Monday, 25 August 2014

Social Media- Friend Or Foe?

Social media is a friend and a foe, all rolled up into one. It can help you feel connected and allow you keep up to date with the goings on in your circles.  But conversely it can create a distance in real human connection. Sometimes it can seem easier to just Facebook someone or send a text. But real human connection is vital for the human soul. Friendships cannot be just played out in a virtual world. I know when you're feeling down it can seem almost impossible to pick up the phone and invite someone to meet face-to-face. But it's something I really recommend. Invite someone for a cup of tea and a chat, it can help lift your spirits.

The downside to social media sites is that it can lead us to compare our lives to other people's highlight reels.  Everybody wants to share their best bits. They don't share photos of themselves in their jammies covered in toast crumbs at 2 pm on a Saturday. Remember that. You don't see the full picture!

It can be upsetting when it seems that everyone is always at parties and having a great life. This can be especially difficult when you're struggling to even get out of bed. Remember that people put up their best bits. It's not a true reflection of their whole life.

When I was young I used to think it was very weird that people on TV didn't use the bathroom. Silly me. Of course they do, but it doesn't make for good telly! And likewise in a world where so many don't feel good enough, people don't put their less than flattering selves on the internet.
It's important to remember that everybody doesn't have a perfect life, no matter what Facebook seems to portray. We all struggle. We all fall down. We all do and say things we regret, but if we learn from it then there's NOTHING to regret.

Sometimes it's even worth taking a break from social media. Your life is for you to live, not to prove its value through photographs and tagging in to 'cool' places.

If you find yourself comparing and feeling badly about yourself when online try out some of these tips:

1. Learn to change the way you use social media. Participate with your brain turned on. Actively remind yourself that you're seeing people's best bits! Learn to filter out the unhelpful bits.
2. Consider meeting up with your friends face-to-face. You'll often hear a different perspective on that great party that seemed flawless. Real human connection is vital and will remind you that your friends are not celebrities with perfect lives.
3. Consider taking a break for a while. I often deactivate my Facebook account when I feel too sensitive and don't feel able to stop the comparing. I return when I'm in a better mind set.
4. Put things in perspective. If that party was that fun, then why did people have time to repeatedly post photographs online? Remember that we all have insecurities. Sometimes the people who post the most online are the most insecure. People can be falling into the trap of trying to prove their worth by showing the world their best bits.
5. Remind yourself that you're a human BEING, not a human DOING. Remember the purpose of human experience is not to put everything online. A meal is not made more enjoyable by instagramming it with a pretty filter! If you find yourself compelled to post everything online, ask yourself if it's taking from the experience. Learn to be OK with doing things just for you, and not so you can tell the world.

Have a compare free week! 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Loss of Robin Williams

With the recent tragic loss of Robin Williams we felt the need to post this. It shows just how troubled the mind can be even when everything seems perfect on the outside. He is a great loss to the entertainment world and hopefully he will be remembered for his life rather than his death.

This well written post about the loss of Robin Williams was written by J one of our SOS members in response to this image 'Genie you're free'. Her insightful posts highlights how messages like this are dangerous and put emphasis on the normalising of suicide and legalise it as an option for people. Suicide should never be an option for anyone. Here is the image and J's message :

No Genie, You’re not Free.

There are several things that make me feel compelled to write this post, but this picture is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. "Genie you’re Free". This embodies the whole picture of where we are going wrong in society. To start, let me assure you, there is no Freedom in Suicide. Freedom is found in Life.

This is a topic that is very close to my heart for several reasons, but this post is not about me, it’s about us. It is not the suffering that is the problem, it is how we are dealing with it. How many more lives have to be lost in order for us to begin to appreciate life. Only when we loose a life to we feel reflection is important. Yes, going through mental health issues is tough, but it can be temporary. On a daily basis I see people on my news feed with their declaration of how humanity is failing us (while sharing very damaging images and videos). But what are we doing for humanity? As a society, we are becoming immune to suicide and there is something very scary about that.

If I was in the same mindset I was a few years ago and I saw people reflect on someone taking their own life with references such as "You’re Free", my decisions very well may have been different. What we are saying and sharing has a consequence, we need to take responsibility together.

Don’t get me wrong the news of a man taking his life today has shook me, like it has shook many others, but I am not surprised, I wait for the next headline. Because if we don’t change our attitude towards Suicide and Life, then nothing can change.
There is a turn of phrase: “It’s good to talk.”
Now, the truth in this is debatable. Some people talk a lot and say very little. I have always been a talker. As I’ve got older, I’ve begun to listen more and more.

Sometimes what I hear uplifts me. Sometimes it frustrates me. Sometimes it spurs me to action and other times it comforts me. The written word can be just as, if not more, effective. Sometimes what I read on this blog encourages me to think in a different way about life. I can agree with that which I read; I can disagree; I can identify with what is shared by others or not.

There is no ‘wrong’ here. There is simply solidarity.

Whatever about just ‘talking’, it really can be so helpful to share. If you would like to share your experiences around suicide, or your thoughts about life, death, and what you believe really matters , you might like to consider contributing to this blog.
If so, please email your post to:
Sharing has helped me in many ways.
It might help you too.
I took this photograph in my mother's garden and I heard Mr. Hansard's wise words in a clip of him speaking to the audience during a performance, which was posted on-line.
My point is: We do not have to look far for inspiration. There is comfort to be found if we look for it. There is meaning in the s** is how we choose to use it that matters.
Trust. You will have roses.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Keep Going- MidWeek Motivation

'If plan A doesn't work out there's 25 other letters in the alphabet'

Sometimes when we are in the middle of a 
challenging situation it seems like the easiest thing to do would be to just give up...
The toughest times always bring the best rewards! When you are getting close to your goal obstacles may get in your way but remember 'Fall down 8 times get up 9'! 

Keep going and never give up! You deserve a beautiful life fulfilling all your hearts desires:)

Never give up, you don't know who you're inspiring!