We’re snowmobiles in a desert

Something to remember during mental health awareness week.
 
YOU are a beautifully-adapted being, that is expected to function in an environment that is exactly the opposite of the environment that you evolved to exist in.
 
‘It’s like putting a snowmobile in a desert and saying that there’s something wrong with the snowmobile’.
 
(This is a badly paraphrased quote from ‘Leaders Eat Last’ by Simone Sinek)
 
This quote has been in my head a lot lately – especially as I found out yesterday that this week is Mental Health Week.
 
We need more awareness around mental health issues, and to normalise talking about it just like we’d talk about a cold or sprained wrist.
 
But there’s something that bugs me about a lot of the mental health advice that comes around during awareness weeks like this.
 
Specifically, things like:
 
‘Eat more healthily’
 
‘Exercise’
 
‘Get enough sleep’
 
Notice a pattern? It all focuses on the individual, as if you just find the right combination of things you’ll be able to get rid of/reduce your mental health problems.
 
It completely ignores the fact that we exist in a society that — because of how it is designed — creates mental health problems.
 
We are the snowmobiles in a desert.
 
We need to get out of the desert, not just tinker with the snowmobile.
 
Where is the focus on changing the environment by the people who actually have the power to do so?
 
On an individual level, it’s really hard to change the environment (aka structure of society) when so many of us are at or over capacity in our daily lives.
 
(more thoughts on capacity – and about changing the environment – coming later)
 
In the meantime, when you see all the tips about mental health week, remember:
 
Yes, try to eat better, get more sleep, exercise if you can and definitely come get a massage.
 
But also have compassion for yourself because:
 
YOU are a beautifully-adapted being, that is expected to function in an environment that is exactly the opposite of the environment that you evolved to exist in.
 
(Side note: Mental health issues can also exist within a spectrum that has a more physiological basis and requires medication, and while some medicated mental-health problems may be improved if we could completely revolutionise our environment, I wanted to include this to recognise some people may always need medical support for their mental health and that’s totally valid)

Improve your connection to your body today...

This 7-minute audio will help you start to improve your ability to hear what your body is carrying & wants to tell you about…