO, one player will be affected, and no, we depressives don’t always play BLUE. 

Statistics have never been higher. Not long ago it was one in every ten people, at least back then I felt unique and extra special! Now everybody is jumping on the mental band wagon and the corona virus isn’t helping. You hear things like:

‘Oh, I have cough-o-phobia! I’m afraid to go into the office!’ – that’s not a condition … you just hate your job like the rest of us.

‘I can’t get out of bed, it’s corona fatigue!’ No, it’s not. You just stayed up Netflixing until 4am!

Ladies and gentlemen, please get your mental health together! Resources are limited and some of us were here first! And for goodness’ sake don’t say, ‘Well, we’re all a little bit mental’. That’s like telling someone who’s bankrupt, ‘Well, we all have cash problems sometimes’.

It’s important to take care of your mental health and one way is to stay connected, which proves difficult when there’s enough connectors, jacks, plugs, ports and &#beeeping#& UPGRADES to drive anyone crazy! 

As for what I call the ZOOM DOOM GLOOM, yes, it’s better than nothing, but it can’t replace my mom’s (real) hugs and kisses, not even after a couple of Gin & Tonics. OK, maybe it was more like seven. 

They say relaxion techniques help, so I took a course called ‘Mindfulness: Clear Your Mind  & Create Inner Peace’. The only peace I’m going to get is if they could help me clear my credit card debt … the course was £150!

Debt collectors aside, MINDLFULLNESS consists of staring into the horizon chanting stuff for hours. That’s all well and good but what if you have a bladder that’s the size of a walnut? I ended up chanting, ‘I need the toilet, I need the toilet’.

Don’t get me wrong, these techniques help, but there’s something to be said for munching through a jumbo size bag of KETTLE CHIPS (salt & vinegar) until I’m so bloated my face turns into a round, smiling emoji. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper (£2.50).

For those with a sweet tooth, reliable sources say raw cake dough works a treat. Don’t worry about the sickly aftermath, after all, what truly fulfilled life doesn’t include Pepto-Bismol?

What does NOT help is what I call the ‘Happiness Brigade’. People who insist all we have to do is stay POSITIVE to beat mental health. They’ll say things like, ‘You have so many things to be thankful for’, yes, but your advice is not one of them. You wouldn’t say to someone with a broken leg, ‘Why can’t you make an effort and go skiing? Maybe start with the kid’s ski slope?’

It’s time to talk. If you are suffering from mental health issues it’s time to come out of that mental health closet and seek help. Don’t wait until it’s so crammed in there you can’t even open the door. I waited WAY too long and only came out because there were so many skeletons it was like a walk-in graveyard.

For the remaining three at the Ludo board (those not affected), it’s time to listen. Organizations like MIND, SHOUT, Mental Health Foundation and humble blogs like this one are asking you to please join the conversation. Let’s create a world where we can talk about mental health without the stigma and without the shame.

Now it you’ll excuse me I’m off to dance to Ricky Martin, because despite mental health issues, I can still shake my Bon-Bon.

Sonia Aste is an engineer / writer/ comedian who’s ‘living la vida loca’.


Published by Portfolio People 

Published by Riverspeak Toastmasters International 

16 Responses to Mind the Mind

  1. Very topical – you always make every idea so clear and memorable. Lots of humour on a delicate subject. Well thought out.

  2. Well said Sonia. You made me think and laugh at the same time. Yes, mental health issues should not be a taboo subject. Let’s talk about it.

  3. Love your comic take on depression Sonja. It’s not just all in the mind.

    It’s not the same thing but what made be escape the blues when my sweet mum passed away was laughter and all the lovely people around me.

    Laughing WITH OTHERS is indeed the best medicine. Let’s stay connected!

    • Thank you for your lovely and insightful thoughts. Like you, I believe creativity, laughter and close friends and family are key. Of course we will stay in touch!

  4. Hey Sonia, that’s a very nice article, thanks for raising awareness to such important topic. I agree with the ‘Happiness brigade’ not being helpful, having my share of happiness-related issues, I know from first-hand experience that they are rather annoying than helpful. Mindfulness does help, helped me for sure, although spending £150 isn’t necessary! I’m sure a bit of humor can help anyone with depression, but more importantly, these people need understanding and support. That’s great that you are involved in helping others and you provide useful resources! Thank you.

    • Thank you JAcek for your lovely and thoughtful input. Really appreciate it and enyone joining the conversation helps loads! Hope to see you soon doing your wonderful comedy sets!

  5. A very important and worthy topic, thanks for everything you’re doing, Sonia. Awareness of mental health has never been more important.

  6. Great topic Sonia, many have the same feeling. I have been recently trying to face childhood abusive memories and it’s not easy. It is great to see more of “it’s okay not to be okay” shared, because noone exactly chooses to feel negative. To share with you, the story that helped me sleep recently “The Boy Who Fed On Nightmares”, hope you like it too Sonia, hugs

    • Hello Mila, thank you for your comment and I will certainly read it! Sounds very interesting! Hope to see you very soon in one of our events! xx

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