Are you feeling overwhelmed?
My mind is still spinning down post Dell Technologies World 2019 and I’m facing the challenge anyone that attends work conferences must be facing. Do I keep the momentum from the crazy full-on world of Vegas conference life and capture ALL my great thoughts, or do i pause and let my body finally recharge. There is a temptation to fight the bodies natural routines, and to artificially extend creative time. This could push me into a danger zone that might have after effects on my own mental health.
Pausing is not quitting.
I start to get worried about this decision and the fear of missing out starts to overwhelm me. I want to do right by myself and start to recharge, but I see other peers that are more successful and i think what would they do? Quitters never win right?
As I rush off to the airport with this in mind, i bring the notepad and pen with me just in case. I guess that’s my decision made. Heading for the lobby I discover by pure chance a close friend and colleague is heading home at the same time so we agree to meet and share an Uber to the airport. On the ride we reminisce on the great times of the past week and as we chat we discover we are both wrestling the same problem.
It’s OK to Talk.
My friend reveals that recently he faced some serious work related issues that thankfully he is well past, but that he struggled alone for almost a year and it badly affected health and happiness. I was shocked, I didn’t realize anything was amiss. He looked like he was busy sure, but I thought he was taking it all in stride. When I told him that I didn’t know and I was sorry for not noticing he admitted he may have put up a facade. As we talked we wondered if anyone else in our field that we knew could be going through the same suffering in silence torture? How could we break the cycle? How could we prevent the problem starting with some preventative measures? What even are they?
Start an OK Club for Mental Health.
So we decided to start an OK Club. This is a safe place to reach out and be able to talk openly, a place of trust and honesty. This is an agreement to look out for one another, a buddy system similar to SCUBA diving. Our OK Club has only 3 members for now, someday there may be a need for more, but 3 is good start. Nothing prevents you from being in more than one club either, just make sure you are not just supporting others, but are also supported by others yourself.
I went googling for some info around Mens Mental Health and came across #AndysMansClub. It is an eerily similar concept that started after a tragic young man committed suicide. They even made a logo related to the OK signal and used the #ItsOkToTalk. Even after being featured in TheLadBible and being promoted by some famous people on twitter. I can honestly say i had never heard of it.
I am glad I know about it now, and I’m glad I have the support of an OK club. Look out for each other, form one, join one. If you don’t have someone close to you that you can open to, please find someone