Category Archives: Mental Health

Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

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Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

Hey! I don’t know about all of you but, some days, I just feel totally blah. The weather is gloomy, COVID-19 makes me so worried, and the state of the world is very stressful. It’s also easy to feel even more down and out when all of your normal activities with friends, families, and clubs have been postponed until safer times. I’m sure that all of us are itching for a big change and, until that happens, it’s up to us to keep ourselves positive and motivated. Small changes that you can accomplish, despite everything going on, can really help perk you up. So, how about trying the following:

Your Furniture Layout:

If you’re getting sick of being in the exact same living room or home office that you have been confined to for months, switch it up! Rearrange the furniture, hang up some new art work, or create a photo collage with all of the pictures that you’ve been meaning to get developed. It won’t be as nice as a complete change of scenery like going to the beach but it will make the space you’ve been stuck in different and that’s all that matters.

Your Hair:

Perhaps you’re not bored with your location but your appearance. I know that I desperately miss getting all dressed up but, since there’s nowhere to be, the concept of “looking nice” has been long forgotten. If you are interested in changing up how you look, then now is the perfect time to try that new hair style or color that you have always had in the back of your mind. If it doesn’t turn out exactly how you want, it’s no matter – your hair will be back to normal by the time it’s safer to be in public.

Your Perspective:

Whenever I am feeling blue, I try and think about all of the good things that happened to me even though I am at home. For example, last week I went grocery shopping and I told Johnny that despite everything going on I’m thankful that I have him, a fridge and pantry full of food, and a roof over our heads. It’s important to still remember all of the positive things that you have no matter how small they are. If nothing else, be thankful that you are safe at home and preventing your loved ones and perfect strangers from becoming sick.

Your Hobbies:

I think that all of us can agree that watching Netflix or your preferred streaming service is a universal favorite hobby right now. But, getting lost in TV every day is doing your mind and body no favors. Dedicate at least an hour per day to work on your mental and physical wellness. Take a walk around the neighborhood, meditate, or call a friend. I know everything is so monotonous right now but you have the tools to help break that cycle if you choose to use them.

Your Goals:

Creating new goals for yourself can be an exciting way to fill free time and it’s even better when you begin accomplishing them. Make yourself a dream board with all of the things that you want to achieve in the next year or so and work on making it happen. Once you have an idea and a plan, all that needs done is for you to carry it out. What will you be putting on your dream board?

Changes big or small always help me shake away the blahs and I hope that some of the ideas above help make you feel better too!

What do you do when you have a case of the blahs? What are you thankful for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Your Life Running Smoothly Mid Pandemic

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Keeping Your Life Running Smoothly Mid Pandemic

2020 has been a true testament to events happening that feel completely out of your control, which can make life seem so overwhelming. But, it’s good to remember that there are plenty of things that are one hundred percent up to you despite all of the craziness that happened in 2020 and still continues. If you are feeling a bit lost right now, anchor yourself with doing the following to get you back on track and keep you there:

Get things done:

Time does not stand still and nor can you. It’s important to take care of problems as they arise instead of brushing them off. Get any appliance repairs that need done fixed immediately, get your oil in your car changed, have your computer looked at if it runs slowly when you are working from home. Holding off on essential fixes will just give you even more stress in the future.

Create a daily to do list:

So much free time and a lack of a set schedule is enough to make a lot of people feel anxious. If this sounds like you, then map out your day with a to do list. Having an idea of what you’re going to do each day can be a lot less stressful than making it up as you go along. Be sure to pencil in some time each day for self improvement through exercise or a hobby. There is also nothing wrong with scheduling in TV time once all of your tasks are complete, either!

Talk it out:

Is there someone in your life who you feel immediately comforted by when you speak? Sometimes, all you need is to hear the caring voice of a friend or family member to get yourself centered. Have a weekly phone call with that person and catch up as well as confide about anything that’s bothering you. Your mood will be improved by the time you hang up and you won’t feel as hung up about previous stressors.

Add variety:

Every day might be feeling exactly like the last and it can feel like you’re never going to get out of the cycle of work, Netflix, repeat. So, it’s up to you to add variety into your life. Try your hand at cooking something brand new for dinner with ingredients you have never tried, watch a film in a foreign language, explore a different hiking trail, or read a book outside of your favorite genre. It might not seem like much but changing up small things can make a really big difference.

Keep yourself going in the right direction with the advice above because smooth and steady wins the race… Or however that saying goes!

 

Pandemic Problems: Is Your Home Haven On Rocky Waters?

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Pandemic Problems: Is Your Home Haven On Rocky Waters?

For years, the human species has adhered to the fact that no person is an island. With that in mind, we’ve put ourselves out there and generally socialized as much as possible. In the last year, however, that advice has very much changed and, for many, this shift hasn’t exactly been a smooth transition. Luckily, as we seek new ways to communicate, many of us are finding that we can get by with far less extroversion than we’ve been led to believe. Unluckily, a failure to take care of your island could soon see your mental health suffering regardless.

Our homes have gone from being places where we sleep to being our entire worlds. In many cases, the landscape simply isn’t prepared for this level of usage. That’s bad news for your happiness and efficiency throughout these lock down days, and it’s something you need to address. To help you do that, we’re going to consider three common problems that could be leaving your home lacking:

You haven’t put a personal spin on things:

If you’re used to spending just a few hours at home, you may not have ever done much with the space. That needs to change sooner rather than later now that your home time hours have extended so much. Something simple like decorating to your tastes or framing a few personal snaps could make a huge difference to helping you settle despite what’s happening outside of your four walls.

There’s no space to breathe:

A cluttered home has never helped with mental health, and certainly won’t now. Sadly, getting rid of a mess is harder than ever at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can keep putting it off. There’s no excuse to let clutter rein free when you consider that skip bin hire is still available, and companies have taken significant steps to keep it safe. By investing sooner rather than later, you can get rid of all of the rubbish that’s been building up through lock down. With space to play with, you’ll soon feel like you can breathe again despite continued restrictions.

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You haven’t split the space:

Lastly, your trouble may be due to something as simple as a lack of segmented spaces. With many working from home, splitting work and living areas is fundamental. It also pays to have daytime and nighttime spaces to break things up. Even in a small flat, changing furniture or lighting could be a split enough from day to night, etc. If you have the space, though, keeping each room for a different purpose could soon see you feeling like you’re traveling a whole lot further than you actually are.

We may have been existing solely at home for a while now, but this is still a difficult adjustment to make. Ease your passage by considering these home issues and doing what you can to get your island right at last.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Living With Anxiety? Here’s How To Make Coping Easier

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Living With Anxiety? Here’s How To Make Coping Easier

You know that feeling, where your heart starts to pound and your breathing quickens in response to a stressful or worrying situation? Or maybe you’re familiar with the feeling of having sweaty, clammy palms when you have an overwhelming or stressful situation to deal with? These feelings are both anxiety, which is the body’s response to feelings of stress and being overwhelmed.

Having a little anxiety on a semi-regular basis is fairly normal. However, it’s when anxiety begins to take over your life that there can be a problem, and it is something that is worth looking further into. While realising that you have anxiety can be stressful, don’t panic – there are plenty of ways that you can make managing living with anxiety easier.

It’s important to remember when it comes to anxiety that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to anxiety management; what works for one person may not work for another. The key to successfully being able to manage anxiety is making sure that you find the right approach for you and your needs. Bearing that in mind, below is a guide to a selection of anxiety coping and management strategies that you might find helpful. Have a read, take note, and determine which options work best for you:

Identify your triggers:

One of the most important steps that you can take when it comes to managing anxiety is identifying what triggers it in the first place. For some people, anxiety is triggered by experiences like starting a new job, meeting a partner’s family or friends, having to give a presentation at work, or attending a health appointment. For others, anxiety isn’t about experiences, it’s simply linked to stress and overthinking different things.

The fact is, that everyone has their own anxiety triggers; what triggers a friend with anxiety to become anxious may not trigger you, and vice versa. Often, anxiety is linked to a previous experience or situation, and things that are linked to those situations and experiences can, therefore, cause anxiety.

For example, say you got stuck in a lift and it took a while to be rescued. This may result in anxiety around using lifts or of being in confined spaces. Or, perhaps you had a loved one pass away in traumatic circumstances, you may find that you start to become anxious about other loved ones and the traumatic circumstance that caused the death, such as being involved in a road traffic accident.

By identifying what your triggers are, you can help make managing your anxiety a little easier. Because once you know what causes you to become anxious, you can begin to work out strategies for dealing with those feelings.

Decide the best strategies for coping:

When it comes to living with anxiety, it is no easy task. For some people, anxiety can be a minor annoyance and for others, anxiety can be completely and utterly debilitating. But by putting coping strategies in place, you can make managing your anxiety simpler and easier. The key here is to decide what the best coping strategies are for you and your anxiety.

Focused deep breathing is one anxiety management strategy that a lot of people find helpful. If you feel that you are becoming overly anxious, you might find that focused, deep breathing could help. You can either try and utilize this technique on your own or you can opt to use an app like the Calm app to help you manage the process of deep breathing to calm your anxiety.

Some people find that getting out and about and being active helps to make them feel less stressed out. Sometimes, simply taking the time to get out of the house and go for a short walk can be all it takes to relieve some of the stresses and strains that you might be struggling with. Or, if you don’t fancy heading out of the house, you might find that yoga can help you to feel a little calmer, and can help to reduce some of your feelings of anxiety.

Other anxiety sufferers find that sourcing certain treatments, such as Neurofeedback anxiety support can help them to make managing their anxiety and its associated symptoms a little easier to navigate. It’s always worth taking the time to look into new treatment options and therapies to see if they might work for you.

Keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings can also be helpful when it comes to managing anxiety. Writing down what is making you feel anxious helps to get that concern out of your head and can make dealing with it less daunting and stressful.

Talking is another useful way to help make living with anxiety easier too. When you talk and share how you are feeling, you start to feel less pressure and less stress as a result. Whether you find talking with a friend or family member, speaking to a therapist, or talking to other anxiety sufferers helpful, talking can be a fantastic tool for reducing feelings of anxiety.

You may also want to consider joining some anxiety support groups, as it’s often helpful to have other people to talk to who understand what it is that you are going through and are able to offer support by sharing their own experiences.

Managing anxiety is no simple or straightforward task but the ideas above can help minimize those feelings and get you moving in the right direction.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Everything Going Wrong? Let’s Take Care Of It!

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Everything Going Wrong? Let’s Take Care Of It!

We are all under a lot of stress right now given the world’s current state and it is not a great place to be mentally. Especially when you are constantly having “straw that broke the camel’s back moments” when anything else goes wrong. I feel it one hundred million percent so let’s all take a deep breath (Did you do it?) and we’re going to address some common problems and feelings that might happen and how to deal with it with a level head:

Appliances Breaking:

In the words of Bender from The Breakfast Club, “Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place”. Unfortunately, this means that things are subject to break and when you notice that one of your home appliances is on the fritz, it’s important to deal with it quickly. We rely on appliances to make things easier for us and hand washing dishes or trips to the laundromat is the last thing you need. Seek out the best appliance repair services and get things back in working order so you can breathe easier.

Difficulty Working From Home:

Working from home is not for everyone and not even being able to leave the house to go to the office can make things very monotonous. If you are struggling with working from home, try doing all of the things that you would usually do if you were to go to the office in the morning. Take a shower, get dressed in something other than sweatpants, fix your hair, and eat a good breakfast. Also try having your lunch or breaks at their normally scheduled times. Sticking to a schedule and checking off everything on your morning to do list will help make you more motivated and add some normalcy to your day.

Feeling Lonely:

Sadly, feeling lonely is very common for people during the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s no wonder why. It’s hard not being able to see friends and family regularly as well as not having much to look forward to. If you are feeling alone it is important to reach out and talk to someone even if you don’t want to. I live for my scheduled FaceTime chats with my friends and it is the next best thing to seeing them in person. Send a text, make a call, or hop on Zoom to see some friendly faces or hear a familiar voice. It will do you a world of good.

Feeling Bored:

Also sadly, feeling bored is very common for people during the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s no wonder why! There is only so much Netflix you can watch, video games you can play, and books you can read until you are officially one with your couch. You need something new so now is the perfect time to begin that hobby you always wanted to try or work hard on your New Year’s resolutions. Take time out of your schedule each day to work on your new skill and you will be surprised at how far you’ve come when things are finally normal again.

These are overwhelming times, indeed, and it is important to know how to deal with problems even when you are so stressed. Think rationally about what you are experiencing or feeling and then make the best decision on what you can do to make the situation better. Let’s do this!

How You Can Be Kind To Yourself In 2021

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How You Can Be Kind To Yourself In 2021

If there is one good thing about a new year, it’s that it gives you a clean slate to try something new. For some people, this is kicking bad habits. For others, it’s being more in-tune with their friends and family. This is all well and good but it’s also important to remember to be kind to yourself in 2021 too. We all know how tough the previous year was, and while there are still reverberations from 2020, it’s still possible to put yourself first for the new year:

Keep a journal:

Keeping a journal is not just a great tool to keep track of your days, it can also help you reflect and work through any problems you encounter throughout the year. This will give you the chance to recognize how insignificant such problems were, even if they seemed too much to handle at the time. A journal will also help you see how much you have grown throughout the year and give you something to look back on fondly. Ideally, you want to write in your journal every day so your memories don’t fade.

Try something new:

Humans are not designed to stand still, but many people will get to a point where they don’t explore anything new. There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable, but it can mean that you get dissatisfied with life. This is why it’s always useful to try something new, whether you want to try something you’ve always wanted, like running a marathon or losing weight, or even doing something that you’ve never done before. This could be rock climbing, dyeing your hair a different color, or testing out foods that you have never had.

Make new friends:

It’s tricky to make new friends as an adult. Everyone seems too busy, and they have so many responsibilities that it feels impossible to find the time to hang out with someone else. However, the potential for new friends is out there. You just need to know where to look. If you’re trying new hobbies, look for online communities who can advise you on whether a Shimano Tyrnos conventional reel is the right fishing tool or whether a sub-five minute kilometer is something to celebrate, which it is, by the way!

Spend more time with yourself:

One of the most effective ways to be kinder to yourself this year is to spend more time with yourself. It’s nice to hang out with friends and family, but you also need the chance to recharge and do what you want to do. It’s important to get comfortable in your own company, so put your feet up, pick out your favorite book, and relax. You’ll find that you enjoy your own company much more than you expected.

Be kind:

Some people will spend all of their time trying to be kind to others and forget about being kind to themselves. However, it is impossible to fill others’ cups when yours is empty. So, don’t be afraid to give yourself some time to recharge and be kinder to yourself. Once you feel one hundred percent, you can start thinking about helping others, too.

2021 can’t be as bad as 2020, right? Use the tips above to help you start this new year on the right foot!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Have You Lost Weight?

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Have You Lost Weight?

Trigger Warning – This post discusses eating disorders!

Hi everyone! Have you ever received a compliment that made you a little upset? As a recovering bulimic, I admit that I still worry about my weight a lot even though I haven’t purged in several years. So, when I was asked twice in one work day if I lost weight it definitely had me feeling some type of way – even though I don’t really do anything to work out except for a couple of short walks once or twice a week.

I genuinely hate being asked if I lost weight because the thoughts that instantly form in my mind go along the lines of “was I overweight before?” and “challenge accepted, I’ll lose more”. It is extremely triggering for me and, although I have much better coping skills now, I still have to deal with those thoughts and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t still thinking about it.

A lot of people think that asking someone if they have lost weight could be a compliment but I know firsthand that it is anything but. I encourage all of you to really think before you ask someone that and would advise to only ask it if you know for a fact that the person is actively trying to lose weight for a healthier lifestyle. You have no idea if the person you’re asking has or had an eating disorder, an illness, or tons of stress that has attributed to their recent weight loss. What you think is a compliment could actually be harmful and has the power to hurt feelings and exasperate issues that people are currently struggling or used to struggle with.

If you genuinely want to compliment someone in regards to their weight, I would recommend just telling them that they look good. “Hey, you look nice today” has a lot less of a negative connotation than straight up asking if they lost weight. Some people might roll their eyes when they read this post as they are sick of having to “monitor” what they say. But, as writers, we all know that words have power and effect everyone differently.

I know all of the statements in this post to be true for me personally and I just wanted to open everyone’s eyes to a comment that they might not even think about before they make it. Choose your words carefully and don’t use them to cause anyone any additional stress – with the state of the world right now, I promise that we all have a lot more important things to deal with than racing thoughts about if you lost a couple of pounds. Just something to think about!

What is a “compliment” that you hate receiving? What is a compliment that you like to give to people? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How To Enjoy A Calm Winter

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How To Enjoy A Calm Winter

Winter is well and truly on its way. In fact, it’s pretty much here. And with what’s going on in the world right now, you may find that you really don’t want to be spending too much time on anything that’s strenuous or that takes your energy away. And if that’s the case, you will be reaping as many of the benefits that a winter hibernation can offer you. At this time of the year, we don’t always want to spend too much outside or on hard activities. Instead, we want to be able to slow down and make sure that we can get through to spring feeling fantastic. To help you to do that, you may find that the ideas below will inspire you:

Switch off more:

To start with, one of the best things that you can do here is to make sure that you’re letting yourself switch off as much as possible. If you’re always on the go or your mind is always racing, your time won’t be calm. So try to switch off from work or the online world for a little bit if you can.

Distance yourself:

From here, you might want to try and think about keeping your distance from negativity. This may seem like a strange thing to add in as a winter practice, however, it can be really beneficial for your mind. If you know that you have a lot of toxic people in your life as you’re choosing to enjoy a few calming months, it’s good to try and keep them at arm’s length. That way, you know that your tranquillity won’t be threatened.

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Make room for calming practices:

The next thing that you might want to do is make sure that you are welcoming more calming practices into your life. You may find that you are able to feel a lot calmer throughout the colder months when you actively look to make this happen. Maybe you want to read instead of watch TV? Turn to something like Bloom Farms CBD instead of alcohol? Or quiet games nights with family rather than something rowdier? It all helps.

Treat yourself better:

Even if you think you already do this, you may not be treating yourself as well as you’d think. Are you resting? Are you looking after your body? Are you prioritizing your needs? If not, then you’re going to want to make sure that you change this. You’ll find it helps you to be a lot calmer and feel much better about yourself.

Enjoy the downtime:

Finally, you may find that it’s actually really nice for you to just enjoy more of the downtime. Winter isn’t always as fun, busy, and outgoing as summer – and it needn’t be. With winter comes the cold and dark and it’s not always the time of year that you want to be active. So just let yourself enjoy the calm and the slower pace. Do less. Relax. Be slow. Lap up all of the things you can do in hibernation before a glorious springtime comes back once again.

Ready, set, relax with the tips above and have a calm and safe winter!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

How To Take Better Care Of Yourself

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How To Take Better Care Of Yourself

It’s not always easy to take the best care of yourself. Even though you know deep down that you need to look after your health and wellness, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, life gets in the way. And when that’s the case, you may find that you put yourself and your care to the bottom of the pile. But this is never a good idea. Because, before long, you will find that it catches up with you and you will find yourself feeling sick or run down. So, it’s important for you to make sure that you know how to take care of yourself. This can be especially important if you are feeling stressed or burned out. Here’s what you can do:

Get More Sleep:

To start with, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. It’s easy to think that you are, but it’s more likely the case that you are not. Especially if you are feeling off! However, you may find that when you sleep better, you’re going to feel great too. You will feel healthy and much better in yourself. So do what you can to make high-quality sleep your priority.

Look After Your Body:

From here, you’re then going to want to make sure that you are looking after your body as much as you possibly can. It’s important for you to keep your nutrition in check and to keep on top of your exercise. This is something that will always make you feel better in yourself. So make this a big part of your routine.

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Get Your Check-Ups:

You’re going to want to make sure that you are getting yourself medically checked out too. You know that you need to see a doctor when you’re sick or for a general check up, and you have to do the same with your dentist too. So why not access their website and make an appointment. It’s something so small but it can really make a difference to your health.

Be Kind To Yourself:

It’s also important for you to make sure that you are as kind to yourself as possible. If you feel stressed or you are beating yourself up about something, it’s going to have an affect on your health. So, you need to make sure that you are working on your mental health so you can keep viewing yourself in a positive light.

Finally, you are also going to want to make sure that you’re making self care a priority. You can’t just rush through life stressed out and feeling overwhelmed – it’s not going to do anything for your health. However, if you can slow down a bit and make sure that you’re having some me time, it will really help your health. Things like taking a bath, pampering, drinking more water, having cozy evenings, and just relaxing can really help you to take better care of yourself. Enjoy!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

 

Taking Care Of My Mental Health In Quarantine

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Taking Care Of My Mental Health In Quarantine

Hello! Living in a quarantine style state can be very taxing on one’s mental health. It’s hard when you can’t see your friends as often and every day outings that you used to look forward to have become a thing of the past. As someone who has struggled with depression for over a decade, I know first hand that it can be very easy to fall into a slump when you’re confined to the four walls of your home day in and day out.

So, how do I keep a positive attitude despite hardly ever leaving my apartment? A healthy mixture of the following keeps me right on track:

Scheduled Pampering:

Once a week, typically over the weekend, I always enjoy using a new face mask. I like having a “treat” that I look forward to and experimenting with different face masks is a fun and cheap way to try something new. I ordered a pack of six different sheet face masks from Amazon and got twelve in total for ten bucks. I thought it was a steal and now I have something new to try for the next several weeks. Score!

Getting Enough Sleep:

I think one of the most important things that one can do, especially if they are currently not working, is to continue with their normal sleep schedule. It is very easy to fall into the trap of staying up late and sleeping in until the following afternoon and that is not good! Try and maintain your regular schedule throughout the day as much as possible. I always find that a sense of normality makes me feel better and a good night’s sleep tends to do the trick, too. 🙂

Exercise Your Mind:

There are so many fun apps and games that are designed to make you think. Believe you me, I enjoy a video game or movie marathon just as much as the next one. But, so much mindless entertainment can leave your brain feeling mushy. Spend an hour or two a day with a good book, a crossword puzzle, or even building with LEGO. I promise that it will be a welcome break from whatever show you’re currently binging and your brain will thank you!

Talking About It:

We are all dealing with the current state of things differently because we have never experienced anything like this before. Everyone is feeling nervous and scared and those feelings can continue to fester into something debilitating if you keep it all bottled up. Have a conversation with a trusted friend or family member and voice what is concerning you or giving you anxiety. You will probably find that they have a lot of similar fears and that is usually really comforting to me and, hopefully, for you too.

With the times that we are living in right now, it is easy to let your own self care fall by the wayside. So, use the tips above and get yourself back to baseline and, then, beyond!

How have you been taking care of your mental health? What make you feel better? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah