This time of year is popular for social engagements such as office parties, fun get-togethers with friends and festive family gatherings. But for many sufferers of social anxiety, this can be the most traumatic time of the year. While many people look forward to a good knees-up, those with social anxieties may experience feelings of dread as the party season approaches.
We need to get to the point that men feel as at ease talking about their mental health as they would a broken arm. We need to help men equate seeking help not with weakness, but with doing something that shows courage and strength. It is, after all, profoundly brave to face up to something as stigmatised as a mental health problem. Ultimately, we have to acknowledge that big boys can and do cry. And that's okay.
This week, I tried something I have not done before. Everyday, I made it a point to find five good things to think about at the end of the day... Finding five good things may not change the colour of your day but it could help you get on a less negative train of thought and maybe one day, we will be quicker to see silver linings.
The development of effective and evidence-based psychological treatments is one of the major triumphs of the last decades. And based on this triumph, some folks say we don't really need to know why they work, we just need more of them. But that is jumping the gun on policy, and may just further embed the status quo into our management of mental health problems.
For some perfectionism is an internal wasteland where all positives are ignored and life is like wading through treacle. For others perfectionism makes the outside world never enough and disappointment poisons most activities and relationships. Perfectionists walk a tightrope where impending disaster is held at bay with extreme effort.
The cold weather that meant you had to change into a warmer coat, which then made you late. And who knows what this little delay in your schedule caused you to miss, maybe a bad bout of traffic, maybe an accident? Perhaps as the result of this you met a lady at the bus stop who you wouldn't usually see. Maybe she inspired you?
Granted, January is a pretty gloomy month (I was shocked to see a blue sky today, having forgotten what one looked like), but why is that particular day more depressing than any other? Well, of course, it's not. Blue Monday was actually invented by a psychologist to help promote some travel company.