Feeling A Bit Sht Listen/Watch/Read When Life Is Not Peachy

The Good And The Bad Of It + A Friendly Mental Health Check In

May 1, 2020

Gosh. Skimming the media comes up with news about the pandemic – both good and bad – and the occasional story to lift our spirits. It’s so strange, isn’t it?

Content note: Discussion of mental health

From what I can tell, people are having an unpredictable mix of okay and bad days. Others are lucky enough not to be feeling too personally affected, and they are able to find more silver linings as the weeks roll out. But generally? Generally a LOT of people are having a very, very challenging time which is affecting their physical and mental health.

I really hate it that people are suffering and feeling scared and unsupported, especially when those people might find it hard to put their hand up and ask for help.

So I just wanted to check in really, and ask how you were going …

If you’re in Australia and feeling like some mental health support would be useful, but have not seen a therapist before  (or your mental health plan has lapsed) you can now talk to a GP from home via Telehealth consult (over the phone or video link) to sort out a mental health plan and get a referral to a mental health specialist. There has been a funding boost which means much of this can be bulk billed. If you chat to your doctor, they can steer you in the right direction and find the most economical way for you to access treatment. You could also email your GP to start this important conversation if you feel unable to talk on the phone at first.

When I first went to my GP (who I had not been to in YEARS!) to get mental health support, I was so sad I could not even talk. I had written down a list of my health concerns and between sobs and gulps we went through them and she helped me to assess where I was at and what could be done to help me. It was very hard for me to do this, but it was the best thing I ever did because I was severely depressed and anxious. So know that!

I’ve written much, much more about this visit in my book When Life Is Not Peachy and also about seeing a psychologist for the first time, in case that might be helpful to you or someone you know right now. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below about this.

I’m feeling … okay at the moment. Very unsettled, worried and very much missing my job. But as I said yesterday I’m trying really, really hard to keep active and busy. I know that there is a lot of chatter about NOT worrying about being productive and about just BE-ing, but for someone like me that’s just not an option. I need to feel that I’m being useful, that I’m achieving something, that I’m pushing myself forward and that I have some control.

If I don’t do those busy things I know that I will lapse into mental ill health and that is the last place I want to be right now.

But enough about me right now. What about you?  What are you up to? How are you managing?

Perhaps you have no choice but to be productive – you might be working and/or overseeing kids’ remote learning? Or just pushing on to maintain your own health? Or perhaps you are taking this time to slow things down and do very little? You might be managing loss or your own health this way … or you might be enjoying quiet days. Or maybe you’re swinging wildly between a bunch of these things? Or something else altogether. I’d love to know.

Good to talk about these hard days, I think.

x pip

PS: There’s also this Australian government portal which aims to connect people to mental health support and resources.

If you need extra support right now, or someone to talk to right now the following mental health lines can help:

Australia – Lifeline – 13 11 14
NZ – Lifeline – 0800 543 354
UK – Samaritans – 08457 909 090
US –  Lifeline – 1800 273 8255
Canada – 1866 277 3553 (outside Montreal) or 514 723 4000 (Montreal)



  • Reply Kim W. May 4, 2020 at 3:43 AM

    I’m in New York, and I am REALLY, REALLY REALLY, REALLY LUCKY. I got a new job the first day of March – and it is a short walk from my house, which means that right before things started spreading in New York City, I was taken out of the subway system, which cut down my chances of getting anything. I’m also seated in an office with a door I can shut, and people leave me alone most of the day – which means I run into fewer people each day. And there is a supermarket just a couple blocks up the street from where I work, that opens up early enough that I can go get groceries before work when no one else is shopping yet. And I still have a job because it is considered an “essential business” – they are a manufacturing/tech company that was able to design a new ventilator device, and they’re going to start making them in the next couple weeks. ….The one problem is that everything feels a little too normal for me, and sometimes it makes me forget that for other people, things are much tougher; I try to go out of my way to help friends who need it, and reach out to others (I have a photographer friend who would usually be leading photo tours right now, but can’t; so I’ve bought a few of this things, and have been talking up his online store; I can share the link if anyone wants).

  • Reply Miss A May 1, 2020 at 10:25 PM

    Thanks Pip for your honesty and talking so openly about mental health. It’s so important to know what is going to keep your head above water in difficult times (you mentioned keeping active and busy is essential for you), and you obviously have gained a lot of wisdom during tough times. It has been a very difficult time in our house, along with the isolation, helping with home learning, working and other things, we’ve had long, worrying hospital stays for my partner and a serious, long term health diagnosis for him. I am doing my best, trying to keep the family well, fed and emotionally supported, but it is difficult to keep on top of it all. My GP is calling occasionally to check in (after sobbing on the phone to her a couple of times) so I know I have the option for some additional help if I need it. I have bought your book, and although I haven’t been feeling up to reading much the past few weeks, I’m going to dive in this weekend. I plan on making some good food, taking a bath and going on some walks in the fresh air. Getting outside and moving is essential for my mental health, I’ve decided. I’ve been reading your blog a lot, and enjoying the links, recipes and cheery things. I just wanted to say that I’ve been taking comfort from it in what is a tricky time for me. You write in such a kind way, it feels like a big virtual hug. Please know that you’re being useful and achieving something, which is to provide comfort in such a lovely way. Thank you so much xx

  • Reply Linda Brown May 1, 2020 at 7:03 PM

    Thank you Pip!

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