You might recall getting to know Tanya from my interview series blog post from a few months back. I interviewed Tanya about the video that she was creating about the Black Lives Matter movement. She discussed the movement in detail and other issues that she was thinking about discussing on the AWAKE app once it’s launched.
One issue that has been important to many people recently, due to the COVID pandemic, has been that of mental health. When deprived of livelihood in work, school or even normal day-to-day activities and being forced to stay at home to keep safe, it can become very easy to feel lost and anxious. Lack of certainty in what the future holds, no longer having the ability to naturally maintain conversation with other human beings and even financial difficulties as the result of the pandemic all relate to one’s mental health. It is extremely important to check in on your own mental health, otherwise it can lead to things which not only seriously affect your own life, but begin seriously affecting the lives of others, including friends, family and loved-ones.
AWAKE encourages many ways of maintaining good mental health – whether it be through mindfulness and meditation techniques, consuming correctly (not just food!) or simply through serving others. This involves a lot of work, but once it becomes part of a routine, it becomes much easier to maintain and you’ll find yourself feeling healthier in no time at all.
During the several lockdown periods that have affected her in London, Tanya decided to publish a book that contains exercises that she found herself doing to take care of her own mental health. These exercises involve checking in regularly with your thoughts and spaces to express yourself and vent in writing or art forms. As she found the exercises useful for herself, she thought that if she could develop the idea further with similar exercises, it could provide for a useful journal for many people, especially during the lockdown period, to keep track of their thoughts, moods and feelings.
She decided to call the journal “Unclutter”, a way to bring clarity to the mind, particularly in this uncertain period. The exercises include a mood tracker, a habit tracker and even a space to just scribble gibberish, which is very therapeutic.
When asked why she didn’t decide to instead create an app based journal she said: “I know there are a lot of apps out there but I have found that physically writing and creating is incredibly therapeutic, especially in this digital age. When you can do everything on your phone and we’re all spending more and more time on it because there’s nothing else to do, I think it’s sometimes best to make the decision to take some things offline.”
Now that the journal has been published, it is available for purchase here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/924776378/unclutter-mental-health-journal?ref=listing_published_alert and a percentage of the proceeds will be going to a mental health charity as well.
The journal is not there to cure anything outright. In fact, most of the time, it won’t cure anything at all. It is simply a space to keep track of change in mood, habits and thoughts which can be important at a time like this where it is very easy for them to go out of control. Alongside the techniques that AWAKE encourages, this journal can be a great way to keep track of one’s progress in mindset.
It’s also a great habit to start at the beginning of a new year!