Stay in Touch – The importance of connecting with yourself by Rick Rossiter, REFOCUS member and SeeChange Ambassador
As part of their #GetReal (with how you feel) campaign, CPsychI REFOCUS member Rick Rossiter shared his thoughts with See Change on getting to know yourself and your emotions better during times of isolation.
This post was originally featured on the See Change website where you can also find further information on mental health and stigma reduction.
We have all heard the term, “Stay in touch”, and in these given times this term has become more relevant and meaningful than any other time in living memory. Another word that has become more relevant and has become a part of our everyday lives is Isolation. These two words are polar opposites and yet we need to find a middle ground on a personal level, we need to find a way to stay in touch with our own emotions and our mental health needs while finding ourselves isolated from our norms and truly understand how we feel and how we should react.
How am I doing?
Understanding ourselves seems simple enough, how can I not know who I am? I lived with myself all my life, I know my favorite colour and my favorite foods and yet, I have been blindsided so many times on things that I never knew about myself and especially of things that I assumed that I should have known. We’re a fickle creature and can base so much of how we are feeling in such simple and often misguided terms such as I’m Ok, I’m Grand or I’m Fine… whereas more often than not, what I’m really saying is, I have no idea who, what or how I am. In other terms, I’m like most of us.
Staying in touch with yourself seems easy, but ask yourself, when was that last time you treated yourself? What do you like to do for fun when you’re alone? Who do you ask for advice? Where do you go when you need help? We can do so much for the people around us and yet when it comes to ourselves we are stumped. We bypass our wants and needs as unnecessary and often view it as being greedy or selfish. We have lost the importance of being there for ourselves but unless I can take care of myself, I cannot truly be happy, I cannot truly be on top of my own mental health and I most certainly cannot be there for others when they need me.
Thinking of it as being a child again, I’m sure I wasn’t a greedy child or selfish, I did things that I liked, I did things that made me happy and acted accordingly. My motivation in life was me and that’s the same for all children at that beautiful moment in life. So it’s best not to act your age all of the time. Find your “me moments” and live with it. I know that it is easier said than done, but we can start off with just little “me moments”, build on them gradually until these moments either become a part of your life or until you want to find more types of “me moments” to have. There is so much that we can learn from ourselves if we just listen to what our emotions are
trying to say. So staying in touch with your emotional self is a key in life that will unlock many doors and knock down many barriers that your mind has placed upon yourself.
I’m not too sure where we will go from here, 2020 has shown us that anything could happen, but it also shows us that the better prepared you are the better you can get through to the other side of the unknown. This goes to our emotions as well. We don’t always know what is around the next corner or how we will deal with it. But if we know ourselves better, if we understand our emotional selves that when the stresses of the unknown can and will happen, that we will know that we are able to deal with it on a personal level better and that if need be, we will know when to ask for help.
Rick Rossiter is a member of the CPsychI REFOCUS Committee, a group of service users, carers, family members and psychiatrists and is also an ambassador for See Change, Ireland’s national stigma reduction charity. You can find him on Twitter @rossiter1497