For mental health week this week I thought I’d kickstart with a blog about the person behind the laptop…What does mental health mean to me?
When we speak about mental health, people often assume it is referring to the negatives, maybe a disorder like depression. But actually ‘mental health’ is the health of your mind as a whole, both the positives and the negatives. The good days and bad days. That’s human nature.
Now, like life, I don’t think we remain in one destination, I see mental health as a journey. In fact my darkest days have led me to my brightest. BUT I know these sunny days aren’t a destination and I’m okay with that…because in life, in order to find even better places, we must visit the bad places too. Appreciate the sun whilst it’s here but be prepared for a little rain too.
So in a nutshell, your mental health is what says on the tin- how healthy your mind is. So now you’re thinking, well that’s not fair, I’ve got anxiety so are you saying I’m not healthy? Not at all. Think of your mind like your physical fitness, you can be amazing at running but rubbish at swimming. It doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy, you just have different talents and abilities, the same as your mind. Again, disabled athletes may have the use of only one leg yet win a gold medal at the Paralympics. Just because you have a disability it doesn’t stop you from being the best at something! Physical or mental disabilities don’t define you..in fact they often shape you. My mental battles have made me the strong minded person I am today.
So what is mental health awareness week?
Again, its name gives it away. It’s all about removing the stigma surrounding mental health disorders, trying to increase the awareness of mental health and getting people talking. That’s what I hope to do with my blogs. You don’t have to be the ‘talking’ type to admit when something is wrong. We are not okay all of the time, life is hard and sometimes we can’t cope. Once you find someone experiencing the same as you, it already feels like a weight off your shoulders. Mental illness is more common than you realise…you really are never alone!
So keeping up with the theme, what made me start a mental health related blog?
Having suffered with different anxiety disorders for most of my life, I found it led me to finding what really makes me happy, whilst also finding what helps me on my bad days and I really wanted to share this with those who need some guidance. I have used writing to pull me out of some dark headspaces and what better than to share my reality with those who are facing similar battles to me. We now live in such a fake, sugar-coated world that I think we need a bit of reality to know that perfect isn’t real. I hope my blogs show you this, I admit when life is good but also when life is bad. Filters can be used to hide your flaws but they can’t be used to fix your emotions. I really hope to reach out to as many people as possible, no one should face a battle alone. I’m with you!
So what can I do to keep my mental health stable?
If you’ve read my other blogs you will see that I love to give tips about improving both wellbeing and mental health. We all have different needs but here are a couple of things that I use to keep my mind as happy and healthy as I can-
1). Check up on yourself- In order to know how you’re feeling today you have to check up on yourself. Ask yourself “How are you feeling today?”. Maybe you’re feeling good today or maybe you’re not. Once you acknowledge how you’re feeling you can begin to know what approach you need to take today, maybe you need to take a step back today and give yourself some ‘me’ time.
2). Reflection- I talk about reflection a lot in my blogs as it’s something I find so beneficial for my mind. Simply using 5 minutes of your day to reflect on both how you’re feeling and what’s happened in your day so far helps you to remain in control of your mind and emotions. From reflecting half way through the day you can stop your mind from running off, it can transform a bad start into an all round good day.
3). Exercise- I don’t know where I would be without exercise, its so beneficial for my mental health. A key part of my morning routine is a 15 minute yoga session. We often turn to things like yoga when feeling stressed however, by doing it at the beginning of your day you’re guaranteed to start your day feeling fresh, focused and calm.
4). Positive affirmations- It’s so important that you don’t forget how amazing you are! Write down a list of things you’re grateful for as well as everything you like about yourself. Bad mental health often comes from our lack of love towards ourselves, give yourself some credit, you’re doing great!
To see more tips on increasing your wellbeing, make sure to check out my previous blogs❤️
I really hope you enjoyed my little introductory blog to kickstart mental health awareness week! Remember that your mental health and wellbeing is so important, we only have one mind so look after it and be kind to yourself. Talking is key! Please remember that my email is open at anytime for anything! See you later in the week for another mental health related blog! Keep smiling, keep talking, keep happy and keep healthy, lets take these negative stigmas away. Thanks so much for reading!❤️