25.7.15

How to let go and move on with your life

It's took me well over a year to realise what truly makes me happy, what was good for me and also what was bad for me. No matter how hard it is,  sometimes you have to let go of things that are making you upset/angry/anxious in order to move on and make yourself happier and more importantly, your mind healthier. Although we all know, moving on with things is easier said than done. Personally, I think moving on in life comes in stages and over time gets easier (and they do always say time heals mostly everything right?!), but you do have to make those positive steps yourself to help the process of moving forward. You can't stay upset back from not getting your dream job or that A grade, you can’t keep stressing out over a toxic friendship forever and you just can’t stay sad about that man/woman anymore, can you? 

The first and best thing to do is to let it go. Delete all of those text messages and photos that you keep scrolling through. Delete that phone number or email address. Rip up and bin all of those memories that are making you dwell on your past. Completely get rid of any contact with the friend, family member or ex-partner that is stopping you from moving on. Don’t hold on to things that could potentially make you sad or angry because it could trigger old feelings that you really ought to move away from. The most important thing you need need to do is to keep going and stop looking back at the past. You are the most important thing in your life and you have the ability to remove anything that’s unwanted from your mind.Whether that be a toxic friendship, a failed exam or interview or a a failed relationship, . Remind yourself things are going to be okay and you are strong enough to get through this. Realising that everything happens for a reason and you can't change the past is a really strong war to help you move on. 

You literally need to do anything that makes you happy. Live for yourself. Life is too short to dwell on the negatives and negative people. Do whatever makes you happy! Find something that inspires you or makes you feel like you. Explore somewhere that you've never been before. I promise you the best way to move on is to distract yourself and put yourself in new situations. 
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21.7.15

5 ways to get yourself out of a bad mood



I thought I'd share with you a few ways that can help get me out of that awful bad mood that randomly jumps upon you, for no apparent reason..

1) Wash your face.
I know it sounds absolutely bat-shit crazy, but for some reason this really helps me. I like to cleanse, tone and moisurise to make myself feel fully rejuvenated. I also occasionally love to use a good face mask, to make me feel like I've got rid of all that crap inside your skin

2) Re-arrange your room.
When I'm feeling down in the dumps, I like to move everything around. Yes, I mean everything. From my wall hangings to my whole bed. I guess Feng Shui actually works

3) Book something.
Book anything. Whether it be a train journey to see your friends/family, a concert, or a holiday. I find that when I book something, it makes me happier in the sense that I have something to look forward to (although, it does upset my bank balance!).

4) Dance.
I absolutely love putting on my favourite record, turning up the record player and just having a little boogie around my room. Not only does it boost he endorphins, but it gives you a little work out too, all whilst having a bit of fun!

5) Take a bath.
I love running a nice hot bath, filled with bath bombs or a lovely smelling bath soak. Oh and of course, you can't forget the candles!  It really helps me relax and have some 'me' time/

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20.7.15

6 Foods That Fight Anxiety and Depression




1.Berries 
 Blueberries have some of the highest levels of  antioxidants, and they've been linked to all kinds of positive health outcomes. But all berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to be helpful in combating stress.

 2. Cashews 
 Cashews are great snacks, and because they are crunchy and a little salty, they cure many cravings. Cashews are an especially good source of zinc. A 1-ounce serving has 11% of your RDA. Low levels of zinc have been linked to both anxiety and depression. Since our bodies have no way of storing zinc, it's important to get some every day.

 3. Chamomile Tea 
 This is probably one of the most recommended bedtime soothers around. I've always loved it because the flowers are so pretty, like tiny daisies. But now there's more evidence than ever that chamomile calms.

 4. Chocolate 
 Besides the healthy antioxidants in this treat, which push chocolate to the top of most heart-healthy food lists, it has an undeniable link to mood. In particular, dark chocolate, is known to lower blood pressure, adding to a feeling of calm.

 5. Porridge
 A little more than just a comfort food, porridge is a complex carbohydrate. It causes your brain to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Not only does serotonin have antioxidant properties, it also creates a soothing feeling that helps overcome stress. Studies have shown that people who eat oatmeal for breakfast stay sharper throughout the morning (probably why I'm so smart).

6. Ice Cream 
Now, this one isn't scientifically proven..  BUT. Don't you guys just feel amazing after eating it? You really can't beat a tub of Ben & Jerry's phish food when you're feeling low, right? Mix this with dark chocolate and your serotonin levels will be through the roof (dont quote me on that, please).
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15.7.15

Assigning 'worry time' for yourself

     
Anxious people, like myself, tend to spend most of their time worrying. Sometimes they worry to the point that they find it very hard to switch off and relax. Indeed, one of the most frustrating things about feeling anxious is the seemingly uncontrollable worry that often occurs alongside it. Therefore, if we can reduce the amount of time we spend worrying, we can in time reduce our anxiety levels.

One way you can do this is to assign 'worry time', which I've learnt all about from my CBT therapist. Worry time involves setting aside about fifteen and twenty minutes each day that you will allow yourself to worry. Any worries that pop into your head outside of 'worry time' should simply be noted  in your diary/notebook and forgot about until later that day when you try to resolve them during your 'worry time'. By noting them down, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you won't forget about attempting to resolve them later on. This should free up time during the day that is normally wasted worrying. Then - when your 'worry time' arrives, you should allow yourself to think about the things that have been worrying you that day and try to resolve them. 'Worry time' not only helps to reduce the time you spend worrying, but also proves that you can have more control of whether you engage in worry or not. It also shows that worry is often unnecessary. This is because when you come back to consider your problems with a 'fresh eye', many of them have often resolved themselves or simply seem less important. I definitely find that in most cases, when my 'worry time' comes, my problem seems stupid or unimportant.  These are the steps which I normally follow:

 1\\ Decide a time in the day that you will have your 'worry time'.

 2\\ At other times, simply note down any worries that pop into your head and try to forget about them. 

 3\\ Once your 'worry time' arrives, choose how long you will allow yourself to 'worry' (try to keep it no longer that 15-20 minutes). Begin timing yourself so your 'worry time' doesn't overrun.

 4\\ During worry time, try to resolve your worries proactively. Simply try to come up with solutions to your worries if possible. Using a pen and pad to jot down solutions can be helpful. 

 5\\ Stop as soon as your 'worry time' is finished. If any worries still feel unresolved, simply carry them over to tomorrow's 'worry time'.
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9.7.15

Why it's okay to cry


I had such a down day yesterday. I was irritable, tired, tearful and frustrated. I held back tears all through out the day, and couldn't wait to get back home. As soon as I got home, I let it all out, and to be honest with you, it's the best thing I've done all day. Sometimes you just need that big long cry you've been holding back for a while, as it feels like such a release of all the random emotions you've been feeling.

There's also psychological benefits of crying. Crying has been proven to elevate your mood, as it lowers your manganese level (don't ask me what that is, all I know is that a lower manganese level is great!). High manganese level's are associated with irritability, fatigue, aggression and anxiety. Crying also reduces stress levels; the chemicals that are built up from stress are relieved when your body produces tears. It also works the opposite way, the more you suppress your tears the higher your stress levels! Crying isn't all that bad for you, eh?!

Before I pop off, check out this hilarious video here. It cheered me right up after I had a little cry, and I haven't been able to stop watching it since! Definitely popping this on my bookmarks/favourites and watching it whenever I'm having a down day!
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8.7.15

Self- Care Zine and Note to Self Temporary Tattoo Set



I recently purchased this adorable self-care zine from Janelle Silver, after a friend linked me towards her Etsy page. I adore the idea that's she came up with, the zine is beautifully made, and is actually so so helpful anxiety and depression sufferers like myself. I would even say that it's helpful for people struggling with self-esteem issues, or just need a daily pick me up! One of my favourite pages of the zine is the hand illustrated page on PMA, which includes little reminders such as 'you matter and have so much to offer'. I also love how Janelle has included activities for you to do; from writing things you should be grateful for to actually colouring your own stickers! Another of my favourite pages is the self-care ideas, as they're all my favourite things to do to take care of myself. You can purchase this zine here.



Another thing I purchased from Janelle, was the temporary tattoo set. It includes 14 temporary tattoos, with slogans such as 'I'm not alone' and 'Be kind to yourself'. They're really easy to put on, and easy to take off too if you've got work. I think they're lovely reminders of how special you are, and they act are great self-esteem boosters. You can purchase these here.



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7.7.15

Why don't people talk more openly about mental health?


The question to why people don't talk more openly about mental health, is still left un-answered. People just simply do not talk enough about mental health issues and, even whilst writing this, I feel a sense of worry and panic that people may look down on me because of my depression and anxiety.  In the UK, one in four people will experience some kind of mental health illness in the course of a year. That’s a lot of people, and I imagine many of those people are frightened to speak about their experiences, for fear of discrimination and stigma. I decided to write this post, as I recently spotted the Semi Colon Project, where people are drawing semi-colon's on themselves, to raise awareness for mental health issues.  The semi-colon is explained as 'the semi-colon is used when a sentence could of ended, but didn't'. I that I think this is such a lovely idea, and may be joining the project myself with getting a permanent semi-colon tattoo'ed on me (Sorry Mom!).

 We need to start raising awareness of mental health issues and let people know that it is more than ok to speak out about their experiences and feelings. Whilst I know that it took me several years to finally speak out fully about my illness, as I  found the prospect of speaking out about it daunting, it has actually been the best thing I've done. The more I speak about it, the more people understand it or the more people actually go and speak to other people about their illnesses. You just never know, you could be the difference between someone staying silent for years, or  someone actually attending their GP and getting the help that they need.

 Mental health is no longer something that should only be spoken about behind closed doors and I hope that we, as a society, are now moving in the right direction towards a better understanding of mental health issues and a more accepting approach to those who experience them. Only by talking about mental health issues can we raise awareness, and awareness is crucial in enabling those experiencing mental illness to get the help that they need.
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2.7.15

4 Strategies for Dealing with Toxic People


 1.Talk to other people.
I’ve found that when I’m upset about someone else's actions or behaviours, I often don’t want to admit it to other people, but then when I talk to someone else about it, I inevitably feel better. So take the plunge and talk to someone. Share your feelings, ask for them to listen, maybe even give advice. The advice doesn’t matter so much as the connection and listening. 

 2. Talk to the toxic person. 
Once you start to feel more calm towards the other person, talk to them. Yes, they might not act in a calm and peaceful way towards you, but you can be the better person. You can try and see that they’re suffering in some way, and are acting inappropriately and hurtful because of that suffering. Try connecting with them, sharing that you’re having a hard time, asking for their support. This might not always turn out well, but they might be open to this discussion. 

 3. Find more positive friends.
 If all of this isn’t working, it helps to find other people who are living similarly to the way you want to live. People who are creative, entrepreneurial, self-sufficient, excited about things, positive, healthy, happy. Find a new bunch of friends in your local running club, yoga class or volunteer organizations.  Appreciate the relationships that have a positive influence in your life, and be a positive influence in theirs. I’ve done this in my life, and it’s made a huge difference.

4. Cut them out.
 It’s a hard thing to do, but when family members/friends/ partners aren’t supportive of me and they’re constantly critical and angry, and none of the above works, I will just stop seeing them as much. I’ll do my own thing and see other friends. It's harder to do when the toxic people live with you, but even then you can go out for a run, take a hike and see nature and meditate. Don’t let the thinking about toxic people be on your mind all day, put your mind in more peaceful and positive places.
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