And no, one of them isn’t Kevin (lolol). This is a post I’ve wanted to write for some time now but it’s the kinda thing that I’ve been a bit daunted by the prospect of. I guess it’s the sort of post you either read and think, “yes, she makes an excellent point”, or “oh shut up”. I just hope it’s the former on this occasion. Because there are PLENTY of “taboo” topics that need to be spoken about more.
I’m certainly not new to writing these sort of posts, you’ll find plenty more online, but I did want to stick my two-pence in. Chances are, a lot of the same topics are going to crop up time and time again and perhaps if enough of us talk about how they need to be talked about more, we’ll ACTUALLY start talking about them.
Because you know what it’s like, especially at the beginning of a new year. We all say we’re going to do more of something or less of something or talk about something more and it never happens. But perhaps this post might start a few conversations down in the comments about some of these topics.
So, let’s have it. Here are 5 things I think we need to start talking about more this year:
Okay yeah, I’m jumping right in with the big one. One of the most profound, eye-opening and educational books I read last year was We All Know How This Ends. It wasn’t a light read, it wasn’t an easy read but was it a necessary read? Absolutely. I’m going to go on a bit here because I really had such a positive experience reading this book.
Posting about this book on my Instagram stories opened up the conversation about death between me and a friend of a friend who I met last year. She told me she had experienced a bit of it recently but was terrified of it and felt like she needed some help processing it. So I sent her my copy of this book.
If this book can help her in any small way then I’ll be absolutely thrilled. Death is NOT a taboo topic – and this is coming from someone who couldn’t even think about it without having a panic attack 6 months ago. This book covers everything from end of life care to funerals.
In the UK in particular, death is an incredibly hush-hush topic. We hide our dead away. We’re scared to say the wrong thing. We sugar coat things and stick to rigid funeral rituals. Learning about the funeral industry was fascinating and reading this book even got me thinking about what I would want at my funeral – but not in a sad or morbid way. In a genuine curiosity for how I want my end to be.
Death is never not going to be difficult. But it CAN be more normalised. If you’re interested in opening up the conversation about death in your life, either with family, friends or just with yourself, I’d HIGHLY recommend picking up this book. It’s a fantastic place to start.
Sex and sex education
We all knew this was going to be on here didn’t we? This is a tricky one because some people genuinely aren’t comfortable talking about sex and for whatever reason, we need to respect that. Perhaps it’s through religious beliefs or past trauma. We can’t and shouldn’t FORCE anyone to talk about it.
But if there’s an important topic to discuss, then gently opening the avenue for discussion is a good place to start. You might find people join in who you’d never expect.
But in regards to sex education, boy oh boy, not only does this need to be spoken about more but it also needs to be improved. Sex education was dire when I was at school – and I went to an all girls school! There’s no excuse for it to be so bad now. Luckily, there’s wonderful sex educators online like Hannah Witton.
Sex education needs to cover a wide range of topics, from safe sex, consent, gender identity, STD’s and much much more. Worried you might have an STD? Try searching for STD testing near me to find a clinic near you. STD’s are something that everyone shies away from talking about but they’re such a common part of life and can be managed effectively, if you’re informed about them!
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Women’s physical health & men’s mental health
This obviously isn’t to say that women’s mental health and men’s physical health aren’t important too. But when it comes to health, I think it’s safe to say there’s a STARK difference between the experiences that men and women have in those two areas of health.
According to the Samaritans data, in England men aged 45-9 have the highest suicide rate. And male suicide rate for 2020 was 15.3 per 100,000 compared to 4.9 per 100,000 for women. Even if you look across to the statistics for Wales and Scotland, the statistics are still just as shocking.
That is a HUGE and terrifying difference. Why aren’t men getting the support they need for their mental health?
And when it comes to women’s physical health, I’m sure you’ve all heard a story or two about a woman who just wasn’t listened to when they went to the doctor with physical symptoms. Whether it’s done consciously or subconsciously, gaslighting in women’s health problems is a real big freaking problem. The more women who can speak up about this, the better.
All areas of health are important, whatever gender you are or however you identify. But these two aspects in particular need to be urgently addressed and spoken about a lot more.
We’re all done with stress now, aren’t we? After the last two years, a pandemic, an NHS crisis, an incompetent government and more, it’s not a surprise that so many of us are prioritizing our well-being to ensure that we’re managing our stress levels.
I feel like in the industry of blogging, content creation, entrepreneurship and online business owning, a lot of us are just… done. We’re done with the hustle. We’re done with the overworking. We’re done not prioritizing our mental well-being.
At least I certainly am. A few years ago, pre-pandemic, I would have been working tirelessly for my blog and my job but now, I very much ensure that my stress level is the utmost priority and I’d never put my blog before my mental health again.
I think this needs to be addressed more because stress just ISN’T the one and working yourself stupid isn’t cool either.
I certainly have a lot more things in mind that I think should be spoken about more this year but I fear this post would be more like a short story if I went on for much longer! I would love to hear what you think about these above topics. Start a conversation. Don’t be shy but be respectful.
What do you think should be spoken about more this year? What do you think of the above topics?
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