Ca locuitoare ale blogului Heartbrunch, un spațiu de discuție și share-uit experiențe pe teme despre care nu prea avem unde, când și cu cine vorbi cu toată deschiderea, am lansat, acum câteva luni, o mini-campanie de sensibilizare în ceea ce privește sănătatea mintală. Desigur, noi ne-am propus să ajungem la cât mai mulți cititori, dar recunoaștem că încă ne alcătuim, de ici, de colo, pe-o limbă sau pe alta, comunitatea.
Vrem să vorbim despre vulnerabilitate și gestionatul crizelor existențiale, a oricăror încercări emoționale care, la noi, sunt considerate tabu; ori sunt arătate cu degetul și luate peste picior. Știți cum e, ne luăm în serios dar nu cu prea multă seriozitate, așa că vom păstra umorul, cu inima deschisă.
In acest scop, am lansat campania #mentalhealthkit ! ***
Am vrut să facem un kit colectiv de urgență, o trusă de prim ajutor pentru minte și suflet. Am primit câteva răspunsuri - însă campania rămâne deschisă! Iar până vă gândiți la kitul vostru, noi vă lăsăm în compania unei scrisori ca un croissant cald, proaspăt scos din cuptor. Dacă săptămâna trecută am publicat răspunsul lui Frances Cannon la întrebarea noastră, azi vă invităm să luați cafeaua (sau ceaiul) și să rămâneți în mâini bune: cele ale psihoterapeutei Dr. Raluca Anton.
„În primul rând, musai să spun că îmi place mult campania voastră! Se pliază atât de bine pe activitatea mea de zi cu zi, fie că lucrez la cabinet cu clienții mei, fie că lucrez cu diverse companii, scopul meu este să ii ajut pe cei cu care mă întâlnesc să își construiască un astfel de #mentalhealthkit personalizat.
Avem atât de multe rețete pe care le putem citi de la diverși specialiști din domeniul sănătății mintale sau, mai bine zis, a stării de bine încât, de multe ori, ne e greu să ne dăm seama ce e util de făcut. Din păcate, informațiile pe care le citim din cărți sau pe care le auzim într-un training pot fi foarte faine și pot sa funcționeze pe termen scurt sau mediu, însă nu cred că există o mentenanță pe termen lung a efectului. De ce? Pentru că nu e suficient să știi ce ar trebui să faci pentru a avea efectul scontat, e nevoie să le aplici zilnic – al doilea motiv pentru care îmi place ideea de #mentalhealthkit, adică ceva ce să ai la tine tot timpul, dar cred că ar fi util să nu îl folosești numai atunci când ești pe avarii, ci să transformi tot conținutul lui în obiceiuri.
Acum despre kit-ul meu care, trebuie să recunosc, a suferit multe ajustări de-a lungul timpului. Pe măsură ce m-am cunoscut mai bine, mi-am dat seama mai bine de lucrurile de care am, de fapt, nevoie. Așa că știu că acum am nevoie de câteva minute pe zi să îmi închei ziua de lucru, să îmi așez informațiile pe care le-am auzit de la clienții mei, întrebările care mi s-au pus în training-uri, vulnerabilitățile cu care am lucrat și soluțiile pe care le-am oferit. Am învățat să îmi aloc câteva minute pentru a mă gândi la ce am nevoie să se întâmple în ziua respectivă (sa fie liniște, sa nu mai rezolv probleme, să stau etc.) și, dacă e cazul să implic pe cineva în povestea asta, am învățat să îmi comunic nevoia. Apoi, eu am un soi de therapeutic cooking asa ca ma refugiez în asta când simt ca e prea mult și am nevoie să lucrez ceva cu mâinile pentru a putea să îmi limpezesc mintea. Asta vine mereu in asociere cu jazz pe fundal. Iar dacă timpul nu îmi permite să fac mai mult, o cafea bună dimineața sau un pahar cu vin bun pe terasa casei la ceas de seară sună minunat.
Va doresc să reușiți să va construiți un kit cât mai funcțional!”
*** Ce e în kitul tău de prim ajutor pentru sănătatea mintală? Poate fi vorba de locuri sigure (safe space), prieteni imaginari, hobby-uri, animale de companie, obiecte - tot ceea ce funcționează ca un colac de salvare atunci când te simți stresat, obosit, luat pe sus de valuri de emoții sau când vrei să te reconectezi la energii creative și pozitive.
by Diana Rusu
In 2010, a group of Dutch researchers led by Dr. Jaap Peen found that living in a city doubles the risk of schizophrenia; urban living was also in charge of raising the risk of anxiety (by 21%) and mood disorders (by 39%). Whilst these brilliant minds are so interested in the effects of city life over human beings, I can't say my mental health has been deteriorated by the city where a group of architecture students in the mid 60's, were secretly rehearsing their music in a tearoom, in a basement on Regent Street.
It's been a few d̶a̶y̶s̶ weeks since I left this draft unfinished, open like something on the operation table; until today, when I tried to remember what was it that I wanted to write about.
Don't ask me what I was doing in 2010. What did my dreams look like, Where - oh wait. I could probably tell you where I was. Travelling from one city to another, starting up my masters degree in Romania and not having a burning desire of moving abroad. On the contrary, perhaps, when I had the opportunity to study for a good six months in la belle France, I felt so overwhelmed with the happiness of being there, with (what seemed to me) the miracle of being able to study contemporary literature and art with the support of extraordinary tutors. Overwhelmed by the amount of things I could learn, my way of thinking changed with the speed and drive I never have experienced in terms of education, from school to uni, in my country. It looked so much like a dream, that I rejected its reality. I wanted to go back to my small town, to my friends and family.
Little did I know my life was going to *dramatically* change again when I embarked on a one way flight to London.
Probably most of my friends grew up watching shows such as Sex and the City. The early blogging, the strong female characters, a mad city, diversity, careers, fashion and everything in between. I mean, how could you not fall in love with it? It was one of the phenomena that inspired me to break down gender and all sorts of stereotypes. Also, my fantasies of discovering a different place were quietly growing every day. And when I say different, I know I was a sucker for diversity. But diversity as I knew it in my small hometown and later in my university city, was nothing compared to the Big City that was going to steal my heart, at 28.
As I became more conscious of my states of wonder and of what captured my attention, I thought there might be some sort of addiction, a Big City addiction so to speak, and I began to wonder if there are other people out there like me, if there is a way of getting over it or if you simply have to accept it and live with it. Because, when you move to London, it's like something hits you in the face. You can often question your own feelings and maybe get to a denial stage. And when it comes to leaving London, the struggle is real, I would say similar to drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, for some. Just to let you know, I hear you, sister. It's ok. I don't know if my words will come in handy one day, but here's what I learned so far.
The 5 signs I was addicted to a big city
1. The culture addict
I wanted to be able to visit a different gallery/ museum every week, go to a different venue and see a different show/ discover a different garden/ park every weekend. This wasn't so much goal oriented as it was like a thirsty beast had awaken in me, ready to drink all that London juice like a drunk teenager at a beer pong party. I did try my best to keep up with the ever changing cultural scene of the city. The best thing was, though, the fact that I had the freedom to decide when and where to be, at every step, and always find something inspiring.
2. Eating became a learning experience
I would eat Chinese today, Italian next week, Korean the next one, and so on. This fueled my creativity in the kitchen as well as testing my limits and stepping on my feet. At first, I didn't mind travelling for an hour to get to a restaurant if the place really interested me. Then, over time, I learned how to find the gems nearby, but still didn't mind waiting for up to half an hour to get a table. Some would call this habit time and money consuming, but for me, it was something quite unique, something that reached deep inside my guts to the little girl that was not scared of seeing what's inside the wolf's belly.
3. A lesson of positive thinking
In the big city, my work, effort and talent were appreciated. I was not judged. As a genderqueer, I felt welcomed into the world. One would assume this is normal in any civilized country, but anywhere in Romania, this isn't the case. In London, people are way more open, but you already know that.
4. I cannot breathe in a place that has no diversity
Diversity is an invincible super-power and we can only accept, embrace and surrender to it. Just like breathing is a basic human function, being surrounded by diversity is to me a basic human need. London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, with more than 300 languages spoken within its territory. Many of us have crossed the streets of a big city, enjoying the cultural diversity in all its splendor; when living there, I felt like I was made up of all the roads people have taken to get to London. And I didn't want to get used to it or take it for granted.
After all, you never know what passage way to a different world the next street is going to be.
5. I wanted to measure time in my own way
Finally, I realized that not only I had my freedom, but I could also measure time in my own way, no matter if I had a job or not. Time could flow from the very end to the beginning, with glimpses of unknown, un-lived memories. With the feeling that, if I once had a deja-vu, I saw myself in the future seeing myself in a past life. The future was this very moment in the present time, myself having limitless love and all sorts of emotions, and that past life, well, that must have been this overwhelming experience of living in a city without boundaries.
By Iulia Gheorghe
A few years ago, personality tests to find out your learning style were extremely fashionable. This is how I learnt that I was a visual learner and definitely not an auditory one. Listening exercises were, indeed, a pain in the ass. That didn't change in time.
Give me something to read or to watch (but not static youtube videos) and I will gladly summarize or memorize it. Give me something to listen... and after the first minute, my attention will get lost in the fields of daydreams, worries, crazy ideas, notes to self and phantasmagoria. Listening to something turns my mind into a lively jungle. Even songs are triggering hectic scenarios in my head. However, reading something turns my mind into a Swiss factory, a flowgasm state of mind as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (does his lengthy surname ends in his first name?!) says in his famous book "Flow":
“But anyone who has experienced flow knows that the deep enjoyment it provieds requires an equal degree of disciplined concentration.”
That flowgasm feeling is more difficult to find when I'm listening to something. I have a weird relationship with podcasts: I love them, because I anticipate the fact that they are packed with wisdom and new things to discover, learn and enjoy, but some circumstances have to be reunited to actually start listening to them. A quiet day + a quiet brain + some spare time to spend guiltlessly. Hard to get these circumstances together, right? This is why I listen to podcasts quite rarely.
But when I do it, I lay off multitasking (drinking coffee is permitted AND encouraged, obviously) and I focus on the generous characters who are sharing a slice of their knowledge and feelings with the world. I also give myself a couple of hours to do that, so I would listen to a couple of episodes of different podcasts, like an auditory brunch.
What's on my menu?
Let's start with the frothy cappuccino. This is, for me, Design matters hosted by the wow-artist Debbie Millman. A classic, a goldie. Don't be fooled by the name, it's not a podcast about design, but on creativity in general, "an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, writers, artists, curators, musicians, and other luminaries of contemporary thought". You can start with the episode featuring Seth Godin, author, blogger and brand consultant, if you search for someone who is always giving resourceful advice.
My all-time favorite episode is the one with Brainpickings editor, Maria Popova. Maria knows and writes about tons of interesting things in a sensitive, yet very on point and humble way.
Next: some orange juice, freshly pressed, for rejuvenescence. The On Being podcast is more than an award-winning conversation about spirituality and its relationship with science, art and social issues; it's a journey thorough the different elements of what makes us human. Hosted by author Krista Tipett, this podcast is not only thought-provoking, but also shakes you to the core. Some episodes are so powerful, that after listening to them you feel almost shocked and ravaged. I recommend you this episode with doctor and author of "Being Mortal", Atul Gawande, on mortality and what matters most in the end.
After this deep moment, I need something delicious and fun, like eggs. "The Monocycle", hosted by Leandra Medine, mother and queen of Man Repeller and awesome human being. It's a funny, ultra-relatable monologue (quite unique, because most podcasts are conversations) that instantly makes you feel better and ready to go out in the world and kick some ass or jump in bed and have a party with your pillows. Exactly like after eating an omelette. If I had to pick one episode, it would be the one on self-esteem.
In Good Company
At this point, I need a coffee refill or I am going back to sleep. A shot of espresso. In Good Company, hosted by Otegha Uwagba, brand consultant and author of modern career guide Little Black Book, gives you that necessary dose of practical advice to make a step ahead on your professional pathway. Listen to this episode featuring Reni Eddo-Lodge, author of "Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race" about the challenges of freelancing.
The Great Discontent
It's time for some amuse-bouche (also, it's that moment when you pop the Prosecco, because it's not morning anymore!). In 20 episodes, The Great Discontent podcast features 20 makers/artists/risk-takers whose stories give you the goosebumps and encourage you to finally be in charge of your dreams, because it's doable with the right strategies (and a pinch of Universe stardust). These people are so creative, they're making my brain speed on new ideas and concepts like a hamster on a wheel. The Great Discontent also offers an incredible collection of written interviews - check out my dearest one, with artist Elle Luna.
Of course I won't forget the croissants, which are a delicious treat anytime (even at midnight). Magic lessons by writer Elizabeth Gilbert are without any doubt the croissants. There is one episode for everyone, so I would recommend you to read the descriptions of all episodes and choose the ones that speak to your own doubts and unanswered questions. I love this podcast not only for its content, but also for Elizabeth's voice and friendly spirit.
Letters from a Hopeful Creative
The last course should be refreshing and healthy (at least this one!): fruit. I really enjoyed the new podcast hosted by online business owners and bloggers Sarah Tasker and Jen Carrington called Letters from a Hopeful Creative. They are answering letters from creative minds struggling with diverse obstacles like Instagram anxiety, quitting your day job, transforming your creative channel into a business in a condensed conversation, full of factual and valuable advice.
London Review Bookshops podcast
I think this is all, theoretically. Practically, I still have cake after fruit, so that would be the London Review Bookshops podcast - listen to episode 9, with Sheila Heti about her fascinating book "Motherhood".
Now it's your turn, I'm all ears!