“Justin Sawyer is a Kenosha resident, with 15+ years in the food and beverage industry, as well as a former Tour Manager for national touring artists for 7 years. His interests and pieces will cover a wide variety of topics ranging from music & art, food & fashion, to mental health and self awareness. With an avid background and wealth of knowledge spanning several avenues, be sure to keep tabs on his pieces!”
I know, you’re thinking the same thing I was “That’s two words, pal.” Let’s face it, 2020 was a roller coaster version of a year long mid 20’s hangover that kept hanging around. You’re confused, queasy, tired, hungry, and afraid to open the blinds to see what havoc may be lingering from last night’s shenanigans.
The biggest question we need to ask ourselves as the year 2020 ends is this, plain and simple, “How is my mental health, and what’s my plan for it going into 2021?”
Society programmed us decades ago with the understanding that suffering from mental illness wasn’t real, that you shouldn’t talk about it, and that IF you did seek & accept help, it was a BOLD, flashing sign of weakness.
Going into 2021 we need to continue to break that stigma, especially amongst men. Growing up we heard things like “ Boy’s don’t cry” & “Walk it off, be a man, be tough”. This doctrine is, at its core, wrought with false teachings that ultimately lead too many young boys to grow up and become closed off, brick walls of men.
2020 has shown me personally that not only do I not always know how to handle every situation, but at times I still struggle to open up and discuss triggers & traumas. This doesn’t mean it’s always something “Over the Top” such as the loss of a job you held down for 5 years. It could be something as simple as “ I woke up late, but I’m still in a good mood. I then spill coffee all over myself when I slip on the sidewalk, and I instantly just want to crawl back in bed.”
It’s moments like those, that can completely throw our entire day right down the drain. This isn’t uncommon, in fact most people would have the exact same reaction. The problem is, we don’t discuss these times, or even begin to figure out how to cope with them.
These little things, slowly or rapidly, can and absolutely will add up. The straw that broke the camel’s back isn’t always something large. So take time to stop, close your eyes, drop your shoulders, and just take a breath. Sometimes that’s all it takes, 15 seconds of calm breathing and clarity.
2020 has also shown me another pill that is at times, difficult to digest. “When People Grow, People Go”. Now at first glance, that seems to have a somber, yet negative connotation to it. That I believe to be in the eye of the beholder. As with every challenge, we ultimately have a larger say in not only how we react, but what that outcome may be.
Growth is important, we as individuals, groups and a society at large, need to continue to crave and strive for progress. If you’re not progressing towards a goal, you’ve become stagnant. You should set short term, but attainable goals, that will ultimately become part of one large goal. Take it day by day, one step at time. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why are you picking out the color of the drapes when you haven’t even laid the first brick of foundation?
As we take steps into the new year, I implore you to continue looking at what you have, and being appreciative of it, and striving for one common goal; to find comfort in yourself. Be safe, be self aware, and remember, if you’re not at your best, what service are you to those around you?
Also check out Justin’s new line of hair products at Washed Out