All posts filed under: Mental health

Five Self-Care Tips for Better Mental Health

Struggling with mental health can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation and low self-esteem, which can in turn exacerbate poor mental health – the most vicious of cycles. I’d like to add here: if you are feeling very low, please speak out: contact your doctor, talk to a friend or relative, locate a therapist or ring the Samaritans. I promise you, there is always someone who will listen. Self-care is a massive trend right now and you’ve probably heard of it but may just think of it as a buzz word, platitude or marketing ploy so, as someone who suffers with extreme social anxiety and depression, let me tell you the self-care strategies I regularly use that actually improve my state of mind: Switching off from social media Three months ago, I took the decision to take a break from Facebook and haven’t looked back. I realised (and it took me 12 years to make the connection!) that it really was not good for my mental health, I was spending way too much time on …

When you think I’m being rude, here’s what’s going on inside…

The following posts discusses mental health, namely anxiety, and it’s effects. If you are struggling with your own mental health, you can find help here. You might see me on the school run, head down, face set, eyes resolutely avoiding contact. You may notice that if we cross paths in town, I will take out my phone and busy myself rather than stopping for a chat. If you do happen to engage me in conversation, you will likely pick up on the fact that I will just about answer your questions but rarely ask how you are in return. Socially, you may note that I look unapproachable and like I would really rather be anywhere else than where I am, even if it happens to be your birthday/hen party/some other celebration. You will realise that sometimes I just won’t show up if you invite me out.  I won’t always even give you advanced warning. Quite quickly, you will get the sense that I am, simply, astonishingly rude. It’s fine; you won’t be the first person …

Social Anxiety: The Struggle is Real

Social anxiety has been a huge problem for as long as I can remember; the feelings were there years before I was able to attribute a name to them.  I often feel like the name itself does not do the feelings justice.  You could be forgiven for thinking that “social” anxiety only manifests itself in the face of afternoon teas and nights out.  Sadly, that isn’t the case. In my experience, social anxiety can affect every interaction from the super benign (bumping into a friend on the school run) to the pretty huge (job interviews).  This anxiety makes me unreliable because I often just want to stay at home where it is safe rather than getting out and facing all the possible interactions that might occur in a single day.  It can make me appear unfriendly when that isn’t the case at all.  It can invoke feelings of paranoia where I am convinced people hate me even though they are probably just not speaking to me because I’ve spent the previous few days avoiding eye …

Insecurity

Insecurity. A satisfying word; ten letters, five syllables. Easily spoken and digested. Its relatively small size belies the enormity of the feeling it describes. Because insecurity distorts everything, it is an unsettling filter through which to view life. It begins existence as a minute seed sewn by something as small as a throwaway comment by a trusted someone, perhaps. It grows, however, and quickly. It spreads and changes and fills up all the empty spaces inside your head and your heart, eventually cramping out other, infinitely more rational, feelings. Insecurity makes you doubt your reactions to everything. Not always immediately. Usually you will have already reacted, and almost certainly in a negative capacity. Then comes the sensible, though often entirely too late, afterglow that tells you, maybe, that you are not hated, or hateful, that *insert relevant occurrence here* was just a misunderstanding. Insecurity, in my experience, facilities the making of truly terrible decisions. Feeling unworthy of love, attention, happiness, essentially anything good, can inevitably lead to settling for less than ideal eventualities. Relationships are, …