Life

#SHhealthyminds Mental Health week with Simply Mind

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If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed me tweeting with the hashtag #SHhealthyminds between 11th and 17th May, but maybe weren’t sure what the deal was. Basically the fabulous Joes Bloggers got in touch with me about a campaign involving Simply Health to raise awareness of Mental health and the benefits of thinking positively. I was invited to tweet everyday at least one positive thing and in return they would donate £50 to the health charity Mind on my behalf, which is not only generous but a charity who have actually helped me personally so I know how important the work they do is. 

For me personally I have found my own way of dealing with depression and stress over the course of the years, but it has taken me a long time to find coping mechanisms and I still wouldn’t say I have it completely under control. I found this article titled ‘Five steps to get you on the way to positive thinking’ to be a great starting point if you feel completely at a loss. The main thing that sticks out for me is setting achievable goals that you enjoy or are good at (the two go hand in hand though usually don’t they?). When you start pushing yourself to do things you know you can’t achieve you are more than likely going to feel like a failure when you can’t complete them and then put more pressure upon yourself. Not everything happens all at once, and for me baby steps is the key. 

large (1)People telling you to ‘snap out of it’, or to stop being so negative doesn’t help. People telling you that you CAN’T be depressed you’re just sad/hormonal or don’t seem depressed doesn’t help, in fact that purely exacerbates the problem and makes you feel misunderstood. Most of the time we don’t want advice or to be told what to do, we just want someone who will be there for us, and understand that when we push them away it isn’t because we don’t care. Depression is a very selfish illness, and half the time we want to be alone and isolate ourselves, but this only worsens the problem and causes more feelings of social anxiety. I fully abstain from taking any form of medication as it turned me into a sleeping sloth, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, but I can fully assure you that sleeping the days away in a dark room will not help and hiding away from it and not living your life is really not the answer. You CAN change it, only you can do it but you do have the strength. I have found Twitter to be the biggest support base, you may not want to use the internet to vocalise your personal life but rather than spew my woes at my family, and rather than push such a heavy burden on my partner 24/7 sometimes it’s nice to even just listen to other people and find that you have other people going through the same thing. Maybe find out if there are any self help WhatsApp chats, the lovely Olivia Jade set one up for people who wanted companionship and support, it’s private just between you and the group but for all with common interest. You don’t have to reply if you don’t feel up to it, and sometimes typing out the issues can be cathartic.

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In terms of the #SHhealthyminds challenge I have found that finding myself one positive quote or one thing that has made me feel good about the day has really made a difference in my mood. I suffered from two panic attacks last week but started to think about what I had motivated myself with that morning, combined with breathing exercises, removing myself from a negative situation and also questioning ‘what is the worst that could happen?’. Even in the darkest of days where you really feel at a loss I think it’s so important to just think of one thing you are grateful for in life, if you can’t bear to think about yourself personally think about the world as a whole. I am grateful to have four beautiful brothers who really give me a reason to keep going, but in terms of nature I love the sea. I live opposite the beach and feel like the sea is a great form of washing away any negative emotion. Sometimes I will take my shoes off and allow my feet just to have the cold waves wash over them, focusing on the sound of the sea crashing against the stones. I have found myself become in touch with nature a lot more since getting on the road to recovery and I would recommend the more you feel like hiding under the duvet the more reason to get up and walk. I understand that’s easier said than done, I lived for a whole year being terrified to even go across the road without an ‘episode’, but exercise (no matter how light) and the fresh air can really make such a difference. Set yourself goals of how far you will walk or get to and if you don’t push yourself too far you will notice yourself getting out further each day. Of course there will be low points but this is a journey, and nobodies journey isn’t without it’s rocky path.

If you want to see what others have been writing about then check out #SHHealthyminds hashtag on Twitter!

22 thoughts on “#SHhealthyminds Mental Health week with Simply Mind

  1. I love this! I’ve had a lot of struggles with depression and anxiety in the past also, and it’s so important to keep working and finding coping mechanisms because you can get through it. I agree with you, spending time outside really does seem to help. You’re so lucky you live right across the street from the ocean! I’m a 13 hour car ride away (for now… 😉 )

    COOCOO FOR COCO

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  2. More women (men too) need to hear this. Understand it. Mental illness can ravage the body as well as the mind. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope it touches those who need it most.

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  3. This is such an amazing post. I feel like depression and mental illness aren’t addressed openly nearly enough and you’re thoughts are spot on. When I’m feeling down, I don’t want to put it on my significant other all of the time – I want to try and deal with it myself. Twitter and the blogging world has become such an important part of that and you in particular!

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  4. You’ve written this beautifully Jess. I quiet agree that finding one positive quote or whole loads of them in pinteres usually help me somehow when I am in a dark place. Xx

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  5. What a lovely post Jess, sure so many people will find it helpful! And it’s so nice to hear that you’ve come up with methods to help that are going well for you, long may they continue 🙂

    Claire | Stylingo.co.uk | xx

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  6. This is such an important post full of great tips and advice. It really is about baby steps and setting realistic goals, focusing more on the short-term each time rather than just seeing the long-term. You’re right about other people misunderstanding too; I find so often, in so many different situations, people just need to stop and think a little before they speak. You know I’m here if you ever need to chat 🙂 ❤

    http://www.stylesunrise.co.uk

    x

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  7. What a great way to spread positive thinking. Everyone out there can get threw it, it will just take time. Setting goals is a really great start, but making sure they’re achievable but not too easy at the same time.
    Thank you so much for supporting mental health – such an important topic.
    Brooke | brookewrote

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  8. Great thoughtful post. People telling me to snap out of it is the worst. I’m so jealous that you can just go to the beach, the sea is so calming. It feels like it just washes your problems away. X

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  9. Thank you for sharing this post with us, Jessica. That initiative is really helpful. I think many people suffer from depression and similar but are afraid of talking about it. You are so brave to have done it.

    Jasmine ♥♥♥

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  10. Thank you for the post, it’s made me realise that I’m not alone and I’ll definitely refer back to it when I have a bad day. I know that everyday can be a battle but I’m glad that things seem to be improving for you xx

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  11. Such a good post!! I love that SH are going to donate to Mind too – they help so much, I’ve used one of their centres in the past.

    Thanks for sharing this honey, the WhatsApp groups are such a great idea, sometimes we all need a little help or friendly ear, and positivity is so important at those times.

    I’ve been loving your posts lately, but especially the recent ones – it’s so fantastic to read a blog that writes about important things and causes as well as the ‘nice fluffy stuff’.
    Faith xx
    @musicneyeliner

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