Mental Health Awareness Week / Month!
In celebration of Mental Health Awareness week in the UK, and Mental Health Awareness Month in the US and worldwide, we wanted to take a moment to talk about the subject and celebrate the diverse experiences and perspectives we all share. Many of us across the AB/DL community find diapers and age play as a way to deal with, or escape form, life’s big “ARRRRGH” moments and stressors and we believe that’s okay.
Let’s get seriously honest for a few moments, because your mental health and the mental health of your friends and loved ones is more valuable than all the diapers (or nappies, for our Brits and their cooky friends) in all of our warehouses put together!
“Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.” -The World Health Organization (WHO). In short depression is one of many conditions able to affect anyone around us. Some require a skilled specialist for help and offering blanket advice as a catch-all plaster cure-all, seems disingenuous. For anyone reading this and finding words that ring true; hi there, we know getting the right help or even seeking it is tough, please keep going.
A lot of us are going to encounter some type of ‘urgh’ sooner or later - we used the term ‘urgh’ because when that space presents itself we often find it hard to describe or express what is happening until our friends ask ‘is something the matter?’. But what are we really talking about? Depression is defined as “...loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration…” Sound familiar? Depression can leave us feeling down and defeated, even if everything seems to be going right.
If you’re a friend or relative of someone who is on a similar journey, your support and love are immeasurable, caring for any disease or disability can be draining, remember to take care of yourself too. Kindness was chosen as this year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week by the Mental Health Awareness Foundation to focus on the healing power of community and positive solidarity. So if you have friends or family close to you, whether near or far, let them know you care, because it can make all the difference for someone in need.
We wanted to talk next about a few different methods that you can employ to support your own mental health. It’s important to find healthy habits that work for YOU and make you feel better. What works for one person may not always work for someone else, so take some time and practice to see what has the best effect for making you feel more at ease.
Feel free to pick out which tips speak to you the most!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a quick little list of tips that are great for a quick string of powerful phrases to remember.
Be Kind to Your Mind -Tips to cope with stress.
- 1 PAUSE *Breathe* Notice how you feel.
- 2 TAKE BREAKS from stressful content.
- 3 MAKE TIME to sleep and exercise.
- 4 REACH OUT and stay connected.
- 5 SEEK HELP if overwhelmed or unsafe.
Here’s some more tips we gathered.
- Take a step away from what you’re doing for 10 minutes.
Studies have shown that short breaks are an important part of staying productive. Take a break, get some fresh air, drink some water, and you’ll probably find that you’re able to focus more and get more done.
To put in crinkly terms, go and change that diaper - it lets you totally focus on yourself for a little while and feels great when it’s done. Pick your favourite, thick, crinkly diaper and enjoy it. And you should probably refill your sippy cup if you’ve got one!
- Stick to a routine whenever possible!
Once you have established something that becomes a habit, you’re much more likely to do it again. A routine will help you anticipate what is coming up next and having a dependable schedule will help reinforce positive habits. Try starting small by planning out your day around your current routine.
For those of us who are a bit smol, make what you’re doing right now into a plan (a plan is like a treasure map you follow all day long!). Breakfast, daycare, lunch break, play time, snack time, changes - all these things you’re already doing are the start of a routine. Give yourself a little gold star on your chart as you complete each one of them because that’s a success!
One big step towards better mental health is to be yourself and to be kind to yourself as you learn more about who you are. When we’re feeling down it’s easy for us to get lost in negative thoughts and mistakes we made in the past. But you’re a waddle butt and tomorrow’s adventures are way more interesting than the stuff you did yesterday!
Give yourself the advice you would give your best friend if they had come to you with a problem. If those words are what we’d tell the people we love the most then we need to give that same love to ourselves. If you’re finding that particularly tough right now then reach for your best stuffie friend and let that hug say it all.
We asked a few people at ABU about fighting off dark clouds and looking after their mental health; here’s some quick tips that they wanted to share some words of encouragement:
- Self Love: Be yourself.
- Enjoy: Find what makes YOU happy.
- Learn: Ask yourself questions!
- Forgive: Let go of negativity when you are able to.
- Have Fun: If it’s a big part of your life, do it!
We’ve taken a pretty light approach to a pretty deep subject here folks, we know that. If diapers or being a little are things that help you keep yourself going then all power to you. You’re part of an awesome community full of great people who tirelessly work to beat the saucepans and shout ‘it’s okay to be crinkly’ and we want to support you all so to give anyone who’s made it to the end of this, have a hug and enter MentalHealth10* on any order between now and May 31st for 10% off your next order. Consider it a gold star for getting this far and us saying we know you’ll keep going.
For anyone who wants more help here’s a couple of places we’d say are good places to start:
-Miles, Roxi, Getn, Jack & Wil