Welcome to Chapter 8 of Dan Bennett - The Diary of a Bored Kid!
Hello and welcome to Chapter 8! Glad to be making progress and regularly posting to the Blog. I have to be honest, although I think whoever reads this content may find something of value, selfishly I am really using this as a documenting tool.
I love documenting my life and my thoughts as they occur to me. I find it relaxing and as a form of self meditation.
Writing allows me to get my thoughts on paper and really assess how I am feeling on any given day. Jay Shetty, James Clear, Ross Edgley, many top authors and athletes use similar techniques of documentation and journaling as a form of self care.
Whether this blows up and 100's of people enjoy my writing or whether this stays between me and my close friends, that's completely fine with me. Find joy in the process and it is always a win win situation. Gary Vee - Social Media pioneer and Digital Marketing entrepreneur prides himself on the process. His goal is to buy the NY Jets, but whether or not one day he is able to buy the Jets is beyond the point. He loves the process, and that's what it is all about. Love your process and whether you get external validation or not - it's just an added bonus.
In life if you are always looking for the external benefits of a situation, if you are always looking for something in return, if you are always expecting someone to give you something back then you are ultimately setting yourself up for failure.
Give with no expectations, enjoy the process, love what you do - The rest will figure itself out.
Que sera que sera whatever will be will be..
Anyway here we are - Back in St Petersburg, back with the GF, visiting friends and currently prepping to go on an afternoon boat trip to a cute little sand bar - Lets hope the rain holds off. Fingers crossed...
Today is World Mental Health Day - I have always had very mixed reviews on labelling something by a timeline - "World Mental Health "Day", Black History "Month." To be honest, it annoys me that we label such monumental and serious topics with a timeline, like only a day or a month is enough time to take note of such serious issues.
Alas.. here we are and although I am not a huge fan of labelling something with a timeline, I do think it is extremely important to bring such topics to the forefront. All I hope is that such serious issues don't become a flash in the pan.
As someone who has experienced forms of mental health issues in the past I have to say - I have been extremely lucky. I am very glad to say that I have never had to go through the severe depths of depression that the human mind can take you to. Although I have had my issues in the past, I have to say they have been few and far between and for that I am eternally grateful. For those who struggle, I cannot imagine your pain and I pray that one day you can see the light and get out of whatever situation you find yourself in.
In life, you protect your finances by getting a financial advisor, you protect your house by getting home insurance, you protect your body by getting a PT, you protect your health by getting a doctor - These are aspects that are non-negotiables to so many people. However, so many people neglect their mental well-being as they don't see it as a necessity, or subconsciously don't understand the effects that neglecting your mental health can have on how you feel.
People need to do their absolute best to proactively protect their mental health.
It is fundamental.
As someone who has been fortunate enough to have some nice materialistic things in life, it is not enough to assume that the materialistic things in life will be enough to look after your mental health. Material possessions do very little to help your mental welfare. Materialistic possessions will usually only suffice for a few months before they become "normal" and then you revert back to your base level mental health level.
It is is no surprise that a recent study found that every 40 seconds someone around the world is committing suicide.
That is terrifying.
Under the age of 40, the biggest killer of men is suicide.
Again.. that is terrifying.
Although I am not saying I have any of the answers, I have some thoughts and beliefs on how you can protect your mental health and how prioritizing your mental health should be at the forefront. For me these have been adapted overtime depending on what environment I am in. Once again I am not saying I have the answers, but this is what has worked for me.
1. Phones off by 9.00pm:
Depending on the situation and where I am. I proactively choose to turn my phone off by 9pm. When your phone is off, that eliminates work calls, work emails, social media, bitchy group chats, mindless scrolling, checking your calendar, so on and so forth. Seems hard and difficult but it is a game changer. Turn your phone off, eat food with your spouse or significant other, read a good book, journal, prepare for the next day, walk, exercise, sit and just chill in the living room, watch Netflix, do whatever you have to do to eliminate the negatives of the outside world. Honestly, allowing time to turn the world off has been amazing for my mental health.
2. Journal, write, draw:
We have so many outside stimulus in todays world - social media and news specifically - We cannot escape it. News channels actively choose to divide and cause tension between us, social media spreads aggressive, toxic and upsetting videos, views and headlines... As a way of responding to all of this, it is not uncommon to have so many views and feelings on all of these. Pull out a notepad, blog, journal, piece of paper or word document and just write. Write whatever you are feeling, get your thoughts out on paper and just let them release and decompress you. Trust me this is a much healthier way than scrolling through Twitter wanting to start arguments with every person who vigorously disagrees with your point of view. It is very easy to get stressed when seeing so many opposing points of view to yours sprawled across your social media channels - sometimes you need an avenue to take what you are feeling and put it down on a piece of paper. For me journaling has led to writing this weekly / daily blog.
3. Sport, exercise, BJJ
I played Collegiate sports and for the longest time in my life I thought that was my calling. I wanted to play professional soccer. Wherever that may take me, I wanted to be a professional athlete and live my life competing and playing to the highest level I could. Ultimately, my life didn't go that way and I was left with the hangover of an average athletics career. After I stopped playing soccer, there was a hole, a massive void in my life that no amount of alcohol, food or dates could fill... Until I found Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and sport. I was getting bored of the Bro-Split weight lifting, Crossfit gyms were too expensive and I had no idea how to enter into Tri-athlons / marathons. In-step BJJ. Absolute game changer, find a sport that you are passionate about, that humbles you and that is extremely challenging. Not only the endorphin release but the prospect of being a beginner on a continual stage of learning was something that got my mind off and out of any negative situation I found myself in. Whether that was financial hardships, relationships, work stresses, visa stresses. Try escaping a grown man trying to strangle you and you will forget about anything else that you have in your life.
I am not telling you to all go and start BJJ because that may not be your cup of tea - But proactively find a sport that you could be potentially passionate about and go balls to the wall with it and see where it takes you!
4. Monitor your Environments
I've spoken about this before so I won't dwell on this for too long - Life is too short to be dealing with dickheads. The age old advice of bite your tongue, play the game, climb up the corporate ladder, take shit for as long as you can and then one day you will be at the top... Life is too short. No one wants to deal with dicks and no one wants to be surrounded with toxic people in toxic environments. Increase your level of self worth and realize that the neglect of your mental health is a price too heavy to pay. You are better than that and you know it, remove yourself from these environments and trust me you will be all the better.
5. Behave with your Financials
Money is a tough one - Who am I to tell you what to spend your money on? My financial goals differ from yours, my financial goals differ from even my girlfriends. Everyone has their own definition of success so it is hard for me to tell you what to do with your money but if I had any advice...
Debt. Get the hell out of consumer debt. Spending money on credit cards, to impress people you don't like, for a social media life that you are trying to keep up that no one actually cares about. Please do yourself a favor and get out of debt. My personal opinion use Credit Cards for select purchases, pay them off monthly. Save money so you no longer rely on people, invest into businesses, properties, stocks that pay dividends. Trust me your mental health will ease significantly when you have enough in savings that you know you can live a year not having to rely on anyone financially. This then gives you the freedom to move out of jobs that no longer serve a purpose, this allows you to move out of environments that no longer serve the goals that you have.
I am no guru, I am no financial expert, trust me I have made more financial mistakes than I can count. My card has been declined at Walmart more times than I can count, I have let my ego get out of hand so many times and spent thousands of dollars that were unneeded expenses to impress people that I really didn't have too. I have also been extremely fortunate and landed on my feet more times that I can count. But no matter what level you are at, if you are a business owner or if you are working at McDonald's I do think this is universal advice that transcends more than one demographic. Get out of debt, save money so you don't have to rely on certain people. Trust me even if it is for the short term, it will be a god send that gives you the time freedom to stop and reasses.
I'll wrap this post it by saying by now I am sure you can tell that I think it is very important to realize that your Mental health comes before your job, it comes before your relationships, it comes before the trivial issues that may arise from not going to the party with your friends. Mental health is a priority and by proactively deciding this is at the forefront has helped me massively and I hope will help you too.
As always appreciate you reading!