Tag Archives: MentalHealth

Surprising Health Benefits Of A Wedding

 

A bride and groom with their hands interlocking into the shape of two hearts

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You get married for one thing, right? Yep, everyone gets hitched because they have met the person of their dreams. So, all the stress and hassle of planning a wedding, it’s worth it when you get to say “I do.”

 

Well, it turns out there is one more reason to walk down the aisle: your health. Although it doesn’t feel this way, a wedding is an excellent way to boost fitness and well-being. Couples who tie the knot, according to studies, tend to be fitter and healthier than their counterparts.

 

Here are some of the reasons why this is the case.

Lower Stress Levels

Okay, so getting married can be a stressful and demanding time of your life. However, a study by the University of Chicago found that cortisol levels in married couples are lower than singletons. For those who don’t know, cortisol is the hormone which regulates stress. Too much of it in the body and the levels will rise and you will feel the adverse effects. Apparently, having a bond with a person, as well as a sounding board, is an excellent way to deal with other pressures in a person’s life. Considering healthline.com say stress is a killer, this is something to celebrate. Who’s got the second bouquet?

 

Get More Sleep

The majority of people would think that a wedding wouldn’t affect sleep. Indeed, having someone sleeping beside you is worse! However, Wendy Troxel found that married couples are better off in the sleep stakes. When a person is happy and content, they sleep through the night. So, a happy marriage is a vehicle for people, particularly women, to get 40 winks and the rest. Seen as sleep helps regenerate cells, repair muscle tissue, and improve a person’s mood, it’s an important part of everyday life. Just make sure you don’t interrupt your eight hours a night with too much hanky panky!

 

Reduced Health Costs

Healthcare is costly, and the price is enough to exclude some people from having coverage. Even those with a policy might not be able to afford a comprehensive one. This doesn’t apply to married couples. According to csmonitor.com, it is cheaper for married couples because they can combine their plans. A quick look on healthinsurancequotes.co will show this to be true. How does this help people’s health? Well, a comprehensive policy covers more ailments and helps people recover more quickly. When a person has a quality healthcare plan, they are likely to get better.

 

Live Longer

Last but not least, it’s longevity. At the moment, the rest of your life is a long way away. But, studies show that married couples tend to last the test of time. Not to be morbid, but Ilene Siegler says that unmarried people are more than twice as likely to die early. Apparently, the changes in marital status in midlife affect health risks for the better for those in a marriage. So, the big day is an investment for the rest of your days. How romantic!

 

When you look into your partner’s eye, remember that a wedding is about more than love.

End Of Life Care: How Does Complementary Therapy Help?

If you haven’t heard the term, palliative care refers to the care of patients that are coming toward the end of their life. It’s about keeping them comfortable, happy and secure as their life comes to its full circle. Advanced progressive illnesses such as cancer and dementia are commonly not responsive to medicinal treatment in a curative way.

When your family member has been through a rigorous programme of drugs, drips and hospital stays, palliative care can feel like a relief. It’s not just about managing their pain at the end of their life, but it’s about providing a holistic approach which incorporates spiritual care services with the view of achieving quality of life for the remaining months they have. If you want to learn some more about spiritual care in end of life patients, Stanford Medicine has a great spiritual care library collection that can be read from online. Many patients find palliative care difficult to handle, and not just emotionally. The side effects of palliative care can be difficult and so those patients that struggle with those effects often turn to complementary therapies.

An Elderly couple holding hands

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There is a great range of complementary therapies that are available to patients on end of life care. We’ve listed for you below the most common types of palliative care that patients turn to that differ from the traditional medical approach. If your relative is currently looking for additional relief, always seek the advice of a doctor before going ahead.

Homeopathy. You may have read about homeopathy in passing, but the extracts used in homeopathy are all designed to help stimulate the body into self-healing by activating the natural defences. These can mainly help a palliative care patient mentally, providing relief alongside traditional medicine.

Reiki. There are many healing types out there, and Reiki uses the energy of the patient in a positive way to find an internal balance. People have an electromagnetic field surrounding them, and Reiki helps to restore that healthy energy that is missing for a patient under end of life care. It can be used in patients to make them feel calm, relaxed and peaceful; which we all know goes a long way to healing.

Acupuncture. You can read about acupuncture here in more detail, but using needles to restore a natural rhythm to a system that is out of balance can be very effective. Emotional and physical stresses can be relieved in this way, and regular appointments can give patients time to relax and as it’s tailored to the individual, no two acupuncture programs will be the same.

Holistic therapies are often not supported by medical doctors as a method of treatment, despite the numerous evidence based articles that support them. Complementary therapies like the ones that have been listed have all had great success in alleviating emotional and physical pain of patients who are struggling to cope with their course of palliative care – which can be stressful. It runs alongside their regular treatment to provide additional relief, and can always be considered.

4 Ways to Improve your Mental Health Today

A woman with long Blonde Hair sitting on a beach looking out at sea

Image: here

Mental health is becoming less of a taboo subject, and in the past few years alone there has been a marked increase in those diagnosed with conditions such as anxiety and depression.
It could be partly blamed on the stressful, corporate world we live in, but also the fact that many of these people were scared to admit they had a problem, for fear of being judged.

However as the online world is exploding to the forefront of everyone’s eyes, more and more people are stepping out of that shell and seeking help.

Today is the day to look at yourself and see something positive, to fight through those feelings and truly live in the moment. Here are four ways to improve your mental health today. Also feel free to check out my other post on this subject: Improve Your Mental Health by Avoiding these 3 Things.

Break up your day

Monotony can be one of the worst triggers for anxious and depressive thoughts because the mind allows itself to wander to a different place and let bad experiences take over. If you are doing the same job every single day, you may start to feel down, unworthy and sad. If there are a few different task you must complete each day, break them up throughout the day to wake up the brain. If you have to write 100 emails and create a spreadsheet- write 50 emails, then complete the worksheet- and go back to the emails later. Keeping the brain awake and alert is an effective way to improve mental health.

A bath bomb sitting next to a candle
Image: here

Reset the mind

Learning to step back from stressful situations is a valuable skill in protecting the mind. If you’ve experienced a particularly stressful week, take a step back and switch off. Have a bath, pour some wine, relax. Learn to pamper yourself and have that all so valuable alone time once in awhile.

Ask for Help

Asking someone for help is one of the most difficult things to do when suffering from mental illness, but it is something that is so valuable and will lift a weight off your shoulders instantly. If you don’t feel like you can talk to a friend or family member, talk to a stranger. If the day is overwhelming, or you feel like you are going to hurt yourself for whatever reason. Talk to someone, visit an urgent care clinic, or simply write it down. It will lift a weight and help you to recover from whatever feelings are taking over.

A person striking a yoga pose as the sun is setting behind them
Image: here

Take Care of Your Body

It’s just as important when it comes to taking care of the mind, to also take care of your body. It has been proven in studies that eating healthy and exercising increases the presence of neurotransmitters such as serotonin- the happy hormone. If you feel too anxious to visit a gym, there’s no need to force yourself out of your comfort zone. There are plenty of videos online which will teach you easy at home workouts with no need to fancy equipment.

The mind is a fragile thing which you should take care of with care. Following these simple tips, you will be able to improve your mental health, today, tomorrow, and in the future.



How to Recognize the Signs of Anxiety in Children

A Sad little boy wearing a hat

Image source- https://pixabay.com/en/sad-child-boy-kid-young-mood-72217/

 

Many children deal with anxiety and worry in daily life. It’s usually perfectly okay. However, more and more children are suffering from more severe anxiety problems. This is often due to problems at home, pressures from social media and their peers and stresses over school work and exams. Children today have a lot more to worry about than in previous generations.

 

Recognizing there is a problem and seeking help is always the first step to fighting mental illness and as children can’t always do this for themselves, it’s imperative that their parents are aware of the symptoms. Here are some common signs of anxiety in children.

 

Changed Sleeping Patterns

A little girl sleeping cuddling a teddy

Image source – https://pixabay.com/en/sleeping-child-napping-girl-kid-1311784/

 

Children suffering from anxiety may have trouble getting to sleep. They could be lying awake thinking about the day ahead, getting themselves more worried and wound up. You may notice them being tired in the morning, or seemingly over-sleeping as they start napping or have trouble waking up.

 

Eating More or Less

 

Children comfort eat when they are suffering, just like adults. But you could also notice them eating less, binge eating or displaying other signs of an eating disorder. Weight is a common concern for children in modern society, especially as they start getting a little older. So, if you have any concerns at all, contact HeadFirst Counseling who may be able to help.

 

Quietness

 

One of the first signs parents notice is that their usually chatty and open child has become withdrawn and quiet. This doesn’t necessarily need to be about them opening up about problems, you may just notice them being much less lively and talkative than usual. This could be because there is something on their mind, or they want to tell you something but are struggling to find the words. In these situations, it’s important that you find ways to let them know you are there, without pushing and pressuring them to talk.

 

Change in Behavior

 

You know your child better than anyone and will be the first to spot any changes in their behavior, small or large. Keep an eye on them, if there is anything that concerns you, either gently speak to them, or get advice. When it comes to your children and their health, physical and mental, it’s important to trust your instincts.

 

Not Wanting to Do Things

 

Another common symptom of anxiety in both adults and children is a loss of interest in doing things they used to enjoy. In children, this often manifests as not wanting to go to school, to extracurricular clubs and classes or out playing with their friends. Try to look for a pattern in this behavior; it may give you a clue as to what it is that is causing them such anxiety.

 

Spending More Time Alone

 

Children suffering from anxiety often retreat to a safe place. This could be their bedrooms, a den, or anywhere they feel comfortable and safe. While it’s normal for children to seek out some space of their own, if you are having to force them to come out, it could be a sign of a problem.

 

While on their own, these things shouldn’t be too much of a concern, if your child is exhibiting several signs and symptoms you should contact your GP or a counselor for help.

Improve Your Mental Health By Avoiding These 3 Things

Mental health affects one in five adults and can be a deadly illness to overcome. If it’s not treated properly then you could be facing a long and difficult road. Whether you suffer with chronic stress, anxiety or depression, you should get yourself some help. There’s no weakness is admitting that something isn’t right within your mind and in fact, it takes great strength to seek help. There are many factors in life that increase the symptoms of mental health issues, and they should be avoided as much as possible to ensure that your mental health improves and you can start feeling more like yourself again.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol in recommended amounts is generally a safe thing to do, but as humans we tend to overindulge and have more than we are supposed to. Alcohol is a depressant, which upsets the chemical balance in our brains and therefore increasing any underlying issues with our mental health. It also dehydrates us, and it often takes us the following few days to restore the water missing from our bodies. Drinking too much can also affect our judgement and actions, meaning that we may end up doing something we wouldn’t normally do when we’re sober. Staying away from alcohol (or at least sticking to the recommended daily amount) will greatly reduce any feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression. If you think you might be addicted to alcohol, find your nearest AA meeting or speak to your GP for ways to quit and get your mental health back on the right track.

A black tree inside a human head outline

Pixabay

Cannabis

Using cannabis is often mistaken for ‘helping’ mental health issues, but this is not the case. While it may give you a high and relax you for a short time, once you have come down from cannabis you feel the need to have more. The side effects from smoking it actually increase feelings of anxiety and depression, and studies have shown that long term use from an early age actually link to people developing mental health issues in the first place. Things like schizophrenia and depression have been proven to develop in some people that have smoked it from an early age. To stop smoking weed, visit https://canadiancentreforaddictions.org/how-to-stop-smoking-weed-forever/ and give up the addiction that’s making you falsely believe it’s helping your mental health.

Junk food

As much as we all love junk food, it’s unfortunately going to increase the bad feelings that come across you to do with your mental health. Try to eat as much fresh food as possible. Not only will you notice your mental health improve, but you may even drop a few pounds which will add to your self confidence.

Avoiding these three things will greatly improve your state of mind and allow you to take the right steps to recovery. If you are still struggling, see your GP for help on defeating your mental health issues. Don’t struggle alone.

 

 

Disability Q&A #19 Vicky

Welcome back Ladies and Gents to another instalment of my Disability Q&A.

Today we have Vicky, she and I follow each other on Twitter and she reached out and asked to be a part of the series. I’m really happy that she did because her truth shines a light on just how tough life can be living with a disability.

Over to you Vicky 🙂

Tell me about yourself:

Hi, i’m Vicky (AKA LooneyChick), I’m 34 and I live in Cornwall.
I am a Blogger and Vlogger and my hobbies include Blogging, Photography, Social Media, Swimming, mountain biking, Scooting, playing the guitar,
writing music and going to music gigs.

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?
By day I work as a freelance social media, content and SEO manager, at night and weekends, I like
to Vlog and Blog.

What is the medical reason you have a disability?
I suffer from a suspected Bipolar type 2, and I also have a bulging disc in my lower back which affects
my mobility.

When were you first diagnosed?
I first saw a psychiatrist in May 2015 and then again in November 2015. They first thought I had a
personality disorder and then they said I had Adjustment disorder, but they couldn’t rule out
whether I had Bipolar because they didn’t have enough evidence to support this because they
needed to see me when I’m on a high.

Did you notice changes within yourself first, or did someone else?
I’ve always felt different. Many people have told me that I like depressive music and my idols are
mainly people who have killed themselves.

Some people have also said that they don’t know how to approach me because they don’t know
whether I will be happy or sad.

I’ve always failed to keep friends and hold down jobs. Some days I can’t focus other days I’m very
over productive, and some days I have been told I can be normal so to speak.

Do you refer to yourself as a person with a disability? If not, why not?
Yes because I haven’t got the same abilities as an average person; for example, I hate being in
crowded places, I can’t take lots of information in at the same time, and I have problems with
finances. When I’m on a high, I often overspend on things I don’t necessarily need. I’m extremely
impatient as well.

Do you tell others about your disability? Or do you prefer to keep that to yourself until you are
comfortable with the person knowing?
Only my family and close friends know about my disability.

Do you take any medication, or have you in the past?
I was put on Sertraline in September 2013, but it didn’t make a difference, so in February 2014, I
was given the option and prescription for Prozac, but my doctor said that I wouldn’t need pills, but I
would have a choice.
A year later, In February 2015 I was put on Venlafaxine by a Psychiatrist.

What were your initial thoughts about taking medication?
I was disappointed in myself for not being able to stay medication free. I felt like a failure because I
was letting something far more powerful than I could control take over my mind.

Did you suffer from any side affects? If so, please explain.
I once went away to my sister’s to look after her children while she was in hospital and I forgot my
medication. Within 48 hours I was really sick and I felt really low and couldn’t function. I remember
lying on the couch with tears streaming down my cheeks without reason.




If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.

Yes and no. I enjoy the feeling you get when you are on a high, as long as it doesn’t get me into
trouble. However, what goes up must go down and the further I go up, the further I will fall. The
lows are the worst feeling ever
For those who do not know much about your disability how does it affect your mobility?
*
When I’m depressed I always feel tired; I sleep more, although it’s never a deep sleep and anxiety
makes my legs feel wobbly.

How has your disability effected you?
*Socially
When I’m high, I’m a social butterfly, buzzing with laughter and jokes, and often over familiar with
people, and when I’m depressed, I don’t want to see or talk to anyone.
*physically
When I’m on a high, I have lots of energy, and with the lows, I have little energy.
*Mentally
I’m very alert on highs, and when depressed I’m unable to focus, and I’m physically and mentally
drained.
Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?
*Please give a positive example of how this has done so…
I probably wouldn’t have started a blog on mental health if I didn’t suffer from it and I wouldn’t have
researched the different types of illnesses.

What are the positives of having a disability?
Learning and understanding the disability. One of the reasons I started my blog to help raise mental
health awareness.
What are the negatives of having a disability?
Having and trying to have a normal life and deal with the stigma.
What would you say is difficult for you being disabled?
*
Relationships and working are both complicated for me because I can’t hold down friendships and
relationships. I’ve also struggled to gain and maintain working in an environment full of people
which is part of the reason why I became self-employed.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another disabled person?
Make lists and make time for exercise or meditation even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.
still like to make old fashioned lists with pen and paper or on a whiteboard to help me remember
things. I also keep a diary on my desk.
I have been guilty of not taking enough time out from the computer to do my daily exercise and
meditation. I’m hoping to join a gym after Easter.
Do you use Assistive technology in your daily living?
No apps at the moment, Just diaries and lists.
What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a similar
position?
Try and find a local group to visit. If you don’t want to go on your own, ask a parent, carer or a
friend. You will learn more about your illness, and they will help give you advice on how to stay safe.
Also, check my blog www.looneychickblog.co.uk and other mental health blogs. You can educate
yourself and even talk to people on social media who are going through the same thing as you.
Any advice you’d like to give to a person with no mental health issues?
Please take some time out to learn about mental health. 1 in 4 people have it. It’s easy to ignore,
laugh at and just pretend it’s not happening to you or your loved one. The chances are that it’s real
and happening and at least one of your loved ones is suffering from a mental health issue
(undiagnosed) or has previously suffered. There’s no shame in ringing up one of the charity
helplines or going to a group if you are struggling to cope with a loved one’s mental health problems.
Whatever you do don’t abandon them, this has happened to me several times.

Did you seek out any specialist services/charities to help you and your family deal with your
situation?
*MIND – I read their website regularly for up to date news.

*Counselling – I have previously had CBT sessions with the NHS, and I was on the Community Mental
Health Team until the end of last year.
*Support groups
I attend group meetings at a Bipolar Group who are part of Bipolar UK once a month.
Where can people find you out in the world?
*Blog – www.looneychickblog.co.uk
*YouTube – Launching in April (Date to be decided)
*FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/The-Looney- ChickBlog-663020583855452/?ref=bookmarks
*Twitter – @adminChick
*Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/110128946030393319190/110128946030393319190
*LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/vicki-williams- 94187611/
*Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/looneychick
*Pinterest – Also going Live in April
*Email – Vicky@looneychickblog.co.uk

❤❤ Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed! Vicky, I love your honesty in what you have gone through, and I love that you encourage others to seek help and learn about mental illness. ❤❤

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/category/disability-qa-campaign/




How to Rock Your Disability

When you’re dealing with a disability, many people will say ‘don’t let your disability define you’. Well, that’s easier said than done, because your disability does somewhat define you. But, it doesn’t have to destroy you. There may be certain things that you’re unable to by yourself or unable to do period. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying life. In fact, many people have achieved amazing things because of their disability. Take Jim Abbott for instance – a major league baseball player with a deformed right arm. If you’re ready to take the world by storm, here’s how to do it.

Quote in the coulds I have within me all the dreams in the world
Flickr

Don’t Be Afraid to Dream
Your disability may hinder you in some ways, but dreaming of the future is still important. It’s also important to recognise that dreams can evolve. So, if you dreamt of doing something or being someone when you were younger but your disability means you can’t reach that goal, keep dreaming. For example, if you dreamed of becoming a ballerina but you haven’t got full use of your legs, you can still join wheelchair dance classes, and perhaps dream about opening a dance school for disabled children in the future. Try creating a dream board for inspiration. Your possibilities are never completely burnt out.

You Are Not Your Weakness
In fact, a disability isn’t a weakness at all. If you’re willing to look at it from a different perspective, your disability could be your biggest strength. Thankfully, there are many new and innovative disability aids that will allow you to have as much independence in life as possible. One of the biggest challenges for people with disabilities is dealing with the views of others. You may be as positive as you can be about your disability, only to run into someone who treats you like a child or see’s you as nothing more than a disability. In these circumstances, you have to be the most confident person in the room and assert your independence. Show people how smart and beautiful you are. Every time you do, you become an advocate for every other person suffering with a disability.

A lady looking at the camera Eating an Apple
Flickr

Live a Healthy Lifestyle
When you have to live with a disability, there will undoubtedly be times where you feel like giving up. You may suffer with bouts of depression and anxiety and you may not want to make the effort to look after yourself. You may even turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the way you feel about your body and your life. If you need help recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, visit www.orlandorecovery.com/ and get some support. It’s also important to have a healthy diet and get as much exercise and fresh air as possible. All three of those things contribute to good mental health and encourage a good mood. If you’re living with a disability, taking good care of yourself is vital.

Know Your Limits
Pushing yourself to reach your goals and striving for independence is wonderful. But, there will be times when you need help. No man is an island. It’s okay to ask for help when you know you need it. If you push yourself too hard, you could damage your health and risk the plans you have in store for your future. When it comes to stress, you’re just like everyone else. Make sure you take well-earned breaks on a regular basis. It’s also beneficial to develop a good support network of family, friends and medical professionals. That way, when you’re really in need of some help, you have plenty of people to rely upon.

Picture of a glass with the quote because the glass really is half full

Flickr

Think Positively

Stephen Hawking once said, ‘Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically’. Sometimes, the first thing you need to do in order to live positively is to accept your disability. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with it and that’s that. But, that doesn’t mean the world has to be full of doom and gloom. It would be easy for you to become negative because of what you have to live with, but that’s not what you want, is it? Here are some tips on positive thinking – http://www.success.com/article/7-practical-tips-to-achieve-a-positive-mindset. Do your best to stay positive, even in the midst of hopelessness. Let your personality shine brighter than your disability and forgive anyone that offends you.

As a disabled person, you’re faced with something that can seem almost impossible. But, don’t let your disability turn into a mountain you can’t climb. You have what it takes to reach your goals, no matter what your disability is. Find ways to jump over your obstacles and always look for the positive in every situation.

Working On Your Wellbeing: Is It Time You Paid More Attention To Your Mental Health?

When somebody mentions the word health, what springs to mind? As a society, we tend to focus most of our time and energy on physical health, but what about mental health? When was the last time you thought about how you feel? Mental health should be a subject in which we all take an interest. You shouldn’t have to have a psychological disorder to pay attention to your mental health. The truth is that we should all be concerned about our wellbeing. If you don’t give your mental health much thought, this guide should come in handy.

A lay looking into the sunset with her arms spread

Image from https://www.pexels.com/search/happiness/

 

The importance of mental health

Do you go to the gym or try and be as active as possible? Do you watch what you eat and try and ensure that you get enough sleep every night? Most of us make an effort to look after our bodies, but it’s much less common to go out of your way to take care of your mind. When you hear people talking about mental health, you may assume that this only applies to issues such as depression and anxiety, but this isn’t the case. Everybody should be aware of the importance of mental health. We all have a mind, we all have thoughts and feelings, and we can all do more to try and improve our mental wellbeing.

 

If you’ve never had days when you find it tough to get out of bed or you’ve never been in a situation where you’ve been crippled by anxiety when everyone else around you seems fine, you might not have given mental health much thought. Even if you are happy and content, you’re not immune to mental illness, and it’s always beneficial to try and take steps to reduce your risk of developing psychological disorders and to improve your mood. In the UK, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives.

I am happy with a smiley face written on a lined sheet of paper

Image via https://pixabay.com/en/happy-i-am-happy-smile-happiness-725815/

 

What are the signs and symptoms of mental illness?

Part of the problem facing a society that doesn’t like to indulge in open discussion about mental illness is being able to spot potential warning signs and symptoms. If we don’t talk about depression, stress, and anxiety, how can we expect people to understand what’s going on in their head? Everyone is different, and some people experience very different symptoms to others. There’s often a lot of confusion surrounding illnesses like depression, as it’s very poorly understood and it’s hard to express how it feels unless you’ve suffered yourself. It’s very easy for other people to view depression as a condition that can be shrugged off, but the reality is that it’s often a very severe illness. You would never tell somebody to shake off a broken leg, but it can be much tougher to understand mental illness because it doesn’t cause bruising, limping, or any other visible signs. Depression is not just feeling down or having a bad day. It’s going through periods of time when you question your worth, you struggle to control your emotions, and you find it difficult to summon up the energy or the motivation to see friends, get out of bed or leave the house.

The back of a woman who has her head and sholders hunched over apearing sad

Image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Figure_5._Anxiety_can_leave_a_person_feeling_extremely_sad.jpg

 

Help for mental illness

If you are worried about mental health, you’ve been feeling out of sorts, or you’re concerned for a loved one, there is mental illness help out there. You may find that something as simple as having a chat with a family member or a close friend is enough to make you feel better, you may thrive on exercise or meditation, or you might need more intensive help from doctors, counsellors, and therapists. The first step is acknowledging that everything isn’t quite as it should be. Once you understand that you don’t have to fight these battles alone, you can start to move forward. Techniques like counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to process things that have happened in the past and prepare for problems that may arise in the future. They can also help you to adjust your mindset and to gain confidence.

 

Many people also find it helpful to talk to others who have been through what they’re dealing with or people that are in the same boat. It’s hugely reassuring to know that you’re not on your own, and it is possible to get better. Charities can provide group support, and you can also link up with others through forums, events, and social media.

A female doctor talking to a female patient

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59308652@N02/5431718990

 

Working on your wellbeing

Every single one of us should want to work on our wellbeing. You don’t have to suffer from anxiety or depression to give your mental health some TLC. You look after your body to prevent injuries and illnesses without giving it a second thought, so don’t hesitate to take care of your mental health too. Often, making very simple changes to your lifestyle and how you spend your time can pave the way for major improvements.

 

To boost your self-esteem, happiness, and confidence, spend time with people who make you feel good and form positive relationships. Make time for yourself, as well as being sociable, and set aside time for hobbies and interests. If being creative or playing sport makes you happy, find time in your schedule to do this. If you are struggling in any way, for example, if you’re stressed or you’re finding it impossible to sleep, think about the causes, try and find solutions, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Triggers can range from a bad day at work to the loss of a loved one. Find activities that make you feel calm and relaxed and know when to take yourself off to a happy place. When things are getting on top of you or you feel low, give yourself a time out, take deep breaths, and calm down. Perhaps you find it comforting to call a friend, you need 5 minutes in the fresh air, or you find it helpful to meditate, stretch or write down what you’re feeling.

A book resting on a Ladies knee as she writes

Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/photos/writer/

 

There’s a lot of talk about mental health at the moment, but we still put a lot more effort into keeping our bodies healthy than we do our minds. If you haven’t given mental health much thought of late, hopefully, this guide has encouraged you to be more aware of mental illness and to take steps to boost your wellbeing.

Depression And Finding The Way Out…

We all feel like it sometimes, but when we sense the black dog on your shoulder, as Winston Churchill called it, we can feel desperate, helpless and everything in between. Your frame of mind is a big part of your health and suffering from a bout of depression can be very debilitating. But it also is important to know about the help that is available, and while a lot of us may choose to try and embark on our own rehabilitation methods, it’s always best to know what is out there for you.

Antidepressants

Diffrent types of medicine on a white table

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It can depend on the root cause of your depression whether a course of antidepressants is the right method, and there have been various cases for and against taking antidepressants but it’s proving to be most effective for those that have a case of mild depression or are going through a difficult period. It’s usually the first port of call for many doctors to give out antidepressants but it’s important to discuss with your local pharmacy if there is anything you may feel uncomfortable with it, especially when it comes to the long list of side effects on the package. It all depends on where you live, but some excellent non-profit pharmacies work with healthcare professionals to try and provide a holistic approach to your medication. Places like Rx Outreach services don’t charge membership fees or shipping fees for medication, which if you are in the US, can make a big difference if you are thinking about going on a course of antidepressants or not due to the cost.

Meditation And Mindfulness
A drop of water causing ripples
Pixabay

This is another approach to tackling depression with regards to calming down the symptoms of anxiety. A lot of people find that they function with depression as their baseline and have been operating in this way for many years without realizing it. So taking part in relaxation techniques to help quieten the mind have been shown to work in the long term but it has not proven to be so effective for those that are operating under an extreme level of anxiety. Meditation is a very effective long term practice to have in your life, and once you have got to a suitable baseline of relaxation, it is then that meditation proves most beneficial. If you find that you need to calm the symptoms of anxiety before embarking on a meditation practice there are things you can do such as specific breathing exercises which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and calm the lymphatic nervous system.

Counseling

A man in a counceling session

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If the root cause of your depression or anxiety stems from something that is ingrained in your past, counseling with a combination of cognitive behavior therapy has proven to be very effective, primarily for the reason that the issues are being discussed and dealt with after a long period of time. Depending on where you live in the world, so it is possible to get counseling for free through various charity organizations, but with the right structure, it’s possible to work through your issues with a friend or a confidante.

Depression isn’t something that should be suffered in silence yet most of us tend to. If you are feeling in the grips of depression, it’s important to try and get whatever little help you can, and these three methods can be a springboard to a happier and healthier life, so don’t deprive yourself of this.

Registered Bridezilla: The Proposal

I have an announcement to make… And no doubt judging by the title you have already put 2 and 2 together and come up with wedding bells:

yes that’s right, Gary and I are engaged!!

The proposal was relaxed, romantic and very Gary!

But i’m going to spoil the fantasy of grandure and the ultimate surprise…

I knew it was going to happen, in fact I practically forced Gary into it.

A table with multiple engagement cards

Now let’s just remind you of the title of this post!

So here’s our story: Gary and I, like many couples talked about our future, what we wanted out of life and our plans for that future together.
We have been saving for a house for the last year, and had decided that we would rather get married after we bought our home.

We have entered a help to buy scheme, which only allows you to put a certain amount of money in the account per month,although we are not desperate to move from our flat, we realised that it was going to take us a lot longer than we anticipated to physically save and get the extra support from the government.

So over this time the topic of marriage and weddings came about, which was thoroughly encouraged by Gary’s family.
“So when are you 2 going to get engaged?”
“I need anew wedding to look forward to.”

At this time we both explained that we would rather aim for owning our own home, but we probably would be engaged by the time we bought the house.

And the questions kept coming…
“Are you engaged yet.”
“Has Gary popped the question?”

And that was it for me.

I’m an extremely obsessive person, and my depression exacerbates that.
I dropped some, ok a lot of not so subtle hints, even asking Gary outright when he was going to propose.
Everything was met with love and a lot of sarcasm.
“Soon.”
“Soon when?”
“Tuesday.”
This went on for a few months before I demanded that I wanted to be married by the time i was 29, so Gary had 3 years to propose.

Yes, I am crazy!

And when Gary called me crazy, I would just respond with.

“Yes I am. Crazy in love with you!!”

And we carried on in this merry dance for a while longer.

But my depression and obsessive thoughts got the better of me. I started to believe that Gary didn’t want to marry me at all.
I started to ruminate on our previous conversations, fall outs and arguments and convinced myself that I was far too much hard work for Gary and of course he wasn’t going to commit to someone who causes arguments, and over reacts all of the time.

Gary started to notice my drop in communication and introspective attitude and urged me to talk to him.

We talked and I opened up,. Sharing my thoughts of his attitude towards marriage. Or what I thought they might be.

I was truly upset and Gary cuddled and reassured me that all the thoughts I had were my depression talking, and he explained that he wanted to marry me. but there was no rush. He loved me and he was building a life with me and Ida, and he was going nowhere.

I was comforted by his prisons, his words and his love.

It was about a week later when my depressive thoughts started to bombard me again.
They didn’t consume me as before, but I knew for my own piece of mind I had to speak with Gary again about marriage, and the proposal.

I breached the subject as we were laying in bed one night.
Gary was honest but hesitant and I knew there was something he wasn’t telling me.

I asked him out right, that aside from my depressive episodes and continuous chatting about marriage. Was he worried that if he proposed sooner rather than later, was he worry i’ll go into an obsessive frenzy and plan the wedding for as soon as possible?
And that’s what it was all about.
He was concerned that asking me to marry him would result in me obsessing and wanting to be married straight away.

I explained that my obsessive nature was always going to be there, and as I love to plan things, I would rope him into love wedding planning. But for me, it was about the security and knowledge that he wanted to be with me forever.
I explained that I would prefer a long engagement because it meant that I could take my time in organising things and asking for help.

And that’s when he and I fully understood each others thoughts and intentions.
I wanted him to propose for the peace of mind it would give my negative thoughts, not because I wanted to plan a wedding and be married by the next month.
Gary wanted to get married, but not straight away. His biggest concern was doing things wrong, and not getting the proposal right.

So now I’ve beaten him into submission, time to get that ring on my finger!! 🙂

I got a random text one day as i was hanging out with my friend:
“Get bigger fingers”
“I’ll try but I don’t think it’ll work.”

Cue the excited squeals of delight from Ellie and I!!

A few days later the 3 of us went shopping, Ellie and I decided to sit and wait while Gary went into a shop or 2 on his own.

10 minutes later…

“Can you come with me? The lady in the shop needs to talk to you.”
“ok…”
“So the lady in the shop doesn’t believe your ring finger size, she wants to measure it.”

Get’s ring finger measured, lady finally believes Gary.

“I think Gary is buying me an engagement ring!!”
“Exciting!! I thought that was the shop he went off to.”
Lots of smiles and hugs ensued!

“So the gift I bought you has a warranty of 3 years, so if you’re going to break it, do it in the timescale, ok?”

White gold ring,with purple amethyst and diamonds

Ring purchased, now to hint about asking my parents…

“Ok, are you going to ask my parents permission?”
No, what if they say no?”
“Just sing Rude by Magic to them, and run away.”
“Actually, they will probably pack my bags for you!”

This is mine and Gary’s sense of humour…

Time to hint a bit more.

“So, when you ask them, what are you going to say?”
“Do I have to ask them?”
“Yes!!”
“When are you going to do it?”
“The next time we are all going to be together is in a few weeks time. You should ask them then.”

We’re at a family wedding when Gary rushes up to me.

“I did it!”

Mother arrives.

“I hear congratulations are in order!!”
“For what?”
“Don’t play dumb, Gary has told us everything!!”

Lots of hugs, congratulations and champagne ensues!

“So, what did you say?”
“Well I asked them, and they said yes. I told them you forced me into proposing!”
“You did what?!”
“What did you do that for?! Now everyone will know i’m a psycho!”
“They know that anyway Sassy!”
“Plus, when I told your Dad, he just said you are your Mothers’ Daughter!”

We both laugh and drink Champagne.

Gary officially asked THE question just a few weeks later.

And, it was on a Thursday, not a Tuesday!

So there we are, our very unconventional and non romantic proposal story! I’m engaged to my Mr Perfect!

Are you engaged? How did your proposal happen?I’d love to know in the comments.

Much love,
Sassy x