FIFO Focus’ Sandra Lam joins Big Al as part of the REDFM series FIFO Life.
In part 14, Sandra talks about the importance of asking yourself who can you confide in, to share the burden and protect your mental wellbeing.
Who can you confide in?
With one in five people experiencing mental health challenges every year, it’s really important for everyone to educate themselves on this topic and help themselves identify whether they are at risk of damage to their mental wellbeing. It starts with you, as you are the best person to identify the early warning signs that can impact on your mental health and ask yourself who can you confide in when away from your usual support network.
There are two simple steps that you can take on a regular basis to ensure you are in the best position to tackle any mental health challenges:
Self Awareness and self-assessment
Really be self aware and learn to self-assess your metal health. Ask yourself, ‘Am I tracking OK?’. Don’t just wait for RU OK Day – do this on a regular basis, for example once a week. Look at what triggers your stress and look at opportunities to cope with your stress better. Are the stresses occurring on a regular basis? What can you implement to tackle these stresses? Some ways to minimise stress are learning relaxation techniques, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, taking up a hobby you enjoy, trying to look at things from a different perspective and reducing alcohol intake.
Having someone to confide in
Ask yourself who can you confide in? It needs to be someone you trust and who you can really confide in without fear of ridicule or being dismissed. Someone who will listen and be supportive and empathetic to how you are feeling. Identify and connect with these people – it might not be a partner but they should understand how you are tracking on a regular basis. It could be a friend, a family member or even a workmate or your parents – remember you are never to old to ask mum or dad for some advice! How are you going to maintain relationships with these special people and help them understand how you are tracking on a regular basis?
Don’t feel you have someone in your life who you can really talk to about important issues? Aside from making an effort to connect with a wider support network, don’t forget you can turn to professionals for a sounding board. Therapists and counsellors can be easier to speak to if you find it difficult to confide in people you know – therapists and counsellors are there to provide a non-judgmental sounding board and help you deal with some of the stresses that may be affecting you.