What is it like being a young person in 2017? In an age of social media, austerity, cuts to vital services, and general instability, young people aren't as carefree as they used to be. Annie, one of our Young Green Ambassadors, reflects in our latest post.
Everything begins with a thought.
Powered by an emotion, the action taken will leave some kind of imprint. Naturally, with time, the impact grows and instinctively, you will know whether or not you are happy with yourself. The mind remains powerful, regardless of the subsequent effect it has on your life and those around you. It is an anchor because it is the driving force behind everything we do. But, when you feel as though you have lost control of it, how do you nurture your mind?
Like struggling for breath, all you can focus on is how to feel grounded again. In my case, it was a cry for help. Survival mode forced me to be persistent and it wasn’t until things reached their absolute worst, did I finally receive the help I was screaming for. Therein lies the problem. Why did it have to be that way? As more and more awareness is being raised about the subject, mental health is finally being recognised as an inherent part of one’s overall health. So if a person is trying to seek help for their mental illness, which is as important as a physical ailment, they should get help, period. Unfortunately, however, the reality in this country is a dark one.
It is an absolute tragedy that amongst the cuts in funding, the healthcare service is one of them. Mental healthcare, in particular, should be made a priority. If the quality of mental health service provision in a country is high, there will be more improvement in the quality of people’s lives. This is especially important when it comes to young people.
Being a young person is often associated with being carefree. But what is the truth of being young in 2017?
It is the struggle between ‘perfection’ and positive self-image. It is social media and the tendency to compare.
The journey to living a life of pure freedom begins the instant you focus on goals that give you a sense of intimate purpose. When this happens, a person can fall into a rhythm of self-acceptance, the greatest form of self-care. Now more than ever, the importance of self-care is being amplified. The greatness of your existence comes once so why don’t you deserve to be at peace with yourself?
I have long deactivated Facebook, my only social media account. Having it affected my sense of worth. When I realised I was worth more than pictures, likes, and comments, I found ways to nourish my mind and found validation on my own. I believe the first step towards loving yourself is finding a healthy way to deal with a problem as soon as it arises, which will minimise a rippling effect of future problems.
Though my internal battle has quietened, I know it will be a lifelong one. It took me time to realise my worth. What is keeping me afloat are my dreams and the causes I want to stand for. My role as an Ambassador is helping with this. As an ambassador, I hope to encourage better self-esteem in young people like me. When you feel empowered to take action, the energy becomes infectious. Your mind will then focus on other ways you can make a difference, whether it is in your personal life, your community, or better yet, both. We need to remember, in years down the line, it will be our turn to take care of the country. So, how can we guarantee doing our parts effectively, if individually we are not okay? The actions we take now will affect generations to come - we are not going to be young people forever! But change is possible: one movement, one day, one thing at a time.
Guest post by Annie - Young Green Ambassador at Groundwork Youth