Out of all of my mental struggles, I am lucky enough to have never suffered from depression…but I know loved ones who have. It’s something that I wish I could blog about, but how can I when I have no clue what life with depression is really like?
The one thing I do know though is I think depression is still misunderstood in areas of society. It’s not just a ‘phase’, its not just a result of trauma and its not just a mental disorder…its a DISEASE. It draws those suffering away from family, friends, life and takes away all rational ways of thinking.
Depression is a pandemic in its own form, its scary, fast spreading and takes away the lives of too many suffering.
So what can we do as those who aren’t suffering but have loved ones who do?
1). Do your research– No one’s expecting you to be a psychologist but the first step to helping someone is to understand what the problem is. Do some research so you have just a little idea of what the person may be facing. This will help you as well as your loved one.🤗
2). Don’t change your personality- they don’t need a therapist at home, they need a sister, a mother, a friend, a boyfriend. Just be you…listen and be a shoulder to cry on.
3). Encourage talking- there’s a reason “talking” is encouraged so much when it comes to mental disorders…because it works. When was the last time someone said “Hi you alright?” Probably yesterday. But when was the last time someone said “So how are you, really?” Probably not as recent. All it takes is a 5 minute conversation to change someone’s day. Let them know you care.
4). Don’tstereotype– Like I’ve mentioned before, we often assume those who are loud and outgoing have it all together…it doesn’t mean they do. Depression strips away confidence and personality on the inside yet creates a mask on the outside to disguise this. Don’t be fooled, be there and listen.
5). Leave some things to the therapists– As much as we should help our loved ones with depression, we can’t fix it just us alone. Don’t try to diagnose, medicate or offer therapy. You don’t need to do all those things. We don’t want you suffering too! Don’t put pressure on yourself to be the professional.
6). Know the signs- It’s important to know the symptoms of depression in order to know how to help. The more aware we are of the symptoms, the quicker we can help those who are in the early stages. Don’t be afraid to raise the question if you have any concerns, you could be saving someone. Depression isn’t always easy to spot, those suffering are good at hiding it. Just be aware if their behaviour seems different.
I am also not a professional but I hope these steps give you some comfort in how to support your loves ones experiencing depression. Whatever you’re going through right now, I promise you things will get better, these battles will seem easier and you will BE stronger. If you or a loved one feels they need to seek professional help then don’t hesitate too, the ”Mind” website is always available for advice. Please know you are not alone.
Thanks so much for reading guys…keep happy, keep safe and keep looking after yourselves. See you all very soon!
I’ve touched upon this before on my Instagram but really wanted to bring this alive in a blog. So what do I mean by dealing with happiness? Surely being happy is a good thing? Of course it is…but I think once we reach a place of happiness we are afraid of what to do with it.
This thought process all started with a day a few months back when my friend asked me “how are you doing?” My truthful answer was “I’m really good, in fact I’m really happy”, so why did I feel like lying, playing it down a bit? Why did I feel guilty for being happy?
Although advice on your wellbeing comes first, I don’t think we speak about the thoughts that often arise when we’re happy. There’s so many times when I’ve hidden my happiness because I know those around me are struggling, but in reality I should never have to lie or feel guilty about the current stage of my journey in life. We are all at different stages in our life, we’re all learning…don’t feel guilty for what you deserve. The right people will be happy for you too!
Not only do I sometimes feel guilty about being happy but I have this self destructive part of my mind that wants to think my way out of being happy, something that often comes with anxiety. “But what if this isn’t real?”, “Surely this is too good to be true?”, “Do you really deserve this?” “What if someone hurts you again?” This is something I know a lot of you will also experience. These bad thoughts like to remind us of the past times happiness was taken away from us.🧠
This is the ‘devil on your shoulder’, your anxieties, your past traumas, your insecurities. They like to think they are louder, stronger and more in control than you…but the truth is they’re only stronger if you allow them to be. One of my favourite quotes from Sarahbeth yoga is “the desire for a more positive experience creates a negative experience”. The more we overthink our happiness and long for more, the further we push ourselves away from it. Make sure you are louder than that voice of yours!
For weeks now I’ve been in a really good place, my mental disorders have been quietened and life is really good. Mental disorders take away so much from our lives that we think it will last forever or a bad day is just around the corner. But that isn’t the case you can be happy, I promise you. Mental disorders are a big part of my life but they don’t define it and they certainly won’t take away my happiness. It doesn’t mean a bad day is round the corner and it doesn’t mean it’s too good to be true. Happiness exists, enjoy it.
So what can you take away from this?
1). Enjoy the now- We lead such fast paced lives nowadays that we often forget to live in the moment. Enjoy the now and don’t overthink it, you’ll never get this moment again.
2). Be happy for yourself and for others– Be there for others and be aware of their emotions but DON’T compare your journey to theirs. If you’re happy don’t feel bad about it and if those around you are happy, be happy for them too. But don’t compare your journey to theirs.
3). Don’t feel guilty or overthink– you deserve to be happy! And if right now things seem tough, know that brighter days are coming for you!❤️
When we refer to the rollercoaster of life we are quite often referring to the lows. But what about the highs? These are what make life worth it. Enjoy your highs and learn from your lows.
Whatever happens, YOU deserve to be happy.
For now, I will enjoy this happiness of mine and continue to count every single blessing.❤️ Thank you to those who read every blog, I couldn’t do this without you!❣️
This week marks me leaving my teens and entering my 20’s and to be honest it’s been a big year for me, mentally, physically and emotionally. So I thought I’d give you an insight…..
It’s a only a year I know, but I feel like it’s been one of the most important of my life. I always thought I understood my mind and it’s abnormalities, I’ve always lived with OCD and anxiety and I thought I knew what my new demons were. It turns out I didn’t know as much as I thought.
I entered my 19th year happy and hopeful but with the presence of uncontrollable demons. As I discussed in my ‘eating disorder’ blog, I started my journey of self recovery this year and in September I seemed to have really left these demons behind (never give up). Then later in the month something happened…. leaving me alone, with no option but to pick myself off the ground and carry on. So I made the decision to make the next 6 months all about me. This began my journey of self discovery. My life changed.
There’s nothing like a knockback to bring you forward. I felt strong and ready to take on the world. Firstly I changed from driving everyday to using public transport. Why? Because instead of being stressed every morning sat in rush hour I had created 30 minutes at the start of my day to relax. Sometimes you have to let others take the driving seat (metaphorically and literally). I listened to music and started to listen to podcasts, positive ones that helped to start my day right. I would then walk 20 minutes from the train station, another 20 minutes for me. I started my day calm.
So what other changes did I make?
I discovered yoga and meditation. Two things which I now implement into my everyday life. We often think that once we wake up in a “bad mood”, the rest of the day will be bad, but this doesn’t have to be the case. With yoga and mediation you can choose what mindset you want to be in for the day, always start positively. You can change the mood you woke up in to determine the rest of your day. You owe it to yourself to have a great day!
I also deleted social media whilst getting back on my feet. It’s impossible to really focus on loving yourself whilst looking at filtered celebrities on Instagram. People will spend more time longing to look a certain way than they will learning to love their own body. Put your self love first. I never quite realised how little time I spent being kind to myself until I really started my journey to body confidence. I started to be kinder to myself and my mindset began to change.
I also stopped putting so much pressure on myself. If I wanted to jump in my car and have a shopping spree, I would. If I wanted to have a bubble bath with spa music and candles in the middle of the day, I would. I realised that in order to really look after myself, a stressful routine wasn’t going to work. I still got everything done and worked extremely hard but we all need time off and life’s too short to always be putting pressure on yourself.
I also went out more, spent more time with friends and booked events. As much as working hard is important, sometimes we just need to let go of life’s stresses and have a good time.
I also discovered that writing is my therapy and I will never stop. Writing has pulled me out of so many dark places and it’s something I never expected to share with anyone. But whilst on my journey this year I changed my Instagram to be more wellbeing related. It seemed to resonate with others and a tiny part of me believed it could go further. So with a dream of starting a blog, someone gave me the courage to go ahead and do it. And here I am now…. ‘Loveyourmyind’ has now had almost 900 visitors and I can’t thank my readers enough. I feel so lucky everyday.
A few days before my 20th birthday and I am at my fittest both mentally and physically. I am always training both my body and my mind and I feel amazing. I never allow bad thoughts to defeat me and I do things that scare me every single day. I have some amazing people in my life and I count those blessings every single day. In a year, I have learnt how to love my mind, my body and how to really enjoy life. Life is beautiful but we often forget to sit back and take it all in. Maybe it does take a bad situation for us to really try. But I’m telling you that a fresh start is available everyday. You can start your journey to happiness tomorrow, don’t wait, I believe in you.
This weekend I will be enjoying a big celebration of 20 amazing years on this earth. No one ever said that life was going to be easy but I like a challenge and I am so thankful for the life I am living. Don’t wait for a birthday to celebrate your life! Stay happy and humble…thank you for reading and making all my dreams come true!
What are these?– They are a package of ideas that we have about something or someone and often lead to assumptions.
To me, these are one of the MOST important parts of what creates the life we lead and I think they play a huge role in mental wellbeing.
As soon as we are born we are exposed to stereotypes. Our families and people around us label us without even releasing. As a child I was quite often the “quiet” one, the one that works hard, the kind one but also the one that worries about everything. So for years I fulfilled this prophecy, I remained pretty quiet, worked hard at school, made sure I was kind to people and also seemed to take on worries, which for years I was happy with. But what I want to know is if I’d never been labelled any of these things…would I have been different?
Now lets take it to a few years on….I’d been diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder). Don’t get me wrong, from knowing this diagnosis it led to the journey of who I am today and led me to receive the right treatment. However, from that day I had made a stamp on my brain.
‘It’s okay to worry about everything because you have OCD’
‘It’s okay to overthink every situation because you have OCD’
‘Try not to get too upset about these intrusive thoughts, it’s just your OCD’
How will I ever let my mind heal if I already tell it it’s ‘OCD ridden’? The more I label my brain, the more it will fulfil its prophecy, the same as the characteristics we are given at birth.
Now im not saying mental illnesees are created by you because science tells us they are not..but what if I told you you could retrain your mind?🧠
I’ve decided to embark on a mission to retrain my mind…now I know it won’t be easy but I want to try it for all of you who are struggling. I want to see if what therpiats say is actually true.
‘I won’t be a worrier, that’s not me’
‘I don’t have OCD, it was something I once had when I needed some protection’
‘I am not insecure, I am confident’
‘I am not quiet, I am bubbly’
The very place that creates your bad thoughts, is the very place that can diminish them and I think too many people forget that. I believe that whatever is developed can be changed. There are people that have got rid of their OCD and I will try my whole life to be one of those people too.
Never let an experience, a label or a mental illness define who you are. I promise you, you can be whoever you want to be, I believe In you. Retrain you brain to believe who you want to be.❤️
Now I’m sure we’ve all heard this phrase before, like when an individual goes travelling or takes a year out before university. But what does it mean to “find yourself” and why at the age of 19 do I experience the pressure of this more than ever?
To me, by saying we want to “find ourselves” we create this negative connotation that in order to do this, we must have been lost in the first place. But that’s not true. That’s why I’m replacing it with my phrase of…”knowing yourself”.
I think the key to happiness is having knowledge of who you are as a person. Having this knowledge gives you the power to know how to fix yourself on a bad day, how to predict your own behaviour and how to improve relationships in your life. It’s also the key to being happy on your own. Being alone doesn’t mean loneliness when you can enjoy your own company.
I want you to really learn to “know yourself”, here’s how…
1). Behaviour – this involves knowing your behaviour and being able to predict how you’ll react in specific situations. Learn your patterns of behaviour and know how your mind works. When you already know how you’re going to react, you have time to prepare and you have time to control yourself. For example, I can often stop a panic attack before it’s even happened…because I know how I work.
2). Attitudes– How can you stand up for yourself when you don’t even know what you believe? Social media and the news have such a negative effect on the opinions we create and adapt to. So before anyone can change your beliefs, know what you believe in and stand up for what you think is right. Being true to yourself allows a healthier relationship with your inner self. Don’t confuse it… it creates an unstable balance.
3).Knowing what makes you happy- I often think people spend their whole life searching for happiness without even really knowing what they want. Before finding happiness in the things that make others happy….work out what makes you happy first. I discovered that, for me, happiness is in the tiniest things. A 10 minute yoga session, a good coffee or a hug from a loved one. My happy isn’t necessarily your happy. But you deserve to be happy everyday…..find what makes you happy and never live a day without your “happy things.”
4). Discovery– Imagine if there was something that would help you to find calm or happiness but you never tried finding it? What if you had a talent you never uncovered? DISCOVER. Try new things. Life is full of exciting little things and you don’t have to travel the world to find them. I found mediation, something which has changed my life. But it took an anxiety disorder for me to find it. Imagine if that never happened. Don’t let it take a bad place for you to discover what makes you happy. You deserve happiness TODAY, RIGHT NOW! So get discovering.
Don’t always assume that the happy place you’re in now is your limit. What if you can be even happier and calmer? Never stop discovering your abilities!
Living in such a fast paced modern day world we get caught up in the socially constructed life we are meant to lead that we forget what we actually want from life. When someone new asks you about yourself what do you tell them? Do you tell them about your job and where you’ve travelled or do you tell them what makes you happy and what goals you have in mind? Think about that next time.
You don’t have to ‘find yourself’ but you owe it to you to ‘know yourself’. When you know who you really are…it’s liberating.
Thanks for reading, have a great week guys, stay safe and start discovering!
The thing we all can’t live without. Is it generational? Nope, whatever age, as a world we are addicted. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, you name it, there’s a high chance at least one of these platforms play a huge role in your life.
Now social media can be a great thing…but it’s also one of the greatest downfalls of today’s society. We measure our popularity and achievements on a single like we recieve on a social network platform. Now tell me that’s a healthy way to live? I certainly don’t think so.
As a human race we are meant to be in packs, we protect eachother, love eachother and work together in a team. Although social media claims to bring people together, I think it actually creates a place of loneliness so dark it’s scary.
You wake up. Check Instagram. Seeing someone filtered and claiming to have the perfect life (even though these don’t exist). You then see a person having a flash holiday whilst you’re in a dead end job trying your hardest just to pay the bills. Without even knowing you’ve started your day on a low. Your mind is already negative. Remember your mind food….
You’ve already had an unhealthy breakfast and this is bound to effect the rest of your day.
In terms of me giving up social media this included, Instagram, Facebook and using only snapchat for answering messages. I also avoided any celeb news that popped up on my laptop.
So what was my verdict?
1). My screen time went down by 20%- That’s 20% more time that I’m spending productively. It’s also 20% more chance to fill my mind with positivity rather than negativity.
2). I felt more connected to my life- Often when scrolling through social media or watching a reality programme, you are disconnected from your own life as you indulge in another’s. This week I feel like I’ve spent even more time living my own life and spending time on what’s going on around me. It’s important to really find enjoyment in your own life and not others.
3).It was easier to escape bad mindsets- I always seem to delete social media when going through a bad time in my life and I think that says a lot. I’m not saying giving it up takes away bad days or bad mindsets but it certainly stops you from making a situation worse. If you wake up and feel insecure it’s much easier to get back on track and remove the thought when social media isn’t present in your life. That is a massive deal.
4). I felt less pressure– without even knowing, having social media creates a pressure we as humans don’t need. “Why didn’t you answer my message?”, “Why didn’t you like my photo I tagged you in?”, “Did you see **** have passed their driving test?”. “Will people see that I’m bloated in this photo?” “You’ve not posted a photo with your boyfriend in a while, have you broke up?”. WE DON’T NEED THESE UNECESSARY PRESSURES that social media creates! Keep your mind calm, keep your life calm.
5). I enjoyed moments more– I’m not saying that posting on social media is always a bad thing but it’s definitely nice to enjoy special moments without documenting it. On Friday I had a night that I’ll remember forever, but that moment was just for me…not Instagram. For every moment spent posting a photo, you take away a moment from the current situation.
Next time you’re in a bad headspace, feel insecure or feel pressured…step away from your virtual life. Be present in the now. How can we learn to love our minds and bodies if we spend our time looking at others more than ourselves? Someone will always seem prettier, smarter and better than you….but in reality no one is YOU. Really learn to love yourself for your mind, your body, your heart and not the amount of followers you have on instagram. Don’t compare your life, no one else can live your life for you….learn to really love what you have.❤️
Remember your mind food. Choose your diet wisely….
I challenge YOU to delete your social media apps this week. Even if it’s just one day to begin with. See what change it has on you. In all honesty I don’t even feel like redownloading my apps this week, I’m really enjoying the break. Thanks so much reading, I hope you’re all safe and well. Keep smiling, keep happy and keep focusing on YOU💞
I was afraid to open up about this part of my life, but how can I tell you all how important it is to talk if I’m too afraid to open up myself?
So I’m taking the challenge….here is my journey of my battle with eating. I hope I can reach out to anyone suffering right now.
To me I’d always seen an “eating disorder” as undereating, a skinny physique and something I never needed to worry about. This is completely wrong. Society is good at creating unrealistic representations of everything, eating disorders being one of them. They’re not about what’s going on on the outside, that’s just a side effect, its what’s going on on the inside, in the mind.
It all started with wanting to lose a couple of pounds after indulging on a 2 week holiday, which was one of the best times of my life. However, what started with wanting to lose a couple of pounds, became an unhealthy obsession leading to a vicious cycle and being trapped inside my own mind. Along with the pounds went my curves, my glow, my confidence and my happiness within my own body. Despite ‘seeming’ healthy to the world, I’d just began my new life consisting of restrictions, starvation, excessive exercise and therefore a very little amount of energy, making everyday tasks impossible.
Now it’s easy to look back and see all the bad decisions you embarked on but whilst you’re in that headspace you spend your whole life in denial. It’s like you’re protecting your disorder, whilst feeding it by listening to everything it tells you. We actually let a disorder control us to the point of danger. It’s scary to accept.
I often struggle classing myself having suffered an ‘eating disorder’ because in my mind I didn’t look ill and I wasn’t hospitalised, therefore I don’t have the right to call it by this name. But again, that’s wrong. An eating disorder is characterised by restrictions, constant calorie counting, over exercising, binging, having crippling anxiety around food and feeling fear when eating in front of others…you don’t have to be underweight to have this disorder.
Now i completely recommend anyone suffering with an ED to get professional help. However, luckily for me I recognised when things were getting really bad and decided to embark on the journey of recovery myself, I wanted to defeat this on my own. In my head, this demon was no different to any other id fought off before and if you know me well I wont let anything destroy me. It wasn’t easy. I had bad days, I had better days and I had days where I wanted to give up. But here i am today telling you my story, these dark places don’t last forever. So now id like to share with you a few ways of how I overcame this on my own-
1). Acceptance- The first stage to overcoming anything is accepting that it exists. You don’t need to have an extreme case of a disorder for it to be a disorder. Accept that you’re unwell and make sure you know exactly what is it that you’re experiencing.
2) Accept help- Don’t be alone, talk to people, talk to your family, your loved ones and it you need to, speak to a therapist. I found so many accounts on Instagram of people suffering the same as me, sometimes speaking to a stranger is a lot easier. It’s so much easier knowing other people are suffering too, you’re not alone I promise you!
3). Work out when it started- I’m not an expert but I know that an ED is often triggered when you have lost control of something in your life, the disorder is there to take the wheel because you might have lost it somewhere down the line. Work out what this could be but don’t worry if you can’t. Remember that disorders are actually protecting you from what’s really going on sub-conciosully.
4). Be prepared for the journey– Remember you’re not going to be cured overnight, this is a journey and it’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be worth it. It’s a marathon not a sprint but the end destination is the same.
5). Remember that food is there to keep you alive- Change your relationship from a bad one to a good one. See food as medicine, it’s there to keep you alive, not kill you. Take back control, don’t let this voice take away your human needs.
6). Talk to yourself- It sounds stupid but it’s easy to let things control you when only you can hear them. Speak out loud, “I’m going to eat this because I want to and because it’s good for me.” Be in control of your thoughts.
7).Set goals- Categorise your ‘fear foods’ and set yourself the challenge to tick them off. This might start off a fear a month, leading to a fear a week. The same as most obsessive disorders, when you face the fear and realise nothing bad happens, it takes a little more fear away.
I was so shocked when I ate a burger that I didn’t gain 10 pounds, in fact it was the most satisfied I’d felt in a year. “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”
8). Delete social media- There’s so many times I’d spend hours comparing myself to others on the internet, thinking I needed to look the same. Don’t do it to yourself! Remember your mind food, check what you’re exposing your mind to. Right now you might need some time out from others filtered pictures. You are enough just the way you are, don’t ever change for anyone!
9). Remember what matters in life- I know it’s hard overcoming a disorder like this and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight but there are a couple of things that really made me see sense in my darkest times. These being-
-As you get older will you remember the time you and your family had a BBQ and danced till dawn or will you remember the time you didn’t eat your own birthday cake because it had many calories? Will your loved one remember the amazing, kind and caring person you were or will they remember the number on your scales at each stage of your life? We have these small moments in life where we are in complete awe od the world we live in and the life we have, let me tell you, none of these moments are defined by the way you looked or how much you weighed. Count your blessings and not your calories. Good looks don’t last forever but good memories do. Remember what matters in life….YOU matter and this illness will destroy you if you don’t take control now!❤️
Illnesses like this don’t discriminate, they affect men and women of all ages and sizes and too many people sadly let this illness take their life. If my story can save just one person I will be eternally grateful. If you notice any of these signs mentioned in someone, please keep an eye on them and be wary as to how you treat them. Remember it’s not how they look but how they act. Look after yourselves and look after eachother!💞
My journey isn’t over yet, but I can admit that I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been. I promise you true happiness exists. I won’t ever use my stories for attention but I will use them to do good. Thank you to those who carried me on my bad days, I am forever grateful for the life I have. Thank you so much for reading, keep smiling!🥰
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!❤️
As you know from my previous blog, this week is mental heath awareness week and this year the theme is “kindness”.
We all know what kindness is but how much real kindness do we receive on a daily basis? We are now in an era where kindness is there at the touch of a hand, a nice comment on Instagram or a ‘love’ reaction on Facebook, but is this type of kindness really enough to keep our mental state healthy? When was the last time someone went above and beyond for you and when was the last time you really took care of yourself?
Although our kindness towards others is very important, I thought I’d focus on another type of kindness today, one we often ignore…the kindness towards ourselves.
Now, I’m sat here on a beautiful evening trying to rack my brains for ideas for this blog, its mental health week so I want this to be perfect. But I just realised that this blog isn’t me forcing myself to write the perfect piece, its real and truthful. And to be honest no good writing is ever created by being forced, its natural and flowing. But this fits in perfectly with the idea of self kindness.
Whilst sitting here trying to write to perfection after a long, tiring day I’ve realised I’m not being kind to myself. How can I sit here fatigued and unmotivated when I’m supposed to be telling you about self kindness. So here is my plan-
1). I’m going to run a bath, switch off my phone and have some real ME time, I’ve felt mentally unstable the past couple of days and know when I need to just stop.
2). I’m going to congratulate myself on surviving the day and give myself a pat on the back for the amazing job that I’m doing, just getting through the day.
3). If I don’t feel like exercising tomorrow, I wont. It’s a tough one for me, I find it hard to stop sometimes when really I should listen to both my mind and my body…we all need rest days.
4). I’m going to give myself a break- I try so hard trying to get things done whilst forgetting that my mental health isn’t great this week. I need to stop trying to win at life everyday. I’m exhausted and can’t quite control my thoughts (a sign that you need to reflect and take some time out).
So how can you be kinder to yourself?
1). Speak kindly to yourself- You might speak to others kindly but do you speak kindly to yourself? Look yourself in the mirror and speak kind words to your mind and your body- “you look amazing today”.
2). Know what you need- It’s really important in life to know what makes you happy and to know when you need to stop. It’s respectful towards yourself. When you know what cheers you up it makes the bad days a little bit easier. Do what makes YOU happy, it’s kind.
3). Have something for yourself- I think it’s so important to have something that’s for you and only you. Whether it’s a book you’re reading, a Netflix series you watch alone or a morning run. Have something especially for your “me” time. “Self care isn’t selfish”.
4).Stop putting pressure on yourself- You don’t have to climb a mountain everyday you know. It’s all about small steps. Move at your own pace and stop pressuring yourself to get things done. Life shouldn’t always be stressful! Be kind to that mind of yours.💞
The sweet analogy- Something my dad taught me years ago. We all have a bowl a sweets and when we give our time and energy to someone they take a sweet (it’s good to be kind to others). Then if they give their time and energy to us, we take one from their bowl. Think about how many sweets you’d have in your bowl? There’s times in my life when I’d given so many I had none for myself, think about that for a moment. Although we should give our efforts and be kind others, we need to remember that we need some sweets too. No one wants an empty bowl. So carry on giving out sweets but also give some back to yourself. Be kind to you.☀️
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have an amazing weekend, be kind to others and be kind to yourself…today and always!🥰
I’m so happy that over the past few years the stigma attached to mental health disorders has massively changed. People aren’t afraid to speak out anymore and when we start to open up, good changes happen. Now, personally I think stigmas exist due to lack of knowledge, people being unaware about what these disorders entail and therefore judging based on socially constructed stereotypes, this makes speaking out feel scary.
I don’t want it to be scary for you. I want you to be happy with who you are. So today I’ve decided to clear up some misconceptions that I have come across about people living with anxiety disorders (all my own thoughts).
1). ‘If you have anxiety you’re quiet, socially awkward and unconfident’- This is completely wrong. In fact, people with anxiety are pretty good at hiding it after a while. It’s something that comes and goes and something with you learn to live with, it doesn’t define your personality in any way whatsoever. I have lived with anxiety for years… and if you know me well, I am definitely not quiet!
2). ‘If you have an eating disorder you’re very underweight’- Again NOT TRUE! An eating disorder is not defined by the way you look, it’s defined by a bad relationship with both food and your body, whether this is undereating, overeating or just a general anxiety around food. You would be surprised about the amount of people living with eating disorders that hide it so awfully well. Its important to recognise the signs of this disorder through a persons behaviour rather than the way they look.
3). ‘If you’re having a panic attack it will be clear to everyone around you‘- If you suffer with panic disorder then you know exactly what I mean. Yes, having a panic attack can be scary for both you and those around you and when its really bad, its a dramatic scene. However, suffering a panic attack doesn’t always involve the physical symptoms of dropping to the floor in pain, sometimes it’s only you that knows it’s happening. You don’t want to make a fuss so try your best to control it, to others this may seem like you’re not listening, mentally not in the room and often seem a bit snappy. Suffering in silence is an often occurrence for those with anxiety…so next time I ignore you, just give me 5 minutes!
4).’ When you have OCD you’ve got an obsession with cleaning‘- Not necessarily. Compulsions within this disorder can be in the form of anything! These compulsions are there to both distract you and protect you from the anxiety that is subconsciously present. For me, it was in the form if touching things 8 times (time consuming I know), for others it can be excessive cleaning, some it’s counting numbers in their head all day long and for others it’s random obsessive thoughts. Each debilitating and time consuming. So next time you see someone doing something out of the ordinary, accept that it’s just a little quirk of theirs. Its hard enough carrying out compulsions all day long so not having to answer questions is a big bonus for OCD sufferers.
5). ‘If you have depression you look sad all the time’- People who have depression are often the ones you least expect. We often assume people with depression are easy to spot yet a lot of these sufferers are good at hiding it. Just because someone lights up a room it doesn’t mean they’re sparkly and bright on the inside, take this into account.
6). ‘When you have anxiety you’re scared of everything’- Like they say, feel the fear and do it anyway. Having anxiety doesn’t mean you’re more scared than anyone else, you might just worry a little more. I still get nervous posting blogs just in case no one likes them or thinks they’re stupid, but it doesn’t mean I won’t post. I like to challenge myself to do something that scares me everyday. Try it tomorrow.
7). “I’m not the anxious type”-Yes you might not suffer with an anxiety disorder but anxiety itself is part of human nature, it’s a function that we all experience at some point in our lives. That’s why it’s important to know how to both control it and deal with it. My blogs are not just for people with disorders, they’re for everyone!
8). A different type of assumption, “You only write these blogs to help people”- Of course I write them to help people and I want my blogs to reach as many people as possible but I want you to know I also do it for myself. Writing has pulled me out of so many dark places and that’s why I’m so grateful that you read them…so I can keep writing. They help me in so many ways and I really hope they help you too!
Thanks so much for reading guys, I really hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it! Hope you’re all staying safe and well and have an amazing weekend in the sun. Keep shining!