WE ARE WORTH IT….
24th June 2018
It’s been a tough couple of months with so much sad news in the press of people suffering from mental illness and taking their lives. It’s important to not only honour these people who felt devastated and alone but also to talk about how to deal with tough times so it never gets to that awful place for the rest of us.
I have to start by being totally honest, I suffer from anxiety and depression at times. I have done for a few years now, I didn’t even realise how bad it was or how long I had lived with it till I crashed and almost burnt out. Mine started through pressures of work and being in an unhealthy relationship. I also hate when people I love are suffering and want to rescue everyone, so when I can’t it makes me feel incredibly crap. I can’t help it I’m a bit of a hero to the rescue, I have been like that since I was a kid.
I can remember 2 of my best friends in one of the places I worked being bullied and pushed out. I felt so helpless but still took on their battles. I may not of been able to get their jobs back but I hope I helped them get back a little dignity and self love. I dislike bullies and their control over others.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do mental illness lives in all of us. But some control it and even get over it quicker then the rest of us. I have been researching and learning some awesome coping methods over the last year and I want to share and hopefully empower you. If one day you feel so sad and in total panic go to this list to help yourself. You are worth it and always remember that.
1 Stop and sit down comfortably somewhere and take deep slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do this for up to 5 min. It will calm you down and help.
2 Call someone that you trust and feel safe with. Share how you are feeling and allow them to support you and meet in person if you really need them. Don’t be scared to ask. I know I do and it’s so supportive having 1 or 2 go to people that have your back.
3 Go for a walk, but before you do it. Grab your headphones and download a podcast that will help you calm down and put your attention somewhere positive. May I suggest TedTalks, Marie Forleo and SuperSoul Sunday by Oprah. If you would prefer music pick an album or playlist that makes you feel happy and brings back good memories. Really important not to scroll and be on social media so damaging to your health.
4 That leads me to social media. You have to take daily breaks from these platforms if we want to stay sane. Enjoy them like a hobbie not all the time and defo not when you feel shit. It’s been proven that social media has been responsible for a lot more mental illness in teens and people in general. Why look at everyones fake lives when things are difficult for you? Be kinder to yourself and don’t add to your feelings of negativity by putting your attention onto other people that are hiding behind their pics and vids.
5 Repeat positive affirmations to yourself out loud in the mirror daily and write them down. Put them on your bedroom wall, ( On a paper, maybe don’t write on your actual wall) on the fridge wherever you will know you will see them. It’s your mantra in life, words that sum up the way you want to feel. It will feel weird when you do it at first but it will become easier and a good habit that will result in you putting out the energy you want in your life. I do believe in what you put out is what you get back.
Example Of Affirmations
“I’m worth it.”
“I’m kind, smart, talented and an amazing person.”
“I have people that love me and that I love.”
“I have so much exciting things to look forward to in my life…..”
6 Create a list of all the things you are grateful for, from your family to your career and health. Once you see how many awesome things you have to be thankful for you will appreciate how blessed you are. It will take you out of that bad mind state and help you back into a good place.
Sometimes when you are feeling your worse you can’t see right for wrong. That’s why I say carry a diary and pen in my bag to write down my thoughts and remind myself I have a load of awesome things to be grateful for.
7 Meditate and learn Yoga. This should become a regular thing in your life. Meditation helps you focus and calm your mind. Again it’s a lot about the way you breath and being somewhere totally chilled. I often sit on my sofa like a little guru and do it for a few minutes when I feel stress coming on. Find an environment that works for you and introduce this into your life. Watch how much it helps. There are great apps that assist and Youtube channels I would recommend.
8 Join a group like this one, share your worries and passions. Listening to other people that also suffer will make you feel less alone and isolated. Opening up is where is starts. As soon as you have done that you can learn how to not only control mental illness but also how to be happier. My besties and I talk weekly about how we are feeling and support each other, it helps loads.
8 Sometimes you can leave it so long before you reach out that you feel terrible. If that is you then please go to see a doctor and take someone with you that you feel most comfortable with. You have different options that will help from medication to therapy. Now both are big decisions but depending on your vibe and what can help your mind and body to work as a team both should be considered.
I know a lot of people in therapy and it’s incredibly personal and also life changing. Your GP can refer you and get you a therapist, so don’t panic about the cost. You have to put your health first and learn about all the ways to get yourself in a healthy and happy place.
9 Working out is essential and will not only make you look good but also feel good. I know it’s tough trust me especially when you want to hide under your duvet. But forget the gym for a minute, I want you to walk for a minimum of 10min every day. Put on a pair of trainers, headphones if you need to focus on something like a great album or podcast but just get your body moving. Take a minute to enjoy the sky, the trees, birds and walk it out. Each week build up your time by adding 10 min.
10min Week 1
20min Week 2
30min Week 3
40min Week 4
As you get fitter and stronger you will feel your body going faster and feeling better. Exercise will help you with mental illness, see it as a mate not a chore that you resent doing. The gym isn’t the only way to get results and I can at times find it so intimidating on tough days. Start with the walking, a yoga class and as you start to feel better you can explore other groups like Spinning, Running, Boxing and Pilates.
10 Nourish your body and mind. Eat better and drink lots of water. This can be so hard when bad food and drink has become your therapy and escape from mental illness. But trust me when I say what you put into your body totally impacts how your body works and feels. Learn about good food choices and also why processed food is bad for you and in the long term will not only make you feel worse but stop your body from staying healthy.
Start by keeping a food diary for a week and see what you are eating. Put it into groups like Fat, Fibre, Carbs, Protein. Most of us don’t eat enough Fibre and it’s essential to our well being as are all the other groups.
We eat too much sugar and salt in most of our food and a lot of it is hidden. Imagine if you had a dog and you keep feeding it everything with coatings of salt and sugar. The dog would at some point hate natural fruit, meat, chicken, fish, veg that is cooked fresh and not full of additives while getting a number of diseases like diabetes.
The same as exercise introduce a different better way to eat slowly you can’t change everything overnight. Eliminate one bad thing out of your diet a week and put something good in it’s place. If you eat peanut butter on toast for brekkie every day change it to porridge with fruit half the week. Educate yourself and learn how the right good foods can not only make you live longer but also help you feel better mentally.
Mental illness is tough but it can be controlled nad you can live a happy life. Just start working on controlling it and being kinder to yourself.
Any questions ask below, I’m happy to share my knowledge and help you. Life is beautiful so let’s make the most of it for as long as possible.