In most social circles, the idea of small talk is discouraged. Instead of meaningless chatter about the weather or the commute in to work, we want depth, transparency, we want to be cracked open like a kinder surprise and share our vulnerabilities with one another. As good as all this may sound, the question that seems to emerge within the confines of small talk – “how are you?” – is decidedly not small at all. In fact, to answer such a question honestly might just be the greatest act of vulnerability.
The truth is, many of us feel burnt out, anxious, or angry. We’re worried about material things like money issues, scared that everything we’ve come to realise and embrace during lockdown might just be swept away as soon as work routines return. Perhaps we’re lonely, or struggling to be present with someone we’ve been living with for the greater part of a year in such close proximity. Regardless of just how mundane or trivial these things are, they are important and as the global coronavirus pandemic has illustrated with such shocking clarity, our mental health deserves to be a priority.
It’s this message Joe Jonas is intent to convey. As part of Instagram’s #SaySomething challenge, Joe Jonas shared a video detailing what he does to take care of his mental health daily, telling his fans, “It’s not only important for me, but I feel it’s important for everyone to be aware of what they can do for themselves and others.”
Sharing the things he does for his own mental health, Jonas said he tries to wake up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than necessary so he’s able to enjoy his mornings and get in a three to 10-minute meditation. “I don’t have this profound meditation every time, but I feel like the repetition really helps me and it keeps me in check,” he said. “I also try to work out in some way, exercise, whether that’s going for a long run, jump rope, cycling. If I can’t do that, I’ll do Peloton or workout in the garage.”
During lockdown, Jonas also developed a meditation group alongside author and life coach, Jay Shetty. The meditation group gives him a “sense of community,” and inspired him to take on the greater responsibility of looking out for the people around him. As Jonas said emphatically, “call and text and check in with one another. It’s easy to forget that not everybody’s always reaching out to your friends and family…but it’s so easy to just check in and make sure they’re doing ok.”
Ultimately, as Jonas notes: “If this year has taught us anything, it would be that we need to be there for each other. Mental health is immensely important.”