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 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💪🏻

How to be confident in the gym💪🏻

Hey all. Now I’m not one for talking about physical health, as this site is all about mental well-being….but as you know both physical and mental well-being come hand in hand, and exercise is a massive part of my life.

I work out 5 times a week and it’s the one time in a day that I can really switch off from everything. I’ve always been a runner, but in the last few months I’ve really found a love for the gym, and I don’t think I’ll be turning back now.

I speak to a lot of people who know that working out would be good for their mental health, but there’s often one big hurdle preventing them from starting….confidence.

This may be due to lack of body confidence, the fact you are afraid of being judged, or the fact that you just don’t know what you’re doing. So today I’m helping you out….here’s some tips on how to be confident in the gym…so you can stop putting it off!🙌🏻

1). No one actually cares– As much as you think people do, honestly no one cares what you’re doing. Most people are just there to work out, get the job done and go home. In fact, most people have their head in the clouds at the gym, earphones in and their mind elsewhere. No one is looking at how you run or what you’re wearing…as much as you think they are.

2). Plan your sessions beforehand– I didn’t just turn up to the gym one day and work out what I was doing. I plan things. If there’s something I’m not sure on, I’ll google it beforehand or take insiration from a gym workout on YouTube. Don’t set yourself up to fail, be prepared and you’ll look like you’ve got it all together!

3). Buy some new gym kit– There’s so many nice gym sets nowadays, you don’t need to feel rubbish about yourself. Get yourself some kit that you feel good in, one that will help you to feel confident…even when you’re hot and sweaty.

4). Don’t be put off by what anyone else is doing– Just because the man next to you is lifting 40 kg dumbbells, it doesn’t mean you have to. Everyone there is doing something completely different…everyone has different bodies, goals and capabilities. Focus on your goals and your achievements, no one else matters.

5). Pretend you’re a professional– I do this all the time. Sometimes I don’t have a clue what I’m doing because someone’s using the equipment I needed…but I act like that was part of the plan anyway. Walk around with your head held high, acting like you know exactly what you’re doing…no one will ever know!

6). Stick on some feel good music- There’s nothing like a bit of Beyoncé to make you feel good…am I right? Get a banging playlist on and you’ll be strutting round the gym in no time.

7). Go with a friend- If you’re really nervous about starting the gym then take a friend with you! This is such a good way to help you build confidence, then before you know it, you’ll be confident enough to go on your own!

8). Look for a specific gym- Ladies (and any other gender) I know sometimes the stereotypes of gyms can lead us to feel nervous about going alone…well look for a specific gym. There are plenty of ladies only gyms and hopefully one day there’ll be some male only gyms too.

I hope these few tips help anyone struggling with gym confidence. Remember, don’t let anxiety stop you from achieving anything, grab every opportunity that comes your way and make the most of today!! Thanks for reading guys and happy working out💪🏻!🤍

The love your mind 7 day challenge💪🏻

Life has been crazy lately….in a good way (hence why I’ve took a little break from writing). I’ve graduated with a degree in psychology, had my 21st birthday, followed England’s crazy euros journey and been chucked into the post grad life overnight. But I’m happy and more grateful than ever. Although the past few weeks have been overwhelmingly amazing, I needed a little break from everything. I have to remember sometimes, that I’m still getting over my demons everyday, some days it’s tough and therefore sometimes I need to take a step back and take some time for me. It’s very easy to get caught up in Instagram life, unwanted drama and the pressure to say yes to people all the time…sometimes a break is just what is needed to remind us what matters.

So basically I needed A little RESET🤍

So I decided to take part in my own little challenge. It was only for 7 days, but I tried to concentrate on creating a calm and quiet environment….one which i hoped would leave my mind feeling refreshed.

So here was my 7 day challenge-

1). No social media for 7 days (unless needed for work purposes)- for me this meant no Instagram or Facebook. Honestly, this was the best part of it all for me. I thought twice about picking up my phone and I disconnected from everything. I felt so much better for it and may be continuing this for a bit longer. Sometimes we forget what life’s about when we get caught up in the social media world, it’s not good for us.❤️

2). Do something you love everyday- this might be the gym/ running/ going to the cinema or shopping. Just make sure it’s something which will bring you happiness! This was quite easy for me, but it made me think twice about how I was treating myself…and whether I was being kind enough to myself that day. It also made me realise that the smallest things are what make me happy…on one of the days my happiness was simply eating Ben and Jerry’s in my pyjamas whilst watching Benidorm😂(but for that small period of time I was so happy and content).

3). Drink 1-2 litres of water a day– that’s about 4-8 glasses- this is quite easy for me as I drink a lot of water anyway…however it definetely made me think more when choosing what to drink next. Sometimes a glass of water over a coffee can be so much better for us!

4). Read at least 10 mins of a book everyday- now this doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s not about how long you read for, it’s about getting back into a routine. I love reading as it’s such an escapism, but honestly…I never prioritise it…it’s always a video on my phone over a page of my book. But I want this to change now!

Plus if it’s a really good book, you’ll be reading a lot longer than 10 minutes without even realising!

5). Face ONE big fear within the 7 days- this may be eating a fear food, holding a spider or going to the place that you last had a panic attack. The best way to conquer a fear is to face it head on. For me, mine was a food fear. I ate out and ate lots of treats…but I didn’t stop myself from eating again later on. It’s so nice to eat out again without the worry of how many calories are in the dish!🥂

6). Buy yourself a gift once within the 7 days- because self love is so important and we often forget to reward ourselves. I bought an England shirt and still don’t regret it!🥰

So who’s with me on this challenge? If you want to feel refreshed and reset your mind, please try out this challenge too and let me know how it goes for you…it worked wonders for me, but I’m going to carry some of this on a little longer as I feel it’s needed for my headspace this week.🤍 Remember to do something for you this week, have a great week all!🙌🏻🤍

How to have an anxiety free summer!

Hey guys, hope you’re all doing okay and enjoying this beautiful weather…before I start, just a little update on me. I’m feeling amazing right now, and I’m feeling happier than I’ve been in a while. But I just wanted to address that, I didn’t have a day where I suddenly felt good again, it wasn’t a therapist that fixed me….it was simply growth, time and me learning about myself. I just want you to know that whatever you’re going through, there isn’t going to be a defining moment where everything is good again….it’s a process and things take time…one day the good days will start to become more and slowly things will feel okay again🤍….ANYWAY….

Today’s blog is all about how to have a good summer without the anxieties that may come with it. What anxieties I here you say? Summer is the best!!!! Well not for some of us.💛

With summer comes, skimpier clothes and naked bodies, something which is massively triggering for anyone with an eating disorder/ body dismorphia.👙

With summer comes, holidays, gatherings and festivals, something hard for those with social anxiety/ depression.

With summer comes schools holidays and the pressure for mums to “keep the kids busy” and “make their summer exciting”, something mums with anxiety will struggle with.

With summer comes, beer gardens, parties, BBQ’s, something which recovering alcoholics will struggle with.

So now you see how summer can be hard for some people…so how can we deal with this?💛

1). Remember there’s no such thing as a “bikini body”- I just hate that society has created this idea that we have to look a certain way for summer. It’s absolute rubbish and ruins the confidence of so many women at summer time. But honestly, when it comes down to it, no one even cares. I’ve never been on a holiday and been judged for the way I look…honestly everyone cares too much about themselves. We create this story in our minds that everyone is staring at us and judging…but honestly all anyone cares about is what sun lounger they can grab. The thing with holidays, is they are such a special and happy part of life…and for me, the best memories I have. Imagine if that was ruined by me staying in a dress all day because I thought I was too “big” to wear a bikini. Girllll, slap that bikini on, be confident and do nothing but have fun! Life is too short my darling!🤍and just a side note….your body needs periods of relaxation and indulgence!

2). Remember that you don’t have to change your lifestyle just because it’s summer- if you’re not the party animal type and you tend to stay in a lot….you don’t have to change that. Just because everyone else is out, it doesn’t mean you have to be, and it absolutely doesn’t make you boring. Socialising can be hard for some people and let’s be honest, we all need a night in from time to time anyway. Never feel pressure to say no to an invite, and don’t think you have to have planned an almighty summer. It’s just a little warmer, not a new life…we’re all different and you have to do what makes YOU happy, always.

3). Ignore all the summer stereotypes– Can we please step away from the constant “hot girl summer” term. No you don’t have to “glow up” for summer, you don’t HAVE to be single, and you don’t have to be posting hot Instagram selfies everyday. Just be you girl! Do what makes you happy and step away from the pressures of society, because no one will ever live a happy life amounting to societies values.🙌🏻

4). Remember that you don’t have to “let go”- Going on holiday can often mean indulgence, freedom and time away from everything. But use this time wisely. You don’t have to “let go” and undo all your good work….if you’re in recovery from something, keep that going because it’s going to be so worth it. Keep a healthy, happy lifestyle and remember that your well-being comes first.

5). Find other ways to relax– For anyone who suffers with intrusive thoughts/ rumination, the time of year where days off/ holidays often involve lying in the sun and doing absolutely nothing….can be our worst nightmare. Time to think is not what we need! But….get your head stuck in a book, or watch an episode of your favourite show on your phone….keep your mind distracted, because a distracted mind can be a relaxed one too! Don’t let them ugly thoughts creep through.🤍

6). Use the summer to your advantage- Although summer can be hard for some of us in a number of ways….let’s remember the good parts of summer…like the sun! Vitamin D is an amazing mood booster so soak up all the sun you can. The good weather also means there’s more freedom, more things to do out and about. Do something you’ve always wanted, be adventurous this summer…because we all know stepping out of our comfort zones if the biggest cure for anxiety!💛

7). Buy a new summer outfit- whether you feel confident in yourself or not…treat yourself to a killer outfit. One that will make you feel good, confident and one that reminds you that you are perfect just the way you are!

8). Make a summer playlist– we’re all prone to a few sad breakup songs on our playlist, but get them off! It’s summer time. Make a playlist that is good vibes only! One that will instantly boost your mood. Get it on loud, open the windows in your car, and sing your heart out with not a care in the world!

The list could go on, but here’s just a little guide for you guys. Thanks so much for reading..and I hope you all have an amazing summer! But remember it’s just an increase in temperature, you don’t have to change your whole life.🥰

Also, I will be drawing my giveaway next week so please enter for a chance to win! See the love your mind Facebook page.🙌🏻

Love to you all, Lou x

Skinny to strong- how weight training can help with eating disorders

This blog means so much to me, because it’s all about my journey to strength…mentally and physically. ❤️

First of all…there’s a lot of bad press when it comes to the gym and any type of eating disorders/ body dismorphia….it seems the world thinks the gym/exercise is bad for those recovering, but I’m here to tell you, I think that’s rubbish.

Yes, monitor obsessions with training and ensure that over training is not a thing, but I actually think it’s helps the situation rather than making it worse, and here’s why-

1). Weight training makes you strong, not skinny– A lot of cardio and exercise is used when people want to lose weight, it helps to burn fat and burns lots of calories, but weight training is different. As much as weight training burns loads of calories, it also (with the right nutrition) builds muscle and increases the bodies mass, something important when recovering from an eating disorder. We want the individual to gain weight, but in a healthy way, and one that allows strength to increase too!

2). More food needs to be taken on board- To say I sometimes struggle with the concept of having to up my calories, I actually want to when I’m training. There’s nothing worse than working hard in the gym all month to then see no progression because you haven’t eaten enough….it’s like all your hard work goes to waste. In fact, I recently saw on the news that eating disorders have increased since gyms had shut during lockdown…because what’s the point in eating when you’re doing nothing (that’s how we see it).

3). It relieves mental stress- Lifting a heavy weight and putting your body through the pain can be extremely relieving mentally. I often go to the gym feeling like my brain is going to explode and left feeling on top of the world. The chemicals released in your brain are good ones, and it’s a lot easier to push the body to its limits than the mind, it’s a nice change.

4). It’s a great distraction- Whilst at the gym/ weight training…there is nothing else you even think about for that time, apart from the activity you’re carrying out. It’s such a good distraction from all the anxieties going on inside the mind.

5). Changes to the body are positive– Like I said, weight training increases muscle, not the opposite. Whilst other exercise can lead to even more weight loss, weight training can change the body physically, in a good way. As shown in the pictures previous, my body has changed positively, despite gaining weight, I am more defined and a lot lot stronger!

6). It’s a great way to set goals– On hard days, it’s important that there is something to look forward to…a goal to aim for, and weight training is perfect for this. What are your weight goals for this weeks sessions, or how many reps can you do today? Small goals lead to small successes, and with that comes positivity and hope. Plus, going home with a personal best always sets you up for a good day!🥰

7). It increases confidence– Confidence is something that individuals with eating disorders often struggle with, whether that’s body confidence or just confidence in general…but honestly, having a hobby/ goal can really boost confidence levels. Just knowing you are capable/ growing is everything!

8). It helps you to change your relationship with your body to a positive one- When I see the levels I can push my body to and the amazing changes I see in it daily….I just think wow, I am in awe. To spend your whole life hating your body/ food, it’s important that this relationship is changed, and this can really help you change perspective. Be in awe of your body and what it does for you….it really is an amazing machine!💪🏻

Also, I just want to say, each body is different. Each body needs different food, different calories and every body is different. Some people are naturally skinny, whilst others are more curvy…but what I’ve learnt over the years is that we all want what we haven’t got. If you’re skinny, you want to be have curves and if you’re curvier, you probably wish you were skinnier sometimes. But what we can take away from that is….there’s no such thing as a perfect body. Whatever body you have right now, is someone else’s dream. Let’s step away from the way you look physically and remember how incredible and clever your body is. I feel grateful everyday that I have the freedom to exercise, because some people don’t have that option.

In a world that makes you doubt your self worth, loving yourself is a rebellious act! Love who you are, because who gives a damn what anyone else thinks. Do you FOR YOU.❤️

Thanks so much for reading guys, much love, Lou x