2021/01/06

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Are You Feeling Shitty? January 2021


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What is Are You Feeling Shitty?


'Are You Feeling Shitty?' (AYFS) is a mental health support group and community, free and open to all. We meet monthly for a non-judgmental session of sharing, listening, and pro-active reflection on themes related to the health of our minds. It is secular, grounded in contemporary academic research, and committed to exploring substantive ideas. It is a community, for a community.



This month's theme: Loneliness


It's frequently said that cities are the loneliest places in the world. We're surrounded by people, provided with endless opportunities to connect with each other, and given the freedom to choose what we do with our time and money. 
Yet, so often, we find ourselves feeling isolated, disconnected and lost. We might not have met the people we want to meet. We might have a large circle of people we hang around with, but don't really know. We might be too embarrassed to speak up about the fact that we're lonely, too ashamed that we're not living our 'best' lives, like others seem to be doing. Perhaps the breakdown of a relationship, and consequent loss of emotional intimacy, has created a void. For one reason or another, we might just feel profoundly alone.


The irony is, we're not alone in our loneliness. For years now, loneliness has been sweeping towns and cities around the globe, so much so that it's often described as an epidemic.


The causes of the loneliness are complex, and not all of them will apply in every case. Gaining a broader perspective on the issue, however, and reflecting on potential causes, might help us alleviate some feelings of isolation, or drive us to adapt in directions more conducive to letting loneliness fade away. 


The reading at this session of AYFS will look at loneliness from the perspectives of philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and art. It will try to grapple with the different interpretations of what it is to be lonely, and identify some simple steps we can try out to forge a path in a good direction.


This is open to all, and free, but you must RSVP with me (WeChat id charleyutton) as spaces are limited. There is no obligation to participate if you come. You are perfectly entitled to just observe. We're here for you, whether you want to talk about what's making you feel shitty or not.



What does a session look like?


Each session has a theme or topic. The current list of topics, in no particular order, is:


Acceptance

Mind and body

Pain/Suffering

Compassion

Loneliness

Envy

Responsibility

Generosity

Anger and irritation

Imperfection

Grief/Loss

Finitude/Death

Speech/Communication

Consumption/Attachment

Greed

Pride

Tolerance


Each session will include a reading on the given topic, a small discussion, a sharing session and a gratitude session.

Anyone can come, it is free to all, and sharing is not compulsory. You are perfectly entitled to come and just observe.


When and how?


Monday 11th January, 7pm-9pm. You must RSVP with me if you wish to come, after which I will send you the address. The RSVP list will not be published publicly, out of respect for your privacy. 
The location is 10 minutes' walking distance from South Shaanxi Road metro station. My WeChat is CharleyUtton.


Not feeling shitty right now?


You're also totally welcome if you're not feeling shitty. We don't only exercise our bodies when we're unfit or overweight, we keep exercising even when we're slim and healthy. There's no reason why we shouldn't apply the same logic to our minds - they need work too, even in the best of times.


Share with a friend


If you have a friend who you think might need a bit of extra support, do share this post with them, or the flyer below. You never know how much difference it might make.




Want to help out?


If you want to help out, get in touch. Currently the following help is welcome:


- Graphic design / artwork

- Side projects such as a community garden, book club or running club

- Simple catering for the meetings


Got something else you think you can help with? Let me know. All ideas welcome. 


If your shitty feelings have reached the point where you feel as though you might be a danger to yourself or anyone else, this group is not sufficient for your support needs. We're with you in spirit, but you should seek professional support.

For immediate help you can get in touch with the Lifeline Connect Hotline anytime from 10am-10pm by calling 4008 211 215 and visit lifelinechina.org.
For professional counselling services, you can reach out to the Shanghai International Mental Health Association (SIMHA).
Disclaimer: neither Elevate nor myself are affiliated in any way with these organisations. 


Thank you


Thank you to our sponsors, Elevate, The Pottery Workshop and Expat Services. Read about them here:



In 2002, internationally renowned ceramic artist Caroline Cheng opened The Pottery Workshop Shanghai. Since then, The Pottery Workshop has become Shanghais premier ceramics studio, with trained artists leading professional classes for adults and children, from Beginner to Advanced, in English and in Chinese. The Pottery Workshop Gallery hosts regular exhibitions.





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Elevate is a pathway for artists and audiences to grow together in Shanghai. Through events, art sales and community-based projects, we are a team united in pushing creatives boundaries. If you're an artist or arts fan, follow our account and feel free to get in touch at [email protected] You can also join one of our many creative group chats by adding WeChat id CharleyUtton.
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