I come from the UK, and if there’s one thing that’s been on the back of mine, and many peoples thoughts over the last few years is the unstable parliament, Brexit, and negativity surrounding the opposing views of friends and acquaintances either talking, or posting about them on social media. This has become such a huge topic, that everyone from mental health specialists, to social media influencers, to primary TV channels such as BBC and ITV are constantly talking about the impact this is having on us.
As of September 2019, the Conservative parliamentary race saw Boris Johnson take on the role of Prime Minister of the UK, to some peoples excitement, and to others utter horror. As Brexit draws nearer, and with Boris promising that Brexit will happen- deal or no deal, this has only increased the anxiety, depression, and paranoia amongst us people living our day to day lives. I’ve heard many people post their concerns both in person, and on social media:
“What does this mean for my future?”
“Will I no longer be allowed in this country?”
“Is life going to be more expensive?”
The primary problem with politics in general is that it is such a mammoth aspect of life, and yet it feels as if the top 1% have the say and control over this. My theory is that a major trigger in anxiety and stress for some people is the loss of control, so when we see something that scares us, but we can’t control it- it triggers our fight or flight senses. Well- since we feel we can’t fight something as , we just want to get away from it. Unfortunately- the majority of us are stuck with what we may feel are consequences of years of Conservative/right wing rule, however I feel the best thing I can do is speak out about how I am feeling about it, and control the aspects of my life that well- I have control over.
I may not be able to control whether Johnson will deliver a No Brexit or not, but I can do my own unbiased research, find out what aspects of my life could be affected, and talk about it with the people around me. Whilst this can feel like an alienating time for some, it’s essential to know that we are all on the same boat. For us common folk, we only know as much as each other, and so we are all in this boat together- sinking or not. I am no way claiming I have any idea on the ins and outs of politics, but I am willing to learn- this is an attitude I believe many of us need to adopt if we as a nation are going to get through this with some sanity attached.
With a country that seems more divided than ever, it’s easy to alienate the other side. Whether you are left or right leaning, right now is undeniably an extremely important moment in our lives. Even the most enthusiastic of supporters can’t look you in the eye and tell you exactly what’s going to happen. This lack of knowing is what’s ultimately creating this fear culture amongst us. It’s normal for any of us to feel apprehensive about what’s going to happen, are we going to hit a recession? Is your house going to lose 50% of its value? What the hell is going to happen to Ireland!?
There are just too many questions that should have been addressed from the onset, but unfortunately all we can do is hold each other, and hope that MP’s such as Jacob Rees-Mogg stops lounging on the frontbench, and start taking this as seriously as the nation does.
I also want to disclaim that if you do feel overwhelmed by what’s been going on with Brexit and the political climate in general, you should take some time to yourself to do what you like to do, and speak to someone about how you feel. The world is too mean as it is, and what is ultimately the most important is your own well-being. Brexit might be important as I mentioned earlier, but it’s not so important that you should allow it to impact your mental health. As I said before, you need to focus on what you can control.
The links below are a variety of resources with information about Brexit. If you want to be more practical, if your local MP isn’t a total douche, speak to them about how you feel and get their perspective as well. They are your representative who will listen to you.
BBC: What is Brexit? – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887
gov.uk: What do I need to do before Brexit hits? https://www.gov.uk/brexit
Investopedia: Information about Brexit with statistics and market reactions: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/brexit.asp
Politico.eu: News about Brexit, as it happens – https://www.politico.eu/section/brexit/
The Brexit hashtag on Twitter is a bit on the ‘ew’ side, but there’s sometimes some decent debates, and angry tweets by the MP’s for some perspective – https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Brexit&src=typed_query
Let me know how you feel about this. What do you think of Brexit? How do you think the parliament are dealing with it, and do you think the UK have reason to worry about this as much as some do.