Sometimes one of the most important steps you can take towards improving your own mental health is knowing that you are not alone.
Mental Health is something of great concern to so many in this country, with every one of us having been touched (or know someone who has been touched) by suicide.
While the mental health of any individual is complex and highly personal (and I would never suggest that I have all the answers), this week perhaps I can share something that helped me.
Last month a study conducted on the issue of mental health last month found that ‘finances’ were the number one impact on Irish people’s well being (49%), closely followed by sleep, and then weight.
It makes sense. Finances are always going to be a large stressor in life, and something that can only be exacerbated by high costs of living, including sky-high rents, and the ever-increasing cost of homes.
Working 40 hours per week only to have to hand sometimes half of your paycheque to a landlord can be soul destroying, and leave you with an awful taste in your mouth by the end of the month.
But what if (in some kind of hypothetical world) you weren’t burdened by the restrictions of your finances? What if I was to tell you that even if you are happy in your job, it’s okay to not want to get out of bed in the morning?
We were all told at one point or another by either a well-meaning teacher or parent to “Find a job you love and you’ll never work for a day”.
What if I told you that was a load of crap?
Working in a job you love will absolutely make work easier, and time go by that bit faster, but at the end of the day, it will always be work, and it is okay that even the happiest of jobs might not ever ‘make you happy’.
I was inspired this week by a thread on the popular website Reddit in a forum called NoStupidQuestions. Here people pose anonymous questions for the community to answer, where (as you can guess) all questions are allowed, no matter how seemingly stupid.
Here someone asked the ‘not stupid question’ “Is it normal to not want to work at all?”, and you may or may not be shocked to hear – most people would much rather not be working.
As one excellent commenter replied to the question “Yes, that’s why they have to pay us to be there.”
The thread was full of responses of people saying the most sensible and straightforward things. But they were all things I think we forget in the “do what you love” scenario.
This isn’t a debate about Dole and social welfare, but it is instead more about a hypothetical world where if you had enough money to support yourself, would you still go into your job tomorrow? What if you won the Euromillions tonight?
Again, most people probably would not, and who could blame them?
How many could honestly say that there is nothing in the world they would rather be doing than work?
Again, very little.
It’s easy to think that you’re alone on those days that it’s difficult to throw off the covers and pick yourself up and get to work, but that feeling really is much more normal than you may think – even if you truly do love your job.
It’s not a case of allowing yourself to permanently succumb to these feelings either. It’s more about recognising that you’re not alone in feeling this way.
So – do find a job you love, and do go to work with the best attitude you can muster, and do at the end of that work day go home and forget about said job.
Just be okay in knowing that even in doing all of this, it is still okay if you occasionally hit that snooze button one too many times.
If you have been affected by anything in this article and need to talk, you can contact one of the numbers below: