Tag Archives: Mental Health

Let’s talk about mental health

Another aspect of my life I want to focus on is my mental health. This is another subject I find people don’t talk about, like money, and I want to change that in my life. I want to speak out and be an advocate for better care and de-stigmatisation in the ways I can. This feel really important for me this year.

For the last few months I have felt myself struggling more and more even though everything was feeling really good with work and home. I knew something was wrong and have been working ever since to find out what and I think it was the reduced amount of contact with friends that I hadn’t realised was happening. I’ve been very focused on my job and I love it, but I do need to make the time for proper self care, beyond going to therapy every week. There are other things I know are important to creating a healthy life and I have needed to remind myself of them recently, which is why it feels important to take stock at the the start of the year. I’m not looking to track any of this or make goals out of it, but rather for it to serve as a reminder to myself of what I need to do and let others know someone else is working on this too.

I’m not a mental health expert (disclaimer!) and so I am just sharing my story so that more people are talking about it. There is no right way to support mental health, you have to find what works for you. It might change along the way too and that’s okay. Last year was about letting go of my belief in diets and focus on creating a non judgmental relationship with food. I had to let go of something I’ve held on to as a support mechanism for so long. It’s not been easy, but I have felt so much better for it.

So my plan for the foreseeable future is focus on the following things:

Go to therapy

This has played important part of my life for the last year and I am going to continue to make time and put money towards this. In time I may be able to talk to others about the things that I talk about in therapy, however right now I working through long standing, deeply embedded beliefs that are causing pain.

Focus on self care

These are the other aspects of my life that I think are important to my mental health. Before last year I would have focused on the first two alone, but they are only part of the story. Our lives are made up of so many moments that we need to make them count and saying no is just as important as saying yes.

  • Eat well and what I want
  • Stay active through fun ways
  • Dress how I like and makes me good
  • Feel good and even sexy in makeup
  • See friends regularly and suggest to do things
  • Say no without guilt and apology

I am also thinking about volunteering for an organisation that supports mental health like Samaritans or Mind. This would be a commitment and I would not enter it lightly, which is why I am going to take more time to consider it and look into properly before taking it on. I would like to give back in some way and this sounds like a way to help people, but also the organisations that talk about mental health openly.

I feel quite passionate about this for this year. Depression has been part of my life for probably longer than I realise and although it sucks, I’ve been learning to deal with it. When I get complacent it reminds me and I learn to catch it quicker than before. I want to help others and let people know they can live amazingly fulfilling lives even with depression creeping around. I’ve found ways to fight it and I want to help others do the same.

Self Care Checklist

While researching I need to make sure I am taking care of myself in really nice ways. I want to switch my current ‘caring’ activities to ones that are really about caring and not about punishing myself.

These are things I know make me feel better and so I would like to do more often. I’m not setting myself targets, but will monitor how I get on and how it impacts on my mood and productivity. I think doing as many of these as I can each day will make a great difference and ensure I move away from destructive habits that no longer serve me in the way I need.

My self-care checklist:

  • Face cleanse and moisturise
  • Make a really good cup of coffee and sit and enjoy it
  • Get the sleep I need
  • Be active
  • Keep my home clean and tidy
  • Actively play with the cats
  • Prepare/cook my meals
  • Relax – meditate, journal, blog, read
  • Stay hydrated
  • Dress to make me feel good

This feels like a good start in changing how I feel about myself and my relationship with food. These are the things I let slide when I’m not feeling good about myself. It’s the simple things that make the difference I believe. I don’t want to complicate my life, but I want to change it.

Changing things up

I’ve been thinking a lot in recent weeks about what I want and how I can get there. I’ve grown over the last few years and it feels good and there are still things I want to change. I’ve come to see this isn’t a bad thing. Just because I want to make changes to how I live my life doesn’t mean I’m doing anything bad at the moment, rather it’s about growing and changing to fit that growth.

The first thing I want to work on is moving away from diets. I’ve tried WW so many times now and always struggled to make it work. I’ve read multiple books, listened to many podcasts, and visited multiple websites, but it’s all the same. I’m rebelling against being told what to do. In reality I want to change my relationship with food. I know I use food as a drug to cope with my emotions. I want to change that to make food nourishment to support my life.

This is a huge shift for me. It’s not going to be easy, but I am determined to find what is right for me and work hard to get to a different place. I want that place to evolve. It’s not about the destination, but about the journey. I want to create a love for food that lets me explore it and places while I travel. Guilt Free!

So I’ve got some new research to do on intuitive eating, self-care, mindfulness, and body positivity. I’ve got a few leads to follow from some of my favourite blogs. Maybe we all reach this place at some time on a weight loss journey. I want to lose weight still, but in a more natural way than restricting what I eat all the time. I have some work to do on binge eating behaviour so I’ll be looking back at all the CBT I did a couple of years ago. I’ve also been through my social media and removed things that no longer fit with where I am – another way of evolving.

It feels good getting this out. It’s hard to talk to people about as everyone is in different places. Most people automatically jump to suggesting diets and fitness, but that’s not what I need. I need to spend time on myself to understand myself and the changes I want to make. It’s funny how people react when you do say ‘oh no, I’m not going to follow a diet’, it ranges from incredulous to disbelief. I’m using it to make me laugh. No one know me better than myself!

I have a plan. I need to do research. I need to keep it simple. I need to trust and believe in myself.

I can do this.

A case of impostor syndrome

impostor syndrome

Source

These last couple of months I have been having a serious case of impostor syndrome. It refers to high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalise their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud” (source).  This is exactly how I’ve been feeling, although I don’t necessarily put myself in the same boat as the people I consider to be ‘high-achieving’, but rather as someone who is driven to do the best I can in any situation.

Since moving jobs within my organisation it’s been a great step up in work and responsibility. At the same time I keep having this sense that I could be doing more or better and that some day someone is going to call me out on this. I have no evidence for this though. I’ve been getting great feedback on all the work I’m doing from those people I now work with and my old team who see me around.

It is a weird sensation to feel this way. I keep looking for evidence to prove it correct, rather than believe the evidence that says it is false. This is something I know stems from depression ways of thinking. I talked about this when I was doing CBT therapy. I even did an experiment to look at this way of thinking. It all comes back to the simple thought of ‘Im not good enough’ . It’s made me realise I need to take time to tackle this and not ignore it because I’m busy. These are very destructive thoughts and unhelpful to life I want to live.

I’ve been reading up on the subject and taking inspiration from famous women who have spoken out on the topic, such as Emma Watson. It’s important to speak out on the subject as others can take heart they are not alone. This has led me to look more at the topics of feminism and body positivity. It’s opening a whole new world to me and inspiring me to think differently about myself and how I let other people treat me and make me feel. It’s quite freeing. I’m going to continue to look at these topics and find inspiration in new areas, rather than focus on diet and fitness.

What makes me, me?

  1. I like being alone. I like people, but they drain me, so I always need time to recharge.
  2. I prefer spending a Saturday reading at home, rather than going out.
  3. I love coffee and tea. I also love good wine and gin.
  4. My favourite shows are still Buffy and Angel. I also love Bones.
  5. My favourite books are The Liveship Traders, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.
  6. I love BBC history and nature documentaries, But Time Team will always be my favourite.
  7. I love helping other people learn to swim.
  8. I love planning anything and am a spreadsheet geek.
  9. I love Instagram and Twitter, but am not a fan of Facebook.
  10. I hate spiders and clowns!
  11. I plan duvet days in advance, but there is nothing better than a spontaneous one.
  12. Japan is at the top of my travel list, closing followed by a walking trip around Mt Blanc.
  13. I’ve always wanted cats as pets. I would love to get a dog too in the future.
  14. I love sleep and will prioritise it – if I’ve planned an afternoon nap, it comes first!
  15. I said never to both sky diving and bungy jumping, then did both while in New Zealand.
  16. I love food, but am rubbish as cooking without a recipe.
  17. I love spending time in coffee shops people watching.
  18. I want to train my cats to walk on the lead, but am rubbish at consistency.
  19. My favourite chocolate bar has and will always be the Cadburys Boost.
  20. I always ask my friend Ingrid to bring me back Peanut Butter M&Ms from Canada (hint!).
  21. I only listen to music in the car nowadays. I used to hold my own concerts in the living room!
  22. I could eat sushi at every meal. I would probably say the sae about pizza too.
  23. If I could afford it, I would totally get a cleaner for my home.
  24. I love candles and the atmosphere they give a room makes me feel peaceful.
  25. QI is my favourite comedy quiz show.
  26. I love Stephen Fry as the narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks.
  27. I also love James Masters (Spike from Buffy) as the narrator of the Dresden Files.
  28. I’ve never been in a long term relationship.
  29. I hate talking about myself – one of the reasons I started this blog was to help me open up.
  30. I love fig roll biscuits.
  31. I could binge watch a TV show in a weekend.
  32. I’ve realised money is not the most important thing in life and work
  33. I Live in trainers. Even at work! 
  34. If I’m not doing anything of an evening I put my pjs on as so as I get home from work.
  35. I become overly attached I fictional characters.
  36. The Lion King is my favourite movie.
  37. My favourite colour is purple.
  38. I want to travel the world and see as many different places as I can.
  39. I think book tokens are the best presents (or coffee!).
  40. I’m quite precious about my space and m not one for having guest very often.
  41. I hate clothes shopping, but wish I liked it.
  42. Vancouver is my favourite city.
  43. I want to live in a city one day.
  44. I love a good list.
  45. 45 is my favourite number!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...