Time to Talk with March Hollingbery
Today is Time to Talk Day, an opportunity to open up discussion around mental health. The more conversations we have, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down – helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many people with mental health problems are made to feel.We chatted to March Hollingberry, founder of The Organic Mind Garden, about how she has managed to stay resilient, hopeful and positive while shielding during the pandemic.
Lets Encourage Diversity Together
Diversity alludes to every human being different. That is certainly what my life has been, especially recently. Over the past year I have been locked away inside my home shielding from Covid-19 because annoyingly I have one lung so I am labelled as clinically extremely vulnerable - a very over-dramatic term. It’s been a tough reality as a 23 year old, both emotionally and physically. Although, after a fair amount of moping around at the start of the pandemic, I forced myself to shift my mindset and create my own opportunities- all sneakily from the comfort of my living room sofa.
Like many of us, controlling my mental health this year has been an enormous challenge. Being separated from my two sisters for the most part of the year, being apart from all of my friends and to top it off - segregated from my longterm boyfriend too.
(Reunited with my sisters after 6 months)
The Organic Mind Garden
I started to feel worthless because I was stuck at home with no clear direction of an exact career route that suited me. So it became obvious to me as soon as I launched The Organic Mind Garden that all I wanted to do was help people. Initially I just set it up because it filled up the never ending minutes of the day whilst shielding, but now I have realised the page’s direct purpose is to bring a pocket of joy to someone who might be feeling joyless that day.
What Have I Realised?
We are all unique in regards to our likes and interests. In my opinion, that's what makes us individual human beings - the essence of a person. In nature, we are not all going to be the same, that's what makes life consistently unpredictable. This is the beauty of diversity. This is the importance of balance. This is why when you feel off kilter, it is essential to cushion each other's mental filter by using your strengths to help overcome their weaknesses. Actually taking the time to be still, listen, hear, talk and understand each other's thoughts will be the best components for emotional improvement.
Tips + Tricks To Break The Pattern
1) Never Ever Compare
Goodness if I had a penny for everytime I’ve tried to pinpoint the differences between my life and other peoples I would have an overflowing piggy bank. But, over time I’ve worked out that comparison gets you nowhere, it makes you feel worse - so just try and accept your life for everything it brings.
2) Be A Chatterbox
Trust me, I know how difficult it can be to vocalise your exact thoughts but just hearing yourself say the words out loud feels like a boulder has been lifted off your back, even if it's to the cat, a friend, a cousin or a therapist - try your best to verbalise your exact emotions.
3) Be Honest With Yourself
It is so easy to dismiss how you actually feel, make sure you check in with yourself regularly to keep things on track, if you feel down, maybe you’ve over committed yourself - remember to switch up, cancel or rearrange until you feel more upbeat again.
4) We Are All Human
You would be fibbing to say that you don’t have bad days, but maybe keep a close eye on how frequently they are becoming. Nobody minds if you tell them how you feel, they can’t be annoyed for a feeling you have, all of our feelings are necessary as humans.
I have never considered myself to be a disabled woman, but during this year I have realised that’s what society categorises me as - but I don’t want to succumb to that mindset. I am just rolling with what life throws at me in my unique way. I encourage you to mentally identify all of your attributes and embrace them for exactly what they are, because let’s face it, the world would be an extremely boring place if we were all the same. Let’s be different together.
Big love as always, March.