Managing Mental Health

Hey! I hope you're okay.

Well we're finally in May! This year so far has been such a struggle for me when it comes to mental health, so I thought I'd finally take some time to just talk about everything with you. Grab a cuppa and let's get into it.

In January this year I really hit what I guess you could call "a new low" in my personal life. During the last couple of weeks of January, everything seemed to go wrong. Every aspect of my life decided to turn upside down all at once.
  • I lost my job due to being on a temporary contract, they just didn't 'need' me anymore so they pulled me into an office and 'let me go'.
  • A guy I had been talking to for 9 months straight just suddenly and abruptly disappeared from my life.
  • I started to wake up every single morning around 3am and have really intense anxiety/panic attacks. I'd just lay there intensely shaking until I got tired an hour or so later and I'd fall back to sleep.
I'd never officially been 'diagnosed' with anxiety before so I had no idea that it was anxiety causing all of these problems. I made an appointment at my doctors office and as soon as I sat down in her chair I burst into tears. Through tears I explained everything that happened and how my mood had been declining over a number of months. She was really understanding and really empathetic but that was about as far as she went to help me. She said she didn't want to put me on medication because she 'didn't believe in' anxiety medication(?) She recommended talking to a councillor but then nothing ever came of that.

So I was on my own. I got home and for the next couple of weeks I did not leave my house. I kid you not, I didn't leave the house once. I was just sat on my sofa all day crying, and I don't just mean a few tears, I'm talking full on sobbing. I'm so lucky that everyone in my house is out during the day because I was loud. It was so unbelievably painful. My chest felt tight. Out of everything that happened to me, I couldn't wrap my head around why one of my close friends just suddenly blocked me out of his life. I tried to mail him a handwritten letter explaining why my mood had changed lately, but he never even acknowledged that he received it.

One day something inside me just clicked. I didn't want to be sad anymore. I wanted to see what I could do to make myself happy. To make myself a bit more 'me' again.
I found a couple of things that have really helped me to accept my mental health and manage my feelings, I'll talk about them a little bit now in the hopes that I might be able to help someone in a similar situation!

  • Yoga
    Yoga and Meditation have helped me more than I can begin to say. I was totally sceptical at first, but they've enabled me to learn that it's okay to bring your thoughts back to yourself sometimes. I used to think of 'self love' as being too conceited and I think society teaches us that being vein is one of the worst traits a person can possess. When really, focusing your attention on yourself can have a massively positive effect on your mental health over all. Yoga and Meditation allow you to really connect with your mind, body and soul. They really do nourish your inner happiness and they've even made me more confident. Sometimes you have to take time to be selfish, care about yourself and put yourself first. After all, there's only one you!
    For Mediation I recommend the app "Headspace" Headspace has taught me everything there is to know about mindfulness and meditation. It only takes 10 minutes! I usually do it right before I go to sleep, this allows me to reflect on my day and go to sleep with a clear head.
    For Yoga I recommend Yoga with Adriene! She is an incredible teacher and has 100s of videos uploaded to her YouTube channel for absolutely anyone from beginners to pros.

  • Talk
    This is a pretty short and sweet tip, but maybe the most important. Talk to people about how you're feeling! A parent, a guardian, a friend, a colleague, a partner, a lover, anyone. If you're feeling alone and like you can't talk to anyone you know, maybe talk to your doctor, write about your feelings in a blog post or on social media, OR try online counselling! << honestly this website has been an absolute god send for me. I have talked to people who are in my life, but talking to a 'stranger' felt even better. The people on this website are trained and caring. They want to listen to you. They want to listen to your problems. I've never ever come across a bad/mean person and I've used it at least 20 times. There is an option to pay for a fully qualified Therapist on this site, however I have never paid a thing. I find the free trained listeners to be just as helpful! Really, give it a go. You'll be so glad you did.

  • Fire Up Your Passion
    This one sounds weird but honestly it's helped me so much. I've had a lot of alone time which has lead me to think about where my life is going. With no job and having 'lost' a friend, things seemed, kind of free. Open ended. Like I could take back control and direct myself onto better paths. I started seriously thinking about where I want to be in life! I remembered how much I used to love sewing and making clothes, so I enrolled in a clothes making class. I remembered how much I used to love putting together a Tumblr blog. So I started one again! If you want to follow THIS is the link. I just post images of fashion, art, style, photography, I post music, anything that inspires me in life. Which leads perfectly into my next tip...
  • Plan Your Future
    I am 25 now and while that isn't exactly old, it doesn't sound very young. In my head at least. I look around and most of my friends are either parents or they've done really well with their career. I think that's something that was contributing towards my anxious feelings. I spent a while feeling inferior when really, there is no set plan for life. Who says you're too old for anything?! So I've found a college course and a 'music industry certificate' that I want to enrol onto AND I've planned a pretty drastic hair change!! Hair change? Yes hair change. I've spent a few years with my hair waist length and brown. Believe me, it wont be that way soon. Watch this space ;)
I really hope these tips have helped and inspired you to keep going. Things might seem low or dark, but you've got to start thinking of it as 'no way now but up' think of your situation as a fresh start! It's never ever too late, go and do what you want to do and things will improve. Just watch :)

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth so remember, if you're ever feeling alone, I'm here for you. I don't care if we don't know each other or if we've never talked, send a message if you ever need someone to talk to.

Til next time!



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