Every day it becomes increasingly challenging to turn away from the world’s negativity. Information is everywhere: in our pockets, in our ears, and flashing on screens and billboards everywhere we turn. Sometimes it’s hard to tune out of the noise and to stay mentally healthy. If the television isn’t interrupting our weekly shows with Breaking News, our phones are inadvertently alerting us to it, thanks to social media.
Even if we disconnect from technology in an effort to remain peaceful and present, we can expect a friend or colleague to fill us in, phone waving in their hand, ready to share heart wrenching news or gut wrenching images.
When the stories circulating relate to or impact the Adult Entertainment industry, those of us working within it are naturally struck with a sense of vulnerability, and some would even say powerlessness.
Due to the nature of our work we are in some ways holding out for the general public to better understand and appreciate what we do. To treat us equally as ‘normal’ people, with real careers and workplace issues, just like any other employee or entrepreneur.
But unlike traditional 9 to 5 white collar or even blue collar jobs, the Adult Entertainment industry is relatively unregulated and therefore doesn’t offer anywhere near the same amount of structure or support. There’s no HR department at most Adult Entertainment venues and their lack has been particularly noticeable during the pandemic. With this in mind, expedited by the effects of COVID-19 on the industry, CherryDTV is primed to become a one stop shop for resources support and information on topics such as mental health, wellbeing and community for members of (and those curious about) the industry.
In the context of empowering our community to stay mentally healthy, this looks like offering advice on navigating the news and social media, while proactively practicing self care. What’s needed is the classic combination of grace and grit in the face of feelings of hopelessness, and these 5 tools will help you to combat the symptoms of depression.
How to stay mentally healthy
1. Just Breathe
Thanks to respected thought leaders like Wim Hof going viral, rhythmic breathing techniques have exploded onto the global self care stage for their supernatural healing powers. Wim and his loyal tribe of converted devotees claim his method results in an abundance of rewards, from clarity and alertness to vivid mind//body connection and emotional purging – all through just twenty minutes of breath work.
As our breath is one of the few things we can control, it is one of the smallest, yet most impactful ways we can take back our power. When we’re overwhelmed, breathing can distract us from racing thoughts: try breathing in for four counts, holding for four counts, breathing out for four counts, and holding for four counts.
2. Do Good
Yes, you read that right. The helpers high, as it’s sometimes called, is the result of making a positive impact, particularly in vulnerable moments or during the times we lose faith in our abilities. These random acts of kindness set off a chain reaction that stimulates the production of love hormones; oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin – the neurotransmitter that regulates mood swings.
3. Embrace Routine
The power of an easy to stick to routine is simply that it’s incredibly comforting.
Routines do create a certain level of stress but, done right, it’s technically positive stress that keeps us focused and helps us avoid the kind of depression that originates from COVID-10 related isolation, fear and uncertainty. It basically sets us up for feeling accomplished and in control to the point that it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world around us.
4. Make Space
Choose your spot, sit back, and connect the dots. Go off grid and make plans to spend a few days relaxing in nature, this is a well documented grounding experience. Everything about it, from basking in natural light to combat seasonal affective disorder. Enjoy the calming therapy of watching wildlife at play, is a sensory soothing break from reality that ticks all boxes.
5. Make Time
Emotional overwhelm can play tricks on your mind. If you’re not careful it will have you believing that you don’t need people, and they don’t need you. But this is false information. A self sabotaging red herring, meant to trick you out of investing in your relationships and keep you home, safe and sound with only your wounded inner child for comfort. Instead, rewrite that inner dialogue and remember that your people do care. Make the time to reach out and be honest about how you’re doing and what you need from them. It’s a great way to add depth to the relationships that matter and to get the support you need at a time when you need it the most.
6. Journal daily
Journaling has evolved from a much loved arts and crafts activity to a respected clinical tool. It’s therapeutic and a healthy way to strategically improve mental health. If you’re not a big fan of talking about emotions, journaling is a method of expressing what would otherwise be bottled up. It allows us to spot themes, triggers and patterns in our lives and is a deeply grounding, meditative activity.
Yes healing can be exhausting, but it’s also powerful and transformative – what are your experiences with these tools we’ve discussed? And do you have any others you’d like to share?