I’ve always been open about my mental health on this blog, so in honour of World Mental Health Day on Tuesday this week I was going to write a whole post about how it’s all been since my last post about it back in May 2016.
But then I realised, since I was discharged from Time To Talk last summer, I’ve actually coped relatively well and have only recently had a few panic attacks and low mood that I couldn’t quite get control of. However, instead of taking 9 months to get better, I have managed to get back control of what feels like a never-ending cycle in about a month with the strategies Time To Talk gave me.
One thing I truly believe in is that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you broke your leg, you wouldn’t try to keep walking on it would you? No! So don’t keep trying to be strong when you need to look after yourself. After all, they say you can’t pour from an empty cup, you need to take care of yourself first.
Selfcare is essential. I don’t mean general things we do to look after ourselves like washing your hair or getting enough sleep (although those things are good!) I mean really taking time out to look after yourself. So here are a few things that I like to do to really help to take control of my mind again.
- Have a brew
(I’ve been drinking herbal tea and English breakfast tea recently, cutting my morning coffee out has really eased my anxiety in just a week or two)
- Do your nails
- Read a book
- Pamper yourself
(Bubble bath, bath bomb, bubble bar… all the bubbles!)
- Light some candles
- Take a nap
(I find when I’m feeling low I am physically and emotionally exhausted all the time so if you need to sleep, sleep!)
- Do some yoga
- Wear something that makes you feel good or do your makeup how you like it, even if no one sees you it’ll give you a boost
- Buy yourself some flowers
- Watch your favourite programme
(Friends for me! I must have seen them all a million times, but it always cheers me up)
- Declutter and clean
(Tidy house = tidy mind. If you have the energy, have a little clean up but don’t over do it)
- Totally the opposite to above but – ignore the chores! Leave them for today, they’ll still be there tomorrow.
- Snuggle your pet
(We aren’t allowed pets in our rented flat, but my goldie lives with my parents and he always gives the best snuggles!)
- Treat yourself
(I allow myself to have a treat during the week, as long as hubby doesn’t look in my top desk drawer there is usually some chocolate in there…)
- Use Pinterest for inspiration and motivational quotes
- Do what you love to do
(I find blogging always distracts me and gives me something to focus my energy on, one reason why I’m writing this one!)
After the low mood and panic attacks started creeping back in a month or so ago, along came the physical exhaustion, tiredness, lack of motivation and comfort eating. But World Mental Health Awareness Day made me realise how far I’ve come in the year since I was discharged from Time To Talk.
I finished my degree with a 2:1, I got married in July this year, I flew to Italy without my parents (Although I had my husband holding my hand on the plane!), and I started my dream job at the beginning of this year. I’ve finally been living relatively anxiety free for the first time in my life, and I’m not going to let my mental illness stop me!
The best advice I can give is don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re doing the best you can! And if you ever need to talk, you all know where to find me x