Once upon a time there was a time when women would sit in the garden to read books. They would play with the children after their naps and they would have tea at 3pm. There was no such thing as emails and life was peaceful.....
Fast forward 90 years and women realise they aren't sitting in a scene from Downtown Abbey. They are instead sitting in a meeting room with colleagues discussing matters of 'life and death'. Drinking coffee that was hot an hour ago, and stressing about all the emails that are unread in their inbox, not even starting that request that marketing asked for which is now 3 days overdue.
Admit it, we've all seen that person in our office who looks so overwhelmed that they are ready to bite your head off or alternatively is about to burst into tears. Heck they might even do both depending on the day! Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps there is more going on than just those outstanding emails? And have you ever thought that person might be dealing with a mental illness? Or perhaps what could you do to help that person smile?
Recent studies have shown that in Australia, 1 in 2 people will be affected by a mental illness at some point in their lives, with 1 suicide occurring every 3 hours in Australia. As a society it's more important than ever we take time out to reflect on what we can do for each other to make our days just that little bit more bearable when it all just feels too much and we are struggling to cope.
As a corporate gal who has sat in her fair share of meetings and stared into the face of stress and mental health issues in the corporate world, I encourage everyone to do a few things throughout your day that might assist with your own mental health but the mental health of those around you.... Remember that old saying 'you are who you hang with'? Who wouldn't want to hang out with the gal that makes a positive impact?
One thing I suggest is when you go to make yourself a cup of coffee or in my case tea, make a second cup and drop it off at the desk of a stressed out college. Even if it's not the way they like it, they will be so touched by the gesture that it won't matter. Not only have you done something nice for someone else but you have acknowledged to that person that their feelings are real and you are there to support them. And let's be honest as women sometimes we just want someone to make us a cup of tea, tell us 'you got this' and that it’s ok to feel a little crappy.
Remember mental illness isn't a choice, but how we respond and support is so go put the kettle on, enjoy your cuppa and let that work anxiety drift away for a few minutes.
Enjoy Your Tea xx