How to cope with an ED at Christmas

Hey all! Hope everyone is doing okay. It’s been a couple of weeks since I last blogged as last week was crazy busy. I had my graduation which was amazing and had some other exciting things happening too so I decided to miss blog day last week.

Anyway, I hope this week is being kind to you and I hope you’re feeling good. If I’m going to be honest, things with me recently have been really good. I feel in a good place right now, stable and happy and I am grateful for that every single day.

Enough about me…let’s get on with today’s blog.

This blog is a really important one for me and I hope someone struggling can take something from it today.❤️

First of all, as most of you will know by now, the term ED stands for an “eating disorder”. Having an ED is hard every single day but as I understand, it is especially tough at Christmas time. Imagine your worst fear being unhealthy food, gaining weight and eating around others….basically Christmas is our worst nightmare. Lots of fear foods, lots of gatherings surrounding food and the immense pressure to “enjoy” ourselves whilst we slowly struggle under all the anxieties. It’s a tough one. But I’m here to let you know that you will be okay…and here’s how.🙌🏻

1). Try to remember the reasons you are celebrating- Christmas is about a lot more than food and it’s important that you remind yourself that. Christmas is a religious holiday, it’s about doing good, spreading kindness, making memories and spending time with loved ones. There’s a lot of special things about Christmas, and food is not the most important one. Try to remember to reason you are celebrating, it reminds us that there is a lot more important things in life than how we look and what we eat.

2). Be mindful and present in the moment– When our minds are consumed by food, it’s all we think about, especially when there’s a room full of it. It’s a constant “Can I eat that, am I allowed?”, “What if I can’t control myself? I need to take this food away”, “Are people looking at me and thinking I’m fat?”. Take a step back and silence the noise. When you are chatting to someone, listen and process each word they say. When you are playing board games, concentrate on each move. When you are watching a Christmas movie, listen to each note of the background music. By becoming mindful and present in the moment, we distract ourselves from the anxieties in our mind. Remember, it’s time to enjoy yourself, so take back control.

3). Remind yourself of the child within- A lot of people mention this and I never knew it worked until I tried it myself. Over Christmas when you feel like speaking negatively to yourself and dismissing yourself of Christmas treats….try to imagine how your smaller/younger self would feel. Would the 8 year old you be worrying about their weight or thinking they are ugly? No..they would be so excited for Christmas and so happy that they are allowed to eat all the gingerbread in the world. Find that excited little you, and know that they wouldn’t want you to be sad at Christmas.

4). Let your family support you- The key to recovering from any disorder is to do it with people supporting you, because it’s much harder when you’re alone. Even if it’s just one person, let them know you might be struggling for the next couple of weeks and need a bit of extra support. When you are sat deliberating at the dining table, a little glance from that person can mean everything. That little “it’s okay, you’ve got this” look. You need that. Don’t suffer alone this Christmas.

5). Make plans– Make sure you have some exciting Christmassy plans this year. Don’t sit alone with your thoughts this Christmas. Go out with friends to Christmas markets, go out for a walk in the snow or go ice skating with your family. Keep those horrible thoughts at bay and keep that mind of yours busy with only GOOD things.

6). And finally remember that…This is not a relapse– Thinking we have gone back a few steps can make the cycle even worse. But just because recovery might feel a bit harder, it doesn’t mean you have gone downhill. Christmas is a hard time for people with an ED, whether they are recovered or not. There’s more triggers than ever so give yourself a break and remember that this isn’t a relapse, it just might be little tougher than usual. (Or you may not be affected by Christmas whatsoever. Everyone is different🥰).

Please also remember to buy yourself a little gift this Christmas. By doing a physical act of kindness, it reminds our brains that we need to be kind to ourselves mentally too. Trick your brain into loving yourself again, because you truly deserve it.

Okay guys…now let’s get excited for Christmas and make it the best one yet!!! You’ve got this💪🏻You are NOT ALONE.❤️

How to deal with those “bad days“

Happy Thursday!! It’s blog day…again. There’s been two this week as last weeks was a bit late but life gets in the way sometimes.❤️

Anyway, today’s blog looks at those “bad days”, and you know what I mean by that. Those days that our demons get on top of us, we feel completely out of control, and as stone roses would say….it’s a “stop the world I’m getting off” kind of day. These days are tough and often feel like the hardest fight we’ll go through….but I’m telling you you will get through today, and here’s how.

1). Get out of bed and get ready- I don’t care how long it takes or how hard it feels, get out of bed and get ready as soon as you wake up. Because if you don’t take control of the day straight away…the day will control you. As much as it doesn’t feel like it, getting up and getting ready makes us feel so much better. Laying in bed on our phones or overthinking is only going to make things 10 times worse, and the longer you stay in bed, the harder it will be to get out. Take this first step and then we can think about the second.

2). Eat something- If you’re anything like me, anxiety goes straight to your stomach, and the last thing you want to do is eat. But trust me, your body is a car and you need to refuel to keep driving. Our brains struggle to work properly without food, so grab something to eat and remember it’s only going to make you feel better.

3). Distract yourself– This is always key when trying to ignore those horrible thoughts and irrational brain. Calm your anxiety by taking your mind off your worries. Watch your favourite programme, call a friend or go for a drive and listen to a podcast. It’s good to have time away from the hustle and bustle in our minds. Really try to focus on something other than your worries for a while.

4). Be honest– I think this one is most important. Don’t struggle alone on the bad days, let a loved one know you’re struggling a bit today. You don’t have to explain or go into detail, just let them know you need a little extra love today. Being honest always relieves the load a little. Don’t struggle alone.❤️

5). Exercise– Exercise is my answer to every bad day. Doing something physical takes your mind away from everything, acts as a catharsis for stress, and releases hormones that make us feel good. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do or for how long, it’s whatever makes you feel better. Do it for yourself and for your mind.🥰

6). Remember that you will get through this- Remember those days you didn’t think you’d survive, well guess what…you survived them and you will survive this day too. I hope you find hope, peace and happiness so very soon. Keep going because better days are coming. There’s always tomorrow.🙌🏻🤍

Thanks so much for reading today’s blog. It’s a short and sweet one but I really hope it can help someone struggling right now. Keep going, because everything always turns out okay in the end.🙌🏻

Health anxiety- my experience and how to deal with it

Blue and Gray Stethoscope

Hi guys, it’s Thursday and that means only one thing…a new blog! I hope you’re all as excited as I am. I’ve really been finding that blogging has been helping me mentally at the minute, It gives me a drive in the day, It gives me an outlet and it also allows me to come away from life for a while. So to you who’s reading, thank you so much for taking the time to read how I feel. And I hope you can take something away from today’s blog. Anyway, let’s get started.

So today’s blog is surrounding a topic which is something I haven’t spoken about before. Health anxiety is something that I have suffered with since a very young age, and it’s something that, as I’ve got older, I’ve realised a lot of other people suffer with too. In fact, in a way I think it’s part of our human nature to be worried about our health, because let’s be honest, our one aim in life is to stay alive for as long as we can.

Now my journey with health anxiety or as others may know it, hypochondria, started from an extremely young age. I can remember crying before bed every night because I thought that I might die in my sleep. Sounds crazy, right? But at the time it was absolutely terrifying, especially for a 10 year old. From there, at the age of about 11, my panic attacks started, which actually came from the back of an illness that I had. Over the past few years, my health anxiety has really improved, and I’m definitely in a better place with it. However, my health anxiety worsened during the Coronavirus pandemic and I am aware that this was the same for others, even those that didn’t have it before. And that’s why today I want to raise awareness and give you all some tips on how to live with health anxiety.

1). Do not Google. I repeat, do not Google your symptoms. I know how hard it is and I know that you have that rising feeling of anxiety where you just have to click on Google to see what’s wrong with you. The thing is, Google doesn’t know who you are. It doesn’t know your age. It doesn’t know your circumstances, and it certainly isn’t a qualified doctor. Google will always tell you are dying or you have something extreme, but as professionals would tell you do not Google your symptoms, it will only make you more anxious and will be way far from the truth. No matter how tempting it is, please refrain from this and just sit with the anxiety until it passes. Distraction is key for this.

2). Have you considered that it might be psychological? The clue is in the name… health ANXIETY. Anxiety often comes with physical symptoms, even if you don’t realise it. Even if you have chest pains but you are not thinking or worrying about anything, you can subconsciously be stressed.Not only does anxiety come with chest pains and very common anxiety symptoms, there’s also a few physical symptoms that are never spoken about. For example, I was once put on antibiotics because the doctors thought I had bells palsy. It turns out the twitching in my face came down to anxiety. I was also put on daily tablets for my heartburn. I was on these tablets for a year until again the doctors found out this was down to stress. So before you go ringing 999, try to think if any part of you may be anxious and if deep down you are worrying about something, because the chances are it’s nothing serious.

3). Know your body- Anxiety makes us so irrational with so many things, however, it’s important that that very faint voice in the back of our head is heard sometimes, this is the rational voice. Remember that you are the only one that knows what every part of your body looks like and how you feel on a daily basis. You will know deep down in that rational voice, if you really do feel something is wrong. If you know you’re just being a bit irrational and a little bit dramatic then try to take a step back and listen to the rational voice and remember…is this normal for you?

4). Be realistic. I don’t know about you, but during lockdown and the whole coronavirus period I would be worried if I had a slight sore throat or even felt fatigued. But let’s be realistic here.

OK, so you have no energy and you feel tired…but did you get a good sleep last night and have you been to the gym today?

Okay, you have a sore throat, but did you go out drinking last night or have you had enough water today?

Maybe you do have a cough and a little sniffle, but the common cold is called this for a reason.It’s likely that we’ll all get one in a year, maybe even a few. But there’s nothing to worry about, and as long as you look after yourself and it doesn’t go on for long periods of time, you will be absolutely fine.

5). Try something physical– By working out physically, it really helps to connect both our mind and body. Maybe try some meditation or maybe try a workout at the gym. Whatever it is, find something that works for you to help both your body and mind focus. Know your body and know your mind.

Okay, that’s enough for today. I don’t want to bore you with too many tips, but I hope that’s really helped anyone suffering with health anxiety. I loved writing today’s blog and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Remember to look out for next weeks blog on Thursday. Have a great weekend guys, lots of love.🤍

Disclaimer- please remember that if you feel there IS something serious, then ring the doctors or call 999.🤍

How can we be kinder?

Woman in Gray Crew Neck T-shirt and White Pants Sitting on White Round Table

Hey guys and welcome back to another blog. It’s a bit of a random one today, but it’s something that I thought would bring a bit of positivity to the week. Now last year, as a world we went through the pandemic and it’s had a massive effect on us all. We have survived the worst of it, yet it still feels like as a nation we are struggling. As a world over the past couple of years, I feel we have been experiencing a mental health crisis and to me this is only getting worse. Now we can’t fix this overnight, but there are small ways that we can inject our positivity and kindness into society to help those on a daily basis And that’s what I wanted to share with you today. How can we be kinder?

1). Buy from small businesses– Buying from small businesses has more than one benefit, for example, it helps an individual to build their business and to help finance their life. Having your own business means taking a risk…someone has done that, and they need your support. Remember that that small item you bought from them payed for their child’s lunch today. I’ve found that since buying from small businesses, my money is going somewhere worthwhile and to be honest I feel like the product’s I am buying are a lot better too. Packaging is more personal and customer service is on a friendly one to one basis. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for you to start buying from small businesses and making someone’s day.

2). Say HI– This is so simple yet so important. When walking down the street or walking past someone in a supermarket, I think it’s really important that you make sure to smile or say hi. We Never quite know what someone is going through that day, and if saying hi offers some comfort and hope for someone, then that means everything. What you also may not realise is that that individual may not have spoke to anyone for the past week. They may be lonely and maybe all they want is someone to say hi to them and acknowledge their presence. Make someone’s day tomorrow by simply saying hi.

3). Don’t just give at Christmas, give all the time- I don’t mean go buying extravagant gifts all year round…but if you know someone is going through a tough time, why not get them a card, drop them a nice text message or pop round with a bunch of flowers? It’s never the big gifts that people remember, it’s the small unexpected gifts. It’s not the ones that they asked for, it’s the ones that are thoughtful, and it’s the gifts that come at the time they most need it. So for the price of 49p and about 5 minutes to write a thoughtful message, why not send a card to your friend today?

4). Give compliments- And by this I don’t mean forced compliments, but if you genuinely think that someone looks nice or you like what they’re wearing, tell them! I’ve had days where I felt so unconfident and rubbish and an unexpected compliment has gone such a long way. Imagine if a few words could make someone’s day. You really do have the power to make someone feel good again.

5). Be patient- If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to be patient. The world has slowed down and therefore so should we. If you go to a restaurant and something is out of stock, don’t be rude about it, just accept it and move on. There are currently shortages everywhere and people are struggling to find staff.

If you ask someone to do a job for you and they’re taking a little longer than you’d like, don’t get angry with them, you don’t know what they are going through right now. It might have taken them everything to just get out of bed this morning. I know it can be annoying sometimes waiting for things or queuing, but don’t be mad about it, because that only makes the situation worse. Remember that we are all in this together and that at the end of the day…we are only human. Be patient and be kind.

6). Leave reviews- This is really important, especially when buying from small businesses. People need your feedback to create their empire. The kindest thing that you can do for a business is to let people know how good their products are and that you should visit them too. It might only take you a couple of minutes, but it can go such a long way for an individual with a business. This also goes for bad reviews too. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is let everyone know about what not to buy as well. Don’t let someone go and waste their money on something that you know was no good. If there really was something wrong with the product, leave a review and let people know. But also remember to do this in the kindest way possible. Reviews are the one thing that lead me to finally purchasing something. If I get to see a real photo of what someone bought, it always leads me to then feel I can buy it too. So remember what a positive 5 minute review can do for a business.

High angle crop unrecognizable female in blue sweater demonstrating small wrapped present box on hands

I guess what I’m trying to say today is let’s spread some Christmas cheer before it’s even Christmas. Be kind, let people know you are happy they are here with you, and go that little extra mile for someone. We are all struggling in our own ways and we don’t get things right all the time, but what’s important is that we do try to inject a little bit of kindness on a day to day basis. We’re all in this together and I think it’s important that we remember that. So walk down the street with a smile on your face, leave a good review on TripAdvisor, and go knock on the door of your friend who is struggling today. Let them know that you are there for them, and let them know that they are doing amazing. And always remember that no matter what…YOU ARE AMAZING TOO!

Thanks for reading guys, have a great week!🤍

How to deal with the winter blues

Hey guys, hope you’re all well and having a good week. I can’t believe how fast this year is going, before we know it it will be Christmas!! As if!! Anyway I thought it was the perfect time for me to come at you with a a seasonal blog. And by seasonal, I mean our mental health in winter.

Now for most, winter is a good season. It’s hot chocolates by the fire, wrapping up warm, snow days and of course, Christmas….but for others, it’s a tough time.

The winter brings dark nights, shorter days, no vitamin D and Christmas time can be painful for people who have lost loved ones. It’s not easy for everyone. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a disorder which comes around in the winter and can leave people feeling extremely low and depressed. Having a lack of daylight affects our brains and unfortunately for some it’s not in a good way.

Now usually winter is my favourite season, however, I struggled last year with a winter lockdown, I felt low, unmotivated and in general felt sad. So I wanted to help anyone else from experiencing this, this year. So here’s my tips on how to shift those winter blues and have a great Christmas period!

1). Stick to your usual goals- I know it’s hard to get out of bed on a dark, rainy morning and I know it’s hard to get to the gym when all you want to do is stay on the sofa watching Netflix, but try to stick to your set goals. It might be a little harder in the winter but you will feel so much better and sticking to goals helps to motivate you even more. The more productive we feel, the better we feel mentally.

2). Keep in touch with people- Christmas is always a very social time for people, and its always a nice time of year….but remember to be social in the weeks before Christmas, and those horrible weeks after Christmas too. Make plans with friends and family, talk on the phone and go out and socialise. It’s important to keep connected.

3). Make plans- This is so important, especially after Christmas when all the fun is over. Make sure you have something to look forward to, whether that’s a day out with your friends or a little weekend away. Have something in the diary to keep you going.🥰

4). Take vitamin D suppliments- Vitamin D tablets are available at places like Boots and Superdrug and are only cheap. They’re a great way to start the day, giving you that little vitamin D boost that you lose in the winter. It will really help to replace the vitamins that you miss in the winter and will hopefully ease that ‘blue’ feeling a little over time.

5). Eat healthy– Now I don’t mean stop eating chocolate and I don’t mean swap your mince pies for a protein shake, but remember to fit in your nutrients as well as everything else. Eating healthy makes us feel good and helps to boost our immune system, so remember to still eat 3 meals a day and get in that fruit and veg.

6). Continue to exercise- This can be much harder in the winter months as it’s dark outside, cold, and the last thing you want to do is drive to the gym after a long day, but remember how good it will feel afterwards. Get that boost that you need this winter from exercise.

7). Take control– I think over Christmas it becomes harder to say no. You end up sending Christmas cards to people you might not even like and you might have to meet up with family you don’t get on with. Well simply don’t do it this year. You’re mental health comes first and we shouldn’t have to change just for the season. If seeing certain people or going on nights out makes you anxious then say no. Take back control and remember to look after yourself this winter. Honestly, try it and see how much better you feel.🥰

8). Don’t stress about gifts- The right people in your life will want time with you this Christmas, not gifts. I think the pressure to give and spend lots at Christmas causes anxiety in a lot of people. Once again, don’t let it get to that. Give to who you want and give what you would like. Don’t give extravagantly this year, give thoughtful and heart warming gifts. Don’t go bankrupt because of one day.

9). Keep distracted– This really helped me last year when I was struggling. With the cold, dark nights we tend to stay in more in winter and sometimes this just causes more overthinking time and therefore more anxiety. Make sure to have things to do this year. Get your head stuck into a jigsaw, spend the evenings making handmade Christmas cards or maybe bake some mince pies. Whatever it is, keep that mind busy and distracted to prevent overthinking.

Anyway that’s all from me today guys, thanks so much for reading and remember to keep positive and keep going this winter. You’ve got this and blogs will still be posted every week.🤍

How to be proactive and achieve goals

Happy Thursday readers, hope you’re all well! Todays blog gives out some tips on how to be productive, but not in the obvious way. I could tell you to plan your work, create a schedule or eat healthy to maximise concentration, but I wanted to give you some less obvious tips, things you might not have taken into account. Lets step away from the idea that working and reaching goals has to be hard and boring, make this journey the best and most proactive that you can! Whatever your goal, these tips will definitely be beneficial to you!

1). Absorb new information in different ways- Reading all day or staring at a computer screen can be draining and it makes it difficult to keep going. Absorb information in better ways, for example, listen to podcasts related to your goals. Go for a walk and put it in your earphones, this is a much more fun and proactive way of learning. Or you could watch some you tube videos related to your goals. Get a cup of tea, a pack of biscuits and enjoy this easier way of learning.

2). If you’re not loving it, then stop- We spend our whole school lives doing work we don’t enjoy. But this work is what sets us up for a life that we do enjoy. You will never find the motivation if you are uninterested, unhappy or bored, and no tips are going to make it easier unless you find something you really enjoy. Motivation comes from drive and passion, if you’re working, studying or aiming to reach specific goals, make sure that what you’re working for is something you enjoy and are passionate about.

3). Make your environment comfortable- As more of the world has moved to working at home, we have more flexibility on where to work. It’s important that you make your working environment comfortable. Whether you’re planning goals, writing an essay or about to endure a 2 hour zoom call, make sure you feel comfortable and at home. I wrote my dissertation on a comfy chair, with Friends on the TV, a cup of tea by my side and my pet rabbit by my feet. I looked forward to each day, because my environment felt stress free. If you know you’ve got a full afternoon of job searching, get in that rest day too. Put your feet up, snuggle in a blanket and enjoy the search, you will get much more done, trust me!!🤍

4). Have a plan, without the pressure- In order to succeed it’s important we create goals and maintain our progress towards them, however, it’s also important to ensure that your plan isn’t too strict. Being too strict only leads to failure, take off the pressure and do what you can. For example, in a week I plan to do 2 gym sessions and 3 runs. However, sometimes |I’ll feel like 3 gym sessions and 2 runs, sometimes I’ll feel like training 6 times, and other weeks I’ll incorporate extra rest days. Do what you feel best suits you at that time, by giving yourself a little bit of choice and room for adjustments, you have more chance of being productive. Reaching goals and being productive doesn’t always have to be boring and tiresome.

5). Take breaks– This is KEY to succeeding, in anything you do. Whether that’s physical breaks from training, time away from your laptop or a night off studying because you just need to get out with friends. Whatever it is, make sure you remember how important breaks are. When we take ourselves away for a period of time, we rest, compose ourselves and are ready to go again later on. Breaks are way more beneficial than you think and are definitely not unproductive. Sometimes being unproductive is the most productive thing you can do.

6). Have plans- It’s actually really important that whilst you are working really hard towards a goal, you have something to look forward to either in the evening or on one of your days off. This may not seem productive, but what’s important is that whilst you are working hard, you have something to look forward to,  something that is going to make all of this work worthwhile. Maybe it’s a trip away that you’ve booked, maybe it’s just an evening with your friends, or it might even be a night in with a Netflix show and a glass of wine.

7). Seeing changes- One thing that always helps with motivation and moving forward is seeing the changes that you are making, whether that is physical changes in the gym, seeing the word count move up, or seeing your savings pile up in the bank. Whatever it is, the biggest motivator is to see these changes, so take photos in the gym, make note of your personal bests, tick off your to do list at the end of the day, and keep note of how many words you started with that day. This will be such a big motivator for you.

8).Taking away distractions- As much as it’s important to make your environment comfortable, It’s also important that there are minimal distractions around you. For example, if you are deep within work or revising, it may be useful to switch off the TV and make sure your phone is switched off too. Especially in today’s society, it’s so easy to get lost scrolling on Instagram, scrolling on Tik Tok or even WhatsApp messages. This always takes up vital minutes of your day. So make sure you save your phone or a TV programme for the break you have within the day. I know it can be hard, but taking away distractions will make it so much easier and you’ll definitely thank yourself later.

So there you have it. My 8 tips on how to be more proactive and reach those goals of yours. I know this weeks blog is a bit longer than usual, but there were so many things I wanted to include. I really hope you’ve enjoyed, and I really hope you have taken something away from this. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you again for another blog next Thursday.🙌🏻

Dealing with post graduate life👩🏻‍🎓

I wanted to be honest today about what life is like after university. To be honest I’ve struggled with it a little, and I don’t think I’m the only one in this position. You work hard for 3 years, and have all these dreams and ambitions. You finish uni on a complete high and feel like the worlds at your feet…but in all honesty, nothing prepares you for what’s to come.

This failure comes in all shapes and sizes, from weeks of job declines to consistent mistakes at new jobs. Not only do you deal with this, you also deal with the pressures to find your dream job straight away. “Have you got a job yet?”, “Are you a psychologist yet?”, “Are you earning more money now?”, “Why aren’t you doing a masters”. And when it comes down to it, you question which career you even want to go into.🤍

After 16 years of being in education you’re on your own for the first time, no class mates, no teachers, just you and the big wide world. You don’t get lessons at school on how to deal with tax, saving for a mortgage, job searching and adjusting to the 9-5 life. Instead you have to fail and slowly learn from your mistakes, and that can be hard.

Anyway…with all this in mind, I wanted to give a few tips to anyone else struggling about how to deal with this crazy and confusing post grad life.🙌🏻

1). Remember that no one knows what they’re doing– You’re not the only one who didn’t get a book about life, no one else did either. In fact, most people are winging it, whatever the age or profession. It’s also true that people at the age of 60 still don’t know what career they want, but that’s the beauty of life, there’s always another path to take. Who wants it all planned out anyway?

2). Take your time– I cannot stress this enough. Please don’t rush the next chapter of your life. Take time to celebrate, take time to really think about what you want to do next and take time with the whole process of applying for jobs. Remember to take the pressure off yourself, the right job will come along eventually. Don’t compare your journey to those around you, because it’s going to be a completely different story to theirs.

3). Write down all your attributes– Being rejected from jobs and worrying about the future isn’t always great for your confidence. But the important thing is that you know how amazing you are and that any job would be lucky to have you. To remember what you can bring to a job, write down all your talents, good attributes and things you like about yourself. This is always a good confidence booster and it reminds of things you can talk about in an interview, big yourself up!

4). Try every avenue- You never know what’s out there unless you really search. Think of all the options, apply to all job sites, use apps like LinkedIn, create a network and don’t be afraid to get into contact with different people. Be open to it all. There’s probably a dream job role out there that you didn’t even know existed!

5). Have a good support network around you- Getting used to this new chapter in your life can be hard, so make sure you have support around you. Meet up with friends and seek advise and support from your family/ loved ones. In the tough times it always becomes clear who really matters in your life. Don’t do this all alone.

6). Volunteer– Remember you can try things first, with no strings attached. Volunteer in different roles and see what you like.

7). Take risks- Life’s too short to regret. If you want to start your own business, do it now! If things don’t work out, just learn from your mistakes and try again. You will never regret trying.🤍

8). Have fun– PLEASE remember to have fun and enjoy this part of your journey. You’re so young and won’t get this time back so go out, spend time with friends and family and make memories. Work hard, but remember to play hard too!🤍

I just want you who is reading to know that everything will be okay, things always work out in the end. Keep dreaming, one day you will look back and remember this chapter of life fondly. Keep being you and keep smashing life!🥰

The truth about working in mental health

I wanted to be honest…I always am on this blog. I want to give anyone who’s considering the mental health profession an insight into the horrific yet beautiful world of mental health working.

I am currently working in the mental health world, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s something I am extremely passionate about and to be honest I just love helping others. But lets be honest…nothing prepares you for the world you will be thrown into.

1). You will hear some sad stories– When I say sad stories, I don’t mean someone who has had a bout of depression or suffered with years of anxiety, I mean someone who has been abandoned, bullied, abused and isolated, their whole life. There are some stories you will never be prepared for, but somehow they touch your life in some way. I start to question what a “bad day” really means for me, because when I compare it to some people, I’ve merely suffered a single bad day in my life. Now I’m not saying anyone’s suffering is any less or more than the next person, but it makes you think about what you really have in life.

2). It becomes extremely hard to switch off- Unlike some jobs, it’s not easy to come home, put the day behind you and get on with your night…you bring things home with you. Stories, worries and memories. It can be hard to leave behind certain individuals without wondering how they will cope with the rest of the day or how they will sleep tonight. Over time you will learn how to switch off (I’m still learning) but please keep this in mind.🤍

3). Some days are harder than others– Like any other job, some days are tough and you HAVE to look after yourself. Talk to a loved one when you come home, let them know if anything upset you today, because some days can be really hard. Make sure you put time aside to look after your own mental health (I’m really going to try more with this one).

4). You will be uplifted- As much as it can be sad and hard at times, seeing someone smile and knowing that you have put the smile there is the most rewarding thing in the world. The odd nice comment, the odd laugh and the odd thank you. It makes every hard day worth it. Remember why you started…to change someone’s life.❤️

5). You will be mentally and physically drained– Honestly. It is draining sometimes. Listening, helping, advising, problem solving and pulling someone out of the darkest time of their life…it can be hard on the mind. But just be honest with yourself. Admit when you need a break and remember that you are allowed to take a step back.

6). You will be treated badly at times- Sometimes you will be the only person an individual sees in a day. Therefore you’ll get the good, the bad and the ugly too. Sometimes you have to be tough and people don’t like that. It’s important that you don’t take any negative comments/ verbal abuse personally…it really was never to do with you anyway.🙌🏻

7). You become someone’s lifeline– As hard as it is sometimes, remember that you are someone’s life line…their only friend, their only support and their only shoulder to cry on. This is an honour, cherish it and remember how amazing you are for wanting to help people. You have a purpose in life and that is truly beautiful.❤️

I hope my honesty has come through in this blog. As hard as my job is, I know how important it is and there’s something so special about making someone’s life better. If you’re considering this path, remember what I’ve said, and remember that you are amazing and capable of anything.🙌🏻

Dealing with trauma

Trauma can be many things. Trauma may be due to a breakup, the sudden loss of loved one, an accident you had, or bullying you experienced as a child…whatever it is, trauma is damaging and it can be seriously damaging for our mental health.

In fact, a lot of mental illnesses are triggered by trauma.

Im lucky to have never experienced the typical trauma you may think, but honestly I think we all have different levels of trauma in our life…and in my opinion a lot of my anxiety disorders are due to little traumas in my life. Actually…in my opinion the reason we are in a mental health crisis right now is because for a lot of people this whole pandemic has been a trauma. Think about that for a second. Do you agree?

Anyway, I wanted to share with you my experiences of dealing with trauma in hope that it may help someone else…so let’s get started.🥰

How to deal with trauma

1). Let it all out (emotionally)– This is the biggest key to overcoming trauma. CRY. In fact scream if you have to. Crying is a great way to release how we’re feeling, especially when the emotion is extremely deep. Trauma may lead us to cry for days on end, but it’s good. It helps our brain to let go of what we’re holding onto, it’s a natural way to release emotional pain. Remember that crying is a GOOD thing. Holding onto trauma and ignoring it, only makes the process longer. We have to grieve, whether that’s over a person or a situation, please don’t hold back those tears.

2). Let it all out (verbally)- TALK! I cannot stress this enough. Did you know that there is a period of time after a traumatic event where post traumatic stress disorder can be prevented. And this is prevented by talking/ processing what happened. It’s important that both your feelings/ emotions are addressed. Talk to loved ones, or talk to a therapist if that would help. It’s important for you to make sense of things in your own mind.🖤

3). Give yourself time- You have to remember that these things take time, a lot more time than you think. Don’t worry if you’re still upset, it may be raw for a while, and there is no time limit to overcoming these things. Give yourself time, and remember how amazing you are doing.❤️

4). Keep busy– As much as it’s good to process things and keep talking, it’s also good to keep busy. Whilst you’re healing, surround yourself with those you love, keep your mind occupied and try to take your mind away from things from time to time.

5). Treat yourself with extra care- Remember you are healing, therefore you need extra care right now. Take the pressure off and look after yourself at bit extra for a while, you are fragile and that’s okay. Be sensitive with yourself and take time away from the stresses of life.

6). Practice mindfulness– Bringing anxiety down and finding calm is key to helping the brain over overcome trauma. Find what works for you, maybe this is mindful colouring, walking, meditation or yoga. Whatever it is, make sure it helps you to feel calm and content.

Anyway, thank you so much for reading guys, I hope that these 6 tips have helped anyone who is struggling with overcoming trauma right now. I know it’s hard, but I promise you things will get better. You’ve got this! Don’t look at how far you have to go, just look at how far you’ve already come.🤍

What I’d like to change about the ED (eating disorder) recovery world-

First and foremost, I think the whole understanding of eating disorders in the first place is warped…but I can’t blame anyone, because how do you know if you haven’t been through it yourself. This is why i am writing, to help the medical/ social world understand what is required for recovery (IN MY OPINION).

1). It’s not the food that’s the biggest issue– There’s this myth that people with an ED hate food. Truth is we love it, and that’s the problem. Recovery is often focused on overcoming fear foods and understanding that food is good for us, but that’s not the key issue. The key issue is gaining weight…that’s where the real fear lies. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place, the way we view our bodies. So this is where the real support needs to come in. Gaining weight will be one of the most difficult parts of recovery for these individuals and therefore support should be upped at this point of recovery. Just because someone may be hitting their weight targets, it doesn’t mean they are recovered yet. This is a mental disorder, not a physical one.

Also…what about when an ED sufferer falls pregnant? Whether you are recovered or not, this is a triggering time…seeing your body change, gaining weight fast and experiencing changes in cravings. Support should be offered from GP’s the here.❤️

2). Therapy should be centred around learning to love yourself- let’s be honest…the problem isn’t with food, it’s with how the individual see’s their self. The problem lies with us, nothing else. An individual with an ED won’t judge what you eat, or how much you weigh, in fact, they probably think most people are beautiful…but they can’t see that in themselves. Why? Because they feel they have different rules to the rest of the world. No one else has to be perfect, but us lot with the ED…we do. We have to be perfect, we don’t deserve to eat like you. BUT WHY? Because it’s all to do with how we perceive ourselves. Therapy should be centre around us learning to love ourselves, and understanding that we don’t have to meet these standards…we can be imperfect too.

3). Patients should not be isolated (together)- If you’ve ever watched a prison programme or know of the life there…you’ll know that most tricks and prison like behaviour is learned from other prisoners. Most people end up worse than when they first went in.

Similar to this…If you’re an alcoholic and you surround yourself with alcoholics, you’re probably going to want to drink…and you’re probably going to be led into trouble. To me, this is similar to ED wards.

Yes you can encourage each other but this disorder can be mean, it can turn you into a liar, and turn you into an addict. You’ll end up speaking all day about food, restriction, and constantly hearing stories of how to avoid meals, how to lose weight fast, and the trauma of being surrounded by ill individuals like you, can make things a lot worse.

Home comforts are everything. It’s nice to be reminded that you are normal. Just because an individual may be suffering, it doesn’t mean they should be dehumanised….into a prisoner/ a patient. It’s important the individual is comfortable, with family, friends and with people who will only aid recovery. Don’t isolate us.

4). Teach us long term survival mechanisms– Sometimes, especially with eating disorders like anorexia, recovery is focused on the individual becoming healthy and being deemed well enough to carry on normal life….but the bigger picture is often forgot about. What we need is tools that we can use for the rest of our life. Eating disorders can be triggered at different parts in an individuals life…we need to know how to cope with change in the future, how to cope with life when we lose control, and how to deal with hurdles we haven’t learnt how to face yet. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a great way to help an individual learn how to deal with situations themselves. Unfortunately ED recovery is for life…it’s something we have to keep on top of, especially when we might be triggered in the future.

Like I say, all of this is in my opinion and in no way fact. But this topic is something I am so passionate about and I’d like my voice to be heard one day. Thanks so much for reading, and If you are struggling with an eating disorder or any type of mental stress, please don’t hesitate to ask for help. You’ve got this💪🏻