How to deal with the frustrations of life in Britain when everything feels broken

everytthing feels broken

Some things can change so quickly and so unexpectedly – one minute we can have everything together and the next it can feel as though our world has broken

Take the pandemic, at the start of 2020, we were all travelling globally, shaking hands, going into the office and we could openly clear our throat in public without people backing away. Then, a moment passes, and all of sudden we are living in a world of face masks, lockdowns, awkward greetings and just about everything being described as ‘unprecedented’. 

To top it off, just as life begins to feel as though it’s returning to some form of normal, we’re now facing a recession, the price of living has soared and we have hopped from one pandemic straight into another – mental health conditions are at all an all-time high, with post-covid studies suggesting 1 in 2 of us are battling some sort of mental health struggle – anxiety, depression, loneliness – all on the rise. In a nutshell, it’s likely we’re either experiencing a crippling condition ourselves or supporting someone we love with one. 

So, how do we deal with the frustrations of life in Britain when everything feels broken?

Human connection

Human connection is the key to finding hope and light when everything feels broken, even in our darkest moments. Whether we were moved by Captain Tom who, in the face of adversity, gave us hope when we needed it the most. Or, when we stood together and clapped for our key workers, volunteered to help those isolating with the virus or did the shopping for our elderly neighbours. When our world stopped and we stood still, we stood together – united by human connection. We shared our stories and found relief, hope and understanding in the words of others who were experiencing the same as us. For one moment in time, despite age, gender, race, religion, location, or social status we were all in the same boat and we were all facing the same struggles. 

Human connection builds resilience when everything feels broken – it gives us the strength to push through, even when our world feels broken. 

everytthing feels broken

Finding Resilience

Advice I live by courtesy of the great Martin Luther King: ‘You don’t have to see the top of the staircase just to take the first step’. 

The most brilliant, successful, talented, resilient, and admirable people you will ever meet will have struggled with their mental health at some point. That’s because life’s “perfect moments” are not the ones that build our character – what really shapes us as people and builds brilliance are the obstacles we’ve faced, the challenges we’ve overcome, and the grit and determination we’ve built along the way.

From the age of five, I have suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, panic attacks and related depression. 

“Am I normal?”

My OCD wasn’t a case of lining objects up; it was very intrusive. I was plagued by recurring thoughts that made me frightened that I would hurt people. I was convinced I was a bad person, that I wasn’t like everyone else. I carried handcuffs with me in case I tried to hurt someone – not just strangers but my family too.

Stuck, isolated and unable to go on in constant fear, my story came to a head when I found myself on Sheffield Bridge attempting to take my own life. 

At the time, I had no idea that three quarters of a million people in the UK are thought to be living with the same debilitating condition. 

I was not alone. But, I had never felt more alone than in that moment on the bridge. 

Despite being a successful entrepreneur who was seemingly living the high life, I battled in silence keeping my experiences to myself. Unable to reach out for help for fear of rejection, shame and falling outside of the expected societal ‘norms’. 

This fear of not being ‘normal’ is one of the most crippling ‘side-effects’ of any mental health condition. It prevents us from seeking the very thing that will trigger our recovery: human connection. 

We tend to only share the parts of us that we think people will approve of. We live in an age that is defined by ‘Perfect’ – we are conditioned to aspire to nothing short, and we are constantly reminded of this as we scroll through our phones, bookmarking perfect and following our friends ‘lives’ through the eyes of rose-tinted, unachievable filters.

This creates a wall of silence and feeds the stigma that prevents so many people from seeking help with their mental health

What triggered my journey to heal? 


Without even understanding what a powerful tool I had in my hands at the time; I picked up a book that changed my life. Through the power of Bibliotherapy; by listening to an unfiltered account of someone who understood; someone who had lived, experienced, battled and overcome my condition, I found an invaluable tool that gave me the compassion, hope and understanding that I so desperately needed to kickstart my journey to recovery and begin to heal. 

I have since dedicated my time to curating a world-leading collection of these stories to provide people around the world with a powerful recovery tool that is self-empowering and proven to trigger mental health recovery.

Find out more about TriggerHub Bibliotherapy here.

More tips for dealing with the frustrations of life in Britain when everything feels broken:

Write it down 

Telling your story is one of the most cathartic experiences of any healing journey. Book submissions were at an all-time high during the pandemic and this has led to the publication of some of the most powerful stories in our Bibliotherapy Collection. 

Pick up a book

Bibliotherapy is great for people who do not feel comfortable talking about their problems, or those who find that medicinal methods are not the right route for them. The best part about it is that book therapy is accessible to everyone, it’s affordable, and you can recover at your own pace! 

There is help and there is hope. No matter how broken the world feels around you, just remember that you are not alone. 

Author bio

Adam Shaw has pioneered mental health recovery to new levels in the UK and US. Founder of ShawMind charity, responsible for bringing compulsory Mental Health Education into all UK schools. Founder of Trigger Publishing (largest mental health specific publisher in the UK and US) and TriggerHub that elevated Bibliotherapy to an accessible pillar of recovery for all and He is the author of OCD, Anxiety & Related Depression.

Images by Raw Pixel


  1. I think this is good advice for people all over the world. Granted, some countries and some areas are much more lax on the restrictions. Where I live, in Texas, we haven’t had many restrictions for over a year now but it was so hard for my young boys when they couldn’t understand not being able to see their friends for a while.

  2. It’s such a tough time to navigate even here in Canada. I’ve been reading more to get my mind off things and it’s been helpful.

  3. I think it’s so important to practice meditation. I feel like people think its just sitting on the floor humming to yourself but when you deal with anxiety and actually learn the technique you find how crucial it is to finding that inner peace. It allows you to remove yourself from the situation and just analyze the problem by itself in an isolated manner. I’ve found it can be super beneficial because life throws us curve balls all the time and we need to be able to center ourselves through all the mayhem and uncertainty.

  4. Thank you for these wonderful tips. I love reading it. Yoga and meditations are good ways to release stress, too.

  5. This is great information, even for me in the US. I journal a lot and I am really happy with it. It makes me feel better and motivates me a lot. Thanks for sharing!

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