lifestyle, Mental health

Mental health awareness week 2021, 10th-16th May

Mental health awareness week has fallen at a time where many of us are in a form of lockdown or just starting to come out of it!

This is a time where we all will feel a change in our mental health, wether we are fully aware of it or not. It’s a time to be kind to ourselves and listen to our needs especially if we feel we need support, space or some me time.

We all have mental health just as we have physical health however, it is not always something we look at regularly supporting and training, or exercising and reviewing. It would be wonderful to think we soon will be in a world where we could openly ask each other ” how you feeling today and how’s your mind”, without it being uncomfortable.

We all have those moments in life where things can cause us to feel lower in our mood. This often affects our mental health. Times of this “low mood “ or any ongoing sadness can happen to any of us at any time, feeling as if it comes upon us without any warning. It is important to recognise your own personal triggers. It’s important to ask yourself

1,what are my triggers?

2,What sends my stress levels over the edge?

3, Is there any changes you can make to help you manage these things?

4, what helps you to keep going when you feel like this?

The triggers could be anything, such as a memorable date, topics you are sensitive to and don’t want to face yet, family, relationships, self-limiting beliefs, traumas, life events, medical reasons, life pressure, public speaking, anything! It is so important to take the time to look at any trigger patterning you have.

By looking at triggers you can possibly unlock a resilience strategy for yourself that just might help you cope better when you are in need.

Emotional stress can be really overwhelming, it can impact both your physical and mental state. Strategies to support your resilience can work wonders in helping you through this time, along with of course any support groups, professional outreach etc available to you.

Examples of resilience you can use when this happens are things such as supportive building blocks to help manage your stress levels. Some of mine are below:

• When life is busy I have to make sure I have me time

• Personal head space-time, walk, read, chill out somewhere away from everything to just clear your mind (a pause moment)

• Something that is physical such as sport; for me my main choice of activity to spend my “me” time on is running

• Something that makes you feel a sense of belonging such as socialising with the right community

• Things I enjoy, things that make me happy, as happiness is so important! Such as hobbies (Creative Diet)

• Try to goal set my activities into my weekly plans, looking at how I can review and improve and identify the priorities I have. These keep me on track and both my physical and mental health are in better shape for it (Muscle Motivation)

• Predict my stress triggers. When I know something is coming up that is likely to cause stress good planning is key. I look at what I can do to manage it as best I can, and what best supports me

• Make sure you tell someone. If I am worried about things or stressed, just saying things out loud to someone can make a huge difference as you then own your true feelings

• Choose to hang out with people on your level. Someone you can text, call, meet and have that support with

• I ensure I take regular pause moments; so important!

• Even when you don’t feel like it connect with the world daily so you don’t become withdrawn.

Remember you are often not alone with these feelings and it is so important to tell someone. Don’t suffer in silence, it will only get worse.

life style, time managemenr, lock down, mental health, well-being, you time, health, time

Time… too much, to little …

Time,we all have either not enough or to much time on are hands at the moment.

We may feel overwhelmed by having to do more tasks, juggling many roles and all while living under one roof and space, for example if your in lockdown.

Those of you who are living alone my be feeling more disconnected from the world because of this lockdown and as a result have a lot less social inclusion. This all can result in more time on your hands, to think.

The thing is,if we spend to much time thinking about things we could make ourselves feel worse, for example overanalyse and literally overthink something, or if we don’t have the time to think about what we are feeling and our thoughts and what we need, we can have a spiral in our mindset and in turn our mental health! it’s such a balancing act of what’s healthy and what’s to much time.

There is no right or wrong, but there is an impact.

If you don’t have enough time for what you need to do and process things you think about, whether it’s work related, homeschooling, emotional led thinking, fitting in things such as workouts, course work, craft projects, reading time etc then what happens?

Do you feel lower in your mood, more short tempered or snapping, feel stressed, pressured, anxiety? these are all sighs of not having enough efficient time on your hands and as a result, things are not working in the best way for you.

Learning to recognise when you need less or more time to invested in things, this will help ensure you keep balanced on the things you need to do, and also the things you enjoy and more importantly, give less time on what isn’t good for you or making you as happy.

Making time for things that keep you being you, is very important and working out what strategies help you to find this balance is key.

when you can have some “ you time” use it wisely, it’s not selfish, it’s vital.

if you don’t make time for yourself, your needs, steps and goal then how can you make what you want to happen, in your life happen?

So, how can you make time for what you need?

Take a moment to Reflect on how your currently using your time, is it affective? Is it sufficient for you?

Think about how this week has gone for you ? How have you felt as a result?

then imagine and think about what your perfect ideal weekly/ daily program would look like against this?

What would be different? what would you add in you didn’t make time to do before?what would you give less or more time to?

Time management ideas:

Make a mental log or make an actual timetable of the times in the day you feel you need to change the nature of what your doing, A example, do you have slot of time in one room, let’s say, in your home office all morning, do you make an hour for yourself to take a break and go for a walk? This is based on if your Safe to go outside, covid restrictions wise etc, did you want more time to be active and move, is this the right time or not to make time for a at home workout in another room in your home?

Consider, if you spoken to anyone today outside of your home, make time for positive people who keep you motivated, call your friends, family or watch those who inspire you on their daily blogs etc, use time to connect and keep you feeling less Alone.

When it comes to your time management timetable, make sure you don’t spend a-lot of time on things that make you feel low, alone or negative.

Factor in some clam/quiet time, If your house is full of people, find the time to have “your quiet time “alone away from everyone maybe wake before they all do, or when they are all asleep unwind somewhere for a while before you go to sleep.

If you have the ability of some support at home say with your partner, let them no you need time for yourself, if you feel you need time to do, your walk, your exercise,your you time and encourage them to have the same within your household/ family so you all have a better time being in each other’s pockets especially if in lock down.

Invest your time wisely whenever possible, remember this is an incredibly unique situation at the moment in the world, do what you need to live through it as mentally and physically possible.

2021, health, lifestyle, lock down, Mental health, Well-being

In Lockdown? Tips to help you cope

First of all I want to send positive vibes, wishes of health, happiness and strength we are all in this together. Take care and be safe.

I have been in lockdown restrictions for a while now and wanted to share some things that have helped me get through the days and the ever changing updates and information out there, I waned to share what’s kept me mentally and physically stable.

Start the day as you mean to go on, I have found having a moment first thing to myself helps me to mentally prepare for the day ahead. Find a place in your home you feel most relaxed and positive and take your morning coffee/tea and just take a minute. I am blessed to have a room that has lots of large windows facing green space so I wake up and have my favourite cup of coffee looking out at my garden. 

Find out some great reading material and feed your mind! Have a few things ready to read, I have got a handful of books ready, that will keep my mind focused. I am going to continue to factor this in my day even if it’s a page or two a night.

I have planned some creative projects, given the current situation I have looked at things I can recycle and what also I can do at home for sustainability. 

I have looked at what’s happening in the Community on-line, there is normally lots you can get involved with, help or connect to. It’s important not feel alone. It can be a simple phone call to your neighbours.

Communication, talk to your family and friends call those your closest to. its so important to speak to whoever makes you feel happy and those that keeps your spirits lifted and also think who you can call and help them along the way to. Now is time when it is absolutely key to make time for those you love and care about.

Make sure you check in and reflect daily on how you are. ask yourself how are you feeling and what’s your mood like? There is a lot going on and a lot to take in and adjust to so be kind to yourself. Don’t forget to ask yourself “what helps me feel connected still with the world?”, “what am I learning about myself?”, “how am I doing with this situation?”, “what do I need to help me through this tough time?” 

Make a list of things that takes your mind off everything and then you can use these things again as strategy’s going forward over the coming weeks. I have found watching something funny and that my sense of humour really helps; laughing and lightening the mood allows me to escape and of course also my exercise workouts as they keep me focused.

Allow time to process what’s happening and take this all in. You might find It helpful to write down anything that directly impacts you or is worrying you and look at what steps you can take to support and help yourself through this time from financial matters to practical living issues, such as food and essentials.

Surround yourself with things that make you happy and remind you of good times, photos are always great of places and people in your life. Play music and enjoy mood lifting sounds. Look back at videos and pictures remind yourself this is all temporary and we are all in this together.

I have found making my home as calm as possible is incredibly helpful in this situation, I have got rid of any clutter and created more space to keep the mood positive and allow for clear thinking. Lighting candles with a fragrance you like and make your house your home.

It’s hard to always stay on track of nutrition but I have found it incredibly helpful to log everything into my fitness pal so I can check on what nutrients I am missing or having with limited supplies and monitor my calorie intake, vitamins and minerals.

This situation has created more time for me to give to tasks and things that I don’t normally have, such as cooking at meal times I have more time to prep so can make fresh and from scratch and explore and try new recipes So also allows me to get creative which always boosts my mood.

Get fresh air, when you can make sure you let air into your home, if you have a garden get outside at least once a day if weather allows and your well enough too. The fresh air and sunshine can do wonders, I know some in countries you are ok to take a walk with social distancing so there is this option too.

lifestyle, lockdown, Mental health, Well-being, wellbeing

Lock down tips for keeping yourself in check.

With us all experiencing lock down at various times around the world, this brings many challenges and changes in many ways to our day to day life. The one thing we can try to keep control of is to look after ourselves as much as possible at this very unpredictable time, so be kind to yourself and try to listen to yours needs for getting trough this all as comfortably and healthy both mentally and physically as possible.

Tips that you might find helpful;

1) If your working from home try to think about the most suitable place to set up. A place that you can distinguish between work mode and home life. Space might be an issue and if so find a room you feel comfortable in and that can change throughout the day from work to your personal living environment.

2) Think about how you start your days,mornings can become incredibly important as they can set you up for the day. Try to make them good for you and ensure they include something that supports your mindset for the rest of the day. From a good cup of your favourite coffee or morning exercise routine. Maybe wake up at different time to the rest of your house hold so you have some space first thing for you when waking up.

3) This has put a dramatic shift in most of our routines so you might find it’s a good idea to have a weekly or daily Planner, keep a list of what you want from the week, when listed you can then tick off as you go. A weekly planner/list will also visually show that things can still happen and be achieve even if more home bound than normal.

4) When possible Get some daily Fresh air, if safe where you are to go outside this is great for clearing your head. Walks are great or get in the garden for half an hour take a lunch break your inside a lot more and it’s darker this time of year in some parts of the world so any day light and especially if a sunny winters day.

5) clear clutter, because lockdown means we will be in our homes a lot more it’s a good idea to make time to finally tackle areas of the home that feel chaotic or cluttered, plan in time to do this as you don’t want chaos around you, clear home clear mind.

6) creative pursuits, it might be worth having a projects list that you can occupy yourself with when feeling fed up or board, Creative pursuits for example from baking, cooking, making things to painting just try different things as ways of relaxing and expressing yourself at this unusual time.

7) Have a plan for when you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious that you can draw upon, think of what will help you, for example a run or walk, have a bath read a book, call a friend. Tackle one worry at a time, write it down and then write how you can solve it and what you can’t solve how you can manage how you deal with it even if it’s drawing a line and saying to yourself somethings you can’t control or do anything about, but for example anxiety from this can be managed when I go for a run or walk etc to help as coping strategies.

8) Connect to those who keep you positive and check in regularly with friends and family from calling, face timing each other and try to join in with any fun things in your on-line community from quizzes, art classes and exercise classes etc.

9) Make a list of things you want to do when things are back to a new Normal, positive things such as places you want to visit and activities you want to do keep connected to the future.

10) Make a positive place where you have photos, things that make you smile and feel centred amongst all the crazy going on even if it’s a box filled with things like memories of vacations, places and photos of friends, family, experiences you have had that where fun. It’s so important to remind yourself it hasn’t alway been like this and it won’t always be either.

11) Take a minute out from everything and everyone each day find a calm spot inside or outside that you can go to. Use this time and space as the spot for clam thinking, reading, relaxing exercise etc it’s your place for your pause break to restore and recharge yourself we all need a moment at time’s.

12) If tour not coping and finding yourself slipping make sure you tell someone, reach out and you won’t be alone many of us will feel like this at some point, sharing your worries will help as you won’t feel so alone in your head with it all. Your not failing because you need support, help or struggling be kind to yourself and just reach out.

Stay safe, well both mentally and physically and look after yourself.