Mental health awareness week (MHAW)- Anxiety✨

Do we still have a caveman brain?🧠

This years MHAW is focusing on anxiety and panic attacks, one of the most common mental disorders in the UK. A lot of charities/influencers are raising awareness of anxiety and showing ways we can overcome it, but I wanted to strip right back to basics and explain…why do we have anxiety?

The way I explain anxiety is that our brain is still stuck in caveman times. Back then we had a mechanism used to protect us from lions/danger, this was known as our “Fight or flight response”, this was very useful back then and helped us to escape from dangerous situations.

Our fight or flight response can lead to lots of physical symptoms like an increase in heart rate, sweating, trembling, chest pains and the urge to avoid anything with may cause further anxiety.

As you may see, this was very useful when running away from a lion. But what about when you are holding a meeting, or paying for your weekly grocery shop?

Anxiety disorder leads to unprovoked anxiety and a false activation of our fight or flight response, which can be a very scary experience.

We have evolved but our brains haven’t. We must learn strategies to control this unprovoked anxiety and teach it that it isn’t needed anymore.

To anyone struggling with anxiety right now, remember you are the controller, not your anxiety. You are not dying, your brain is just a little behind.🥰Never stop living your life, take anxiety for the ride and eventually it realises it isn’t welcome.✨✨

Another chapter written

Well it’s that time again, new years eve! What a year 2022 has been, I’ve gone through lots of challenges this year but I can say all in all I’ve had a great year. I’ve grown so much as a person this year, I’ve made some amazing memories and I’ve been reminded lots this year that family and good health really are everything.

I’ve always struggled a bit with new year, I think there’s lots of pressure to ‘change’, make resolutions and reflect on the year. But I’ve had a change of heart this year…

One of the key things that I’ve learned this year and the phrase which I’ve continued to follow is that ‘the higher our expectations are, the more disappointed we will be’. True happiness is found when there are no expectations and unfortunately we live in a world now where social media has led us to have far higher expectations than we’ve ever had before. Our relationships should be ‘happy’ all the time, our faces and hair should always be ‘photo ready’ and we should always have extravagant ‘plans’ for birthdays and celebrations. What about if we let all of these go and just lived one day at a time, with no expectations and no pressure. I’ve tarnished a couple of things this year due to putting so much pressure on them ‘being perfect’. I wish I could go back and do them again, without the pressure and without the expectations.

Another key lesson I’ve learned this year is that the power really is within yourself. I always thought external things would ‘fix me’. and my insecurities. But the truth is the power is within yourself. This year I made the decision to start ‘liking myself’ again.

I try to speak kindly to myself when I don’t want to. Whenever I’m about to use an unhealthy coping strategy I turn it on its head and do the opposite. I nourish my body when the last thing I want to do is eat and I forgive myself for things which I never have done before.

I’ve always tried to strive for perfectionism since being young but the thing I’ve learned this year is that if you strive for perfectionism you will never be happy and you’ll only ever be disappointed… because guess what perfection really doesn’t exist. We will probably never be the person that we want to be, we’ll never look the way that we want, we’ll never be the person we think we should be and we will make mistakes along the way. But the truth is we have to accept that because acceptance is the key to happiness. Accept your weaknesses, accept your strengths, work on the things you want to change and accept you for exactly who you are…because I think you’ll find the things that you don’t like about yourself are the exact things that those around you love the most.

Whoever you are, I hope you accept yourself in this new year, I hope you forgive yourself and hope you begin to start your journey to self love. Because the power is within you, never forget that!

I’ve also learned this year that we can’t single handedly save the world, but what we can do is play a small part in hundreds of peoples lives. Forget trying to change the world on your own, because this will never happen, but make a small difference each day and you will play a part in changing someone’s world.

I hope that to all reading this, you continue to grow and flourish into the person you want to be next year. I hope you find your strengths and begin to love yourself, warts and all. Life really is one crazy journey, but take it for what it is, the highs, the lows, the laughs and the tears. Keep writing your story because who knows what amazing things the next chapter could bring. Love and best wishes to you all.

Louise x

How to thrive this winter- Part 2

Write down all the things you like about winter- This should include favourite Christmas films/songs, favourite winter activities and small things, like the feeling of getting into your cosy warm bed after a long day. Once you’ve created your list, look at it and try to implement as many of those things as you can in your life for the next month. Remember we are all worthy of living a happy life, do what you love!! What makes your heart sing?❤️

Use positive journaling- It’s important to focus on the good things, even when it’s hard to. I always get quite anxious towards the end of the year, reflecting on the year and thinking what I didn’t achieve. But instead I should be focusing on all the amazing things I HAVE achieved. Write down all good things that have happened this year, even the smallest of things. You won’t realise until this activity how far you’ve actually come!

Don’t compromise your mental health for others- Christmas time is the time of year we see lots of family/friends and people we haven’t seen all year. But please remember, no celebration is worth compromising your mental health for. Say no if you need to, don’t see those who make you feel negative, this time of year should be about peace and happiness, remember that🥰

Wrap up!- The one thing that makes me miserable in winter is being cold, especially when de icing my car before work in a morning. Wherever you go, whatever you’re doing, make sure you always have on that extra layer. It’s better to be too hot than too cold. Plus it will stop you from catching a chill❄️

Get cosy- Make your environment as welcoming and comforting as possible. Inevitably we spend more time inside in winter, make sure your four walls are a place you want to be. Put up some fairy lights or put on some cosy bedding, whatever it is, make it a place you feel at peace❤️

Connect with others- Isolation can leave us feeling quite lonely, make sure you connect with others over the winter time. Even if it’s just a call. Make sure you have a good support network around you🥰

How to thrive this winter

Happy November all! Wow I can’t believe I’m saying that, it feels like summer was just a few days ago, but here we are. For those who follow our Facebook page you’ll know that this month on Love Your Mind I am doing ‘Dark night diaries’. This means there will be much more content coming your way this month as I understand how tough these cold, dark days can be (they’re tough for me too).

Todays blog is following this theme of dark, long days, here are my tips on how to thrive this winter, especially those dark evenings.

1). Exercise- We all know how good exercise is for both our mind and body, but in the winter it’s so much harder to get out the door. Here’s how to stay motivated:

– If you work 9-5, take your kit to work with you and drop by the gym on the way home, (even if it isn’t on the same route). Lets be honest by the time you get home after a long day and its dark outside, all you want to do is get in your cozy’s and wind down for the evening. By going on your way home, you dont have this temptation. Think of it as the last part of your working day.

– If you dont work or work shifts, try to go in daylight hours, this will increase your motivation rather than saving it for the evening.

– Eat before you workout- The biggest excuse for not exercising is hunger. After a long day, if you’re hungry, you just want to get home and get some tea. Try to have a quick afternoon snack at the office, the same goes for if you’re working at home. If you are fueled you will have more energy and will therefore feel more motivated to workout.

2). Stick to a routine- Don’t stop plans because it’s getting dark. If it helps, think about what you would be doing if it was light outside. One thing I’ve been doing this week is clock checking, trying to remind myself that it’s only 6 o clock. What would I usually be doing now? Staying in with your own thoughts all winter can be detrimental to your mental health, keep meeting others, make exciting plans and stick to that exercise routine.

3). Get your nutrients!- It’s normal to want to eat filling and homely food over the winter, which is good, but make sure you’re getting your nutrients too. Vitamin C keeps those nasty colds away and Vitamin D is vital to keep your mood boosted on those dark days. Also make sure you’re getting enough iron, this will keep your energy up on those long, tiring days.

4). Change your perspective- It’s easy to see only the negatives of winter, cold days and dark mornings, but there’s so much beauty! Crisp autumnal mornings, cosy evenings in, in fact, it’s the perfect time to wind down and take a step back from all the hussle and bussle. Summer is always so busy, enjoy this time to stay in, cosy up and take it steady.

5). Have a focus– Towards the end of the year we quite often leave our goals behind, wait until the new year. But why wait? Having a focus is so important for well-being, especially when the nights are cold, dark and boring. Channel your energies elsewhere, keep working towards your goals, keep at your hobby and keep making plans when you can.

To be continued…🍂

Things that a trip to Paris taught me

Hey guys. It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, I’ve had a lot going on, and as I always teach on this page, during tough times we need to give ourselves more self love. I’ve tried to take the pressure off where I can. But don’t worry, I’ll be back blogging a lot more over the Autumn/winter period. It helps me just as much as it helps others, and this season can be a tough time.🍂

Today I’m coming at you with a blog about a recent trip I embarked on…to Paris. It was amazing, Paris is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go and I don’t think it disappointed at all. There were so many beautiful buildings and landmarks and it was so nice to be engulfed in such a different culture to ours. Since being back I’ve reflected on my time there and I thought it would be a great idea for a blog.

So here’s what my trip to Paris taught me about life❤️

1). Happiness lies within your expectations- The one thing that put me off Paris was the things I’d heard about “Paris syndrome”. Paris syndrome according to Google is “ a sense of extreme disappointment exhibited by some individuals when visiting Paris, who feel that the city was not what they had expected. The condition is commonly viewed as a severe form of culture shock”.

I get it. I wasn’t disappointed but the only reason I wasn’t was because I lowered my expectations. And as lots of experts say, this is the answer to HAPPINESS! We have such high expectations for how life will go, how our “plan” will turn out, and social media has made these expectations even worse. Expect nothing and you will never be dissapointed, in fact, life will exceed your expectations!!🥰

2). Social media is not real- The more you realise this, the happier you’ll be. I love social media and feel it has some good assets, but overall it can have a detrimental effect on our mental health and there’s lots of negatives. Most things we see online are fake, edited and set up. We see a snapshot and have absolutely no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. I kept in mind the photos I’d seen on Instagram prior to my trip. I was shocked to see how “busy” areas of Paris were. As I found out later on, people on social media edit out people in the background!!!! Another shocking thing is the road we often see famous Eiffel Tower pictures on. If you’ve been to Paris you know how scary and terrible the driving is. In order to get the perfect “shot” people have run into the middle of the road!!! Once again, we don’t know what happens behind the camera. Just be mindful, it’s never what we think.

A quick other reminder. I didn’t edit these photos, but I did post the one with blue skies and sun. For no other reason than it’s a nicer photo. But STILL a reminder. Instagram likes to show us that everyday is sunshine and rainbows, but as we know it isn’t.🥰

3). Be more child!- Whilst I was away I was lucky enough to visit Disneyland. It’s been a dream of mine since being little (like most people). And it did not disappoint in the slightest. What a MAGICAL place. To my surprise, there was every age you could imagine there. Magic has no age limit. Being here taught me that in such a stressful world, we must channel our inner child each and every day. As we get older and life becomes stressful we begin to lose the parts of our inner child that are important, our zest for life, curiosity, imagination and carefree attitude. When life gets too stressful, remember to have fun, find the magic and care LESS!❤️

So there’s a few things my trip to Paris taught me. It was a great trip and I would definitely return, but it was also a great reminder that we must make our own opinion of a place before romanticising it through social media. Keep real; keep the magic within you and remember that everything will always be okay in the end. Lots of love to each and every one of you.❤️

The difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack

If you suffer with anxiety, you’ve most likely experienced either a panic attack or an anxiety attack, but which one, do you know the difference?

For years I’ve suffered with what I thought was panic attacks, and don’t get me wrong, some of the time they are, but for the majority of the time I have and still do suffer with anxiety attacks.

So what’s the difference?

Panic attacks- Panic attacks often mirror symptoms of a heart attack, they come on very suddenly and are extremely intense. Chest pains, a feeling that the walls are closing in and the genuine feeling that you are dying are all symptoms of a panic attack. They are extremely physically and emotionally debilitating and you may need time to recover afterwards.

Anxiety attacks- Anxiety attacks have very similar, if not the same symptoms, however they are less intense, they happen gradually and happen over a longer duration of time. I sometimes experience anxiety attack’s for hours on end. I describe them as the feeling that you have something sat on your chest, you can’t get your breath, but you carry on your day, and a panic attack never quite erupts. I actually find anxiety attack’s more draining as they happen for long periods of time, and it feels like you are fighting in a losing battle each and every second.

So, there’s the difference. Panic attacks are quick, sudden and intense. Whereas, anxiety attacks happen gradually, are less intense but can last for a much longer duration, sometimes lasting for hours.

Both anxiety and panic attack’s can be treated in the same way. Often through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), talking therapy or in some cases exposure therapy (ERP). If you do struggle with either panic disorder or anxiety, you will find lots of tips on my page, however if you feel you need further support, don’t hesitate to speak to a professional.

To find more information about panic attacks, visit the NHS website ‘Panic attacks’ page. Linked here-

Thank you for reading, take care and keep shining, even on the days when it’s hard too.

My guide to surviving therapy

The idea of telling a random person how you feel can be scary and daunting. But as research tells us, it works. Therapy is something I would advice anyone struggling to try, it helps you to understand your own emotions, it helps to release trauma, and it teaches you coping strategies for life.

I have studied therapy in the past, I’ve supported people who are having therapy and most importantly I’ve experienced it myself, so I know exactly what journey you are taken on.

It’s a tough journey and often feels like you have taken steps back. You work so hard to be brave enough to start the process and when it’s here it feels like things are worse. But I can assure you that this is all part of the process. Remember…having a splinter isn’t painful, its getting it out that’s painful.

Mental health and trauma is a funny thing (not literally funny). It makes us believe that we need it to survive, and that letting it all out will make things worse. But your mind is wrong, let go of this disorder/trauma that is holding you down.

I wanted to create a little survival guide for those starting their therapy journey. I hope this can help and support you on this tough but wonderfully, liberating rollercoaster.

1). Remember there’s never a good time to start therapy- If you’re like me, you put things like therapy off until it ‘feels right’. You’re too busy with work, you’re having a good day or you have a holiday planned and don’t need the stress right now. If your mindset is like this I can assure you you will never get to therapy, because there’s always something going on in our lives and there always will be. But you have to make the decision that today IS the day no matter what. Take the plunge and do it for YOU. You can’t help everyone else until you help yourself first.

2). You ARE worthy of therapy no matter what- One of the biggest put offs for me is always thinking I’m not ‘ill enough’ for therapy. I look okay, I work 9-5, I exercise and I eat. Surely there’s worse off people than me, I’m surviving so that will be enough. NO. Mental health affects us all in different ways. If it is affecting you just the slightest bit, you still deserve help. When we get a papercut we still put a plaster on. Also. Things grow. Trauma that is left untreated can turn into much more than a ‘paper cut’, so heal it before it gets too far. There are no requirements for therapy, no problem is too big or too small and you deserve to feel free.

3). When you do decide to start your journey, let someone know- This could be a family member, a friend or a work colleague. You will need support on this journey, even if its just a hug now and again. If you don’t know who to turn to, remember the Love Your Mind contact box is always open.

4). Be patient- Unfortunately the current mental health system is struggling. People are struggling more than ever and processes are taking a lot longer than usual. This doesn’t mean people have forgot about you. You WILL get the help you need, but please remain patient and try not to become too disheartened when hurdles arrive. People want to help you and you will get the help you need, it may just take a little longer than usual. In the mean time try to stay hopeful, keep reading my blogs, practice self love and try things that make you feel good like meditation, exercise and setting goals.

5). Take extra care of yourself before and after sessions- If you’ve had therapy yourself, you’ll know the emotional toll it can take on you, especially straight after a session. You may have opened some drawers in your brain you didn’t know existed, you may have opened up about something you’ve been keeping inside. That’s tough and you need to remember that you HAVE to take extra care of yourself. Try to plan therapy sessions for after work, this way you can take the rest of the day to relax. Try not to make any plans, just relax and try not be alone if possible.

6). Immerse yourself in everything- The more engaged you are, the more you will get out of therapy. Be honest. Carry out any homework given and keep on track. The more hard work you put into therapy, the more benefits you will get from it.

7). Enjoy the journey- It’s a tough journey but try to embrace the ups and downs. There will be times’ when you want to give up, times you feel relived and times when it seems too hard. But this is all part of the journey, and I can assure you, the end destination is worth it.

8). Give yourself a break- Like I said therapy can be tough, emotional, confusing and uplifting all at the same time. Just give yourself a break whilst you embark on this journey. If you need more sleep, that’s okay, if you need to take work a bit easier, do it, if you need more chill days, just give in. Look after yourself because your brain is going through a big change right now, but the it’s all good change.

9). Remember therapy is a jigsaw- There’s many different types of therapy…CBT, talking, ERP. Each one different, depending on the individual and what they need. If one kind of therapy isn’t for you, find a new one.. Find which works best for you, and remember that everyone is different. This is your journey and no one else’s.

10). Fight those demons harder than ever before- Like I said, mental disorders make us believe they are good. They make us feel like we are wrong and weak without them. Mine have always said ‘The therapist will just think you’re crazy’. Or ‘You’re not ill enough for this, how selfish’. At the beginning of therapy, these demons will most likely get worse. But this is part of it all. They will keep fighting for oxygen and room within your brain. Remember the therapist is the good, the freedom and the truth. Let those demons go, no matter how badly they want to stay.

11). NOT ALL THERAPISTS ARE GOOD- I’ve heard some sad stories about negative experiences with therapy, and they do happen. Unfortunately not every therapist is a good one. But just be mindful, if something seems off or if you feel what they are telling you is wrong/not right for you, follow your heart and find another therapist. Like I said, its a jigsaw puzzle, you just need to find the right fit for you.

I guess what I’m saying today is. Therapy is hard. But it works. Find what works for you, work hard, look after yourself and keep fighting against these terrible mental disorders. Because life is WORTH IT.

Sending love to you all, and if no one told you today…You are worthy and you deserve to get those dreams of yours : )

How to master the work-life balance

Working is important, it pays the bills, it keeps us focused, it helps us to play our part in society and it helps us to reach our goals and dreams. But work is just a small part of our lives, it shouldn’t take up all the room.

So how do we find the right balance between work and enjoying life?

1). Make the most of your ‘after work’ hours- If all we did was work, eat and sleep, the only thing we would think about in a day is work. Yes you may want to just relax after work but if you’re part of the 9-5 gang, I’d say you have at least 5 hours to do whatever you’d like. Do something you enjoy, something that will take your mind off work and something that’s good for the soul. Go to the gym, go for a long walk, go out with friends or have a cozy night in watching your favourite movie. Whatever it is, make sure it fills your heart with joy and gives you thinking space away from work. If you have kids and time alone is more difficult, take the kids out for a walk or let them join in with the evening cooking.

2). Remove ‘work’ applications from your phone- I think most of you would agree, our phones are our down time, our time to switch off from all things work. Try to remove anything work related from your phone and keep it as separated from work life as possible. Maybe put LinkedIn on your work phone or just use it on a desktop, this also applies to any work contacts, keep them on your work phone away from your personal life.

3). Make plans for the weekend- We might have to catch up on a few jobs over the weekend, but make sure you’re having fun overall! Book a concert, go out for food, go for a walk with friends or take a weekend break in another place. Whatever it is, make sure you have something to look forward to, it really helps, especially when the work week has been a tough one. Also, by doing something completely different to work/home, it helps us to switch off and take our mind elsewhere.

4). Try not to work after hours- We all have days where we end up working a little extra, but don’t make a habit of it. Really try to finish at a set time. The more overtime we do, the more work creeps’ up to a whole new level in our lives, it becomes our every thought and we forget how to switch off from the stresses it brings. Work hard in the day, but as soon as its 5 o clock, its time for you to switch off from the day.

5). Use your annual leave wisely- I don’t just mean take all your annual leave, try to spread it out throughout the year as best as possible. Think about when your body and mind most need a break. I try to leave some annual leave for January, the time of year I find it the most mentally difficult. I will also try to take random days rather than full weeks, this means throughout the year I have a few 4 day weeks, sometimes a 3 day weekend is all we need to de stress. Also try to take a big chunk, at least one week, maybe even two weeks away. Having a big chunk of time off gives you real time away, time to fully detox and not think about work for a good while.

6). Take your LUNCH BREAK!- Sometimes in a busy day we like to tell ourselves we are “too busy” for lunch today. But you must make time! Even if its just 20 minutes, we all need time away from our desks to refuel and reset. If you do have time for the full half an hour/hour, try to do something that switches your mind off. Go for a walk near the office, eat your lunch with friends, watch something on your phone or ring a loved one. Having this much needed switch off in the middle of the day just helps us to keep that work life balance present in our day.

7). Be honest with your employer- If your workload is too much/ you are struggling with the pressure, let your boss know. The right boss will always put your wellbeing first. Don’t be afraid to let those around you know if things are too much. Reducing your workload a little is much more sensible that not saying anything and experiencing burn out. Your boss is human too, always remember that : ).

It’s important that we enjoy working as much as we possibly can. If you are feeling rubbish in your job and it hasn’t change for a while, consider a job that will be better for you. Life is to be lived, and we must remember that. We deserve to smile everyday, no matter what.

Thanks so much for reading guys, remember to take breaks, keep smiling and enjoy all the amazing things life has to offer : ).

Surviving summer with negative body image

Having a bad relationship with your body is hard at the best of times, but in summer, it’s heightened to new levels. I never realised how hard it would be for me in summer until I went on holiday for the first time in 3 years. It’s tough. And it’s a battle you often won’t win.

I don’t have all the answers but I know one thing, I want to help as many people as possible to overcome the feeling of hating your body. It’s draining, it’s debilitating and it sucks the fun out of almost everything, especially in summer time.

So to help as many people as possible, I wanted to share a few tips that I have come up with from my own struggles over the years.

1). Reduce your time on social media over summer- having issues with your body often leads to constant comparison. Comparing every inch of your body to those around you. And what’s the worst place for comparison? Social media. I am lucky that I have good self awareness and more recently I’ve been aware of the negative affects social media is having on the relationship I have with my own body. Know what’s good for you, stop comparing yourself to others and spend time focusing on you, that’s what really matters. Whilst everyone’s posting their highlight reels this summer, maybe take a step back from scrolling and look after yourself that little bit more🥰.

2). Wear less around the house- When you struggle with body image it’s easy to cover up and hide ourselves away all year round, so when we do get our bikini/shorts out it’s like a brand new scary experience. Get used to it before you wear your bikini/shorts for the first time. Dance around in your underwear at home, wear your bikini around the house, whatever helps you to get used to having your body more on show than usual. Accepting and loving your own body brings so much freedom, you deserve to feel good.

3). Practice positive self talk- Quite often, it’s not our body that’s the issue, but our mindset. Having negative body image can often give us a distorted view of what we really look like. It’s like you have a filter that only sees your flaws. Practice affirmations, speak to yourself kindly and remind yourself of all the amazing things your body does for you. When I struggle with my body I try to see it more practically. For example, my body is allowing me to walk along the beach today, my body allows me to swim in the ocean, my body keeps me alive so I am able to see beautiful sunsets. Thank your body today and give yourself a hug because it does a pretty good job.🥰

4). Plan lots of fun things- It’s a lot harder to think negatively when you’re having fun! If laying on a sun bed all day with your own thoughts is going to be hard for you, don’t do it. Plan a trip to a water park, play games in the pool, go snorkeling in the sea or go for a walk with a loved one. Good times and memories are what we treasure the most over time, not the size of our clothes.

5). Wear clothes you feel good in- Treat yourself to a new outfit or find a style you feel most comfortable in. If I feel bloated, I prefer to wear material that’s comfy and not too clingy, I also find it useful to wear bright colours, it helps to lift your mood and feel good. Find an outfit you feel amazing in and wear it on a bad day.

6). Surround yourself with people that love you and make you feel good- Being around those that love you helps to increase confidence and self esteem. Surround yourself with positive people that make you feel good, the right people will never want you to change. It’s also important to be around people that make you happy, smiling and laughing is the best form of therapy for the soul.

Remember this summer, look after yourself, don’t compare yourself to others, remember you are worthy, you don’t need to change and you deserve to have the most fun filled and happy summer possible!

Working from home- how to protect your mental health

It’s mental health awareness week (MHAW)!! A week that’s all about raising the awareness we need to reduce stigma and educate those who are unsure of mental illness and what it entails. I have been posting some short blogs over on the Love Your Mind Facebook page so please check those out if you haven’t already. The theme for MHAW this year is LONELINESS, something which we all experience from time to time, even more since the pandemic.

Now although I’m not specifically talking about loneliness today, I am looking at a topic which is very similar. Since having my own experiences and hearing from others about the impacts of working from home, It’s come to my attention that it can be lonely, isolating and be generally bad for our mental well-being. But this is the new world we live in, and it’s reality for a lot of us now. Being alone all day can be lonely, it can lead to us feeling low, unmotivated and a lot of the time leaves us being left with our own negative thoughts, which can spiral into depression.

I want to help those struggling and help to make your life at home that little bit brighter. So here’s my tips on how to look after your mental health whilst working from home-

1). Get dressed as normal- This is simple yet so effective. If you’ve been working from home for a while you’ll know how easy it is to slide down the slippery slope of rolling out of bed 10 minutes before work and working in your dressing gown. STOP. Our body and mind needs time to wake up and reset before a long day at work and how does your brain know it’s work time when you’re wearing the Christmas pyjamas you’ve just slept in for 8 hours?? Not only does it wake up your mind and body but when you look good you feel good. Give yourself a purpose to get up, what shall I wear today? Shall I try my new lipstick? if you look bright you feel bright!!! Plus, know one wants to smell of 8 hours sleep for the day.❤️

2). Plan even more breaks in the day- It’s really easy when working from home to forget that you need a proper lunch break. At the office you’d probably waste half an hour catching up with people throughout the day, remember you need these breaks at home too. Make yourself frequent drinks throughout the day, eat your lunch away from your laptop or spend your lunch break on a little walk. Our brains get tired and need breaks, the harder you work it the less productive it will be.

3). Move your body- Think of the steps you accrue naturally through the day, walking to the office from your car, walking to the shop at lunch time, walking up and down the office whilst you print/copy documents. These steps are lost when working from home, but your mind and body need that stimulation. The less we move, the more aches and pains we get and the more brain dead we feel. Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil at home, run up and down the stairs a few times, walk round the garden, do a few star jumps, or go to the gym after work. I always save my long runs for working from home days, it makes me feel revived and gives me a burst of energy for the evening. Not only is it good for our bodies but increasing your heart rate increases oxygen to the brain and helps you to stay focused. If you’re feeling brain dead and tired, get up for 5 minutes and get moving…thank me later!!

4). Stay in contact with people throughout the day- Got a question for one of your colleagues? Why not ring them instead of typing it in an email. You might not be at the office but it’s important to stay connected. Keep talking to people, communication is a great boost for our mental health. It helps us to feel less isolated and strengthens work relationships which are vital for a happy workplace. Also, why not ring a loved one on your lunch break? They’d probably love to hear from you. Whatever it is, keep socialising, that’s what humans are meant to do.❤️

5). Get out the house after work- Before the pandemic would you stay in your 4 walls for 5 days at a time? No of course you wouldn’t because it’s boring, lonely and makes us feel rubbish. So why do we do it when we work from home? Plan things out of the house after work. Even if it’s just your weekly supermarket shop, don’t save it til the weekend, get out after work and wind down from the day. Go for a walk with friends, get a coffee or even go to the cinema, if we don’t leave the place we have been working all day our minds will still be in work mode.🤍

6). Try to separate your office from your home space- This may not be possible for some people, but if you have the space, try to separate the place you work from the rest of the house. If you work in your bedroom, your mind will relate that room to work/stress/worries and you will therefore struggle to sleep at night. Let your brain know that the desk upstairs is for working and everywhere else is for resting/relaxing/sleeping. Also put your laptop away at the end of the day, out of sight, out of mind, that is tomorrow’s worry not tonight’s.🥰

I could carry on for ages but I don’t want you to get bored of reading so I’ll end the tips here for today. Thank you so much for reading to this point. Remember to look after yourself that little bit extra when working from home, you’ve got this.🙌🏻

P.s. In relation to MHAW I just want to let you know that I will continue to blog for as long as I can. I will never stop raising awarness of mental illness and want people to know that they are not alone in this fight. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me….lots of love x