Social action to support mental health
How taking action can also be a way to look after yourself
I’m not the first, or even the twentieth person to say this – 2020 has been wild. We’re living through really difficult times and this has meant that more young people than ever are experiencing mental health wobbles. That’s a really heavy fact to sit with, right? But at the same time, we’re also living in a time where we have so many accessible resources to support ourselves through difficult times.
For starters, we have the technology to reach and connect with more people than any other time in history. We have access to more information and so many different perspectives on the issues we care about. This creates new opportunities for us to take positive action, which is in itself an act of self-care.
Taking action on things we care about, and even making actual social change, is awesome. You’re focussing on something you’re passionate about and want to share. This usually means putting something good out into different communities and getting to connect with people, educating them and adding value for them on a topic, but that relationship actually goes both ways. By taking positive action and putting something out there, you’re actually giving back to yourself as well.
It really sucks on bad days to feel like you’re not contributing to anything and you’ve not working on something with the power to pick you up, distract you. Having a side hustle or task you’re working on can help feel like a circuit breaker to your regular tasks and can help you feel like you’re working towards something. Sometimes even just knowing that working on the task in front of you will impact others down the line can be a helpful pick-me-up.
(TBH I just couldn’t resist sharing this…)
One of the best feelings in the world is finding people with shared interests. Sometimes your best mate isn’t going to be into the same TV show, or as passionate as you are about how we can make a difference with Climate Change, but to be honest, your best mate doesn’t have to. There are people out there who are into the same things as you, and finding that supportive group will create a sense of belonging and inspo.
The online world has created so many more opportunities to make different spaces accessible. It’s now easier to take action on things that matter to us most by having online platforms to elevate our voices and connect us with people. These opportunities make the social change space so much more accessible for people from marginalised communities to share their voices and stories no matter their needs.
If you’re really passionate about taking action on an issue that will impact other people and you get to see the change you’re advocating for, it’s the best feeling in the world. Take PROJECT ROCKIT for example – we want to see a world where every young person is free to realise their potential, so we take action by running workshops in schools. When students reach out after a workshop to let us know that P-ROCK inspired them to take action on something they care about, it’s THE BEST. We get to see that all the effort we put into taking action on what matters to us actually makes a difference.
There’s actually so many ways to create positive impact – big and small – that will resonate with you. You might volunteer, or take action on an issue in your school or wider community. You could make a change by educating yourself on Slow Fashion or how we can take action for Climate Change – there are so many ways we can make a difference.
2020 has been a really hectic year, and if you’re feeling wobbly please do seek support – from your friends or professionally. Taking social action to support our mental health and breathe energy into the causes and ideas we care about is so rewarding, but also remember that you need to fit our own oxygen mask first!
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