MENTAL HEALTH WEEK

I started writing this post 2 weeks ago, and everything that I wrote was exactly how I felt, and had felt for the last couple of months. But it's 2 weeks on now and I feel so much better. I feel like a different person - so much more positive and happier. I still have a long way to go but I'm definitely getting there. It's a bit bittersweet reading it back, bitter because it was the worst feeling ever and the hardest thing to get through, but sweet because I know I am getting through it and am feeling so much better which is AMAZZZZZING. 

I had some really cool plans for this years Mental Health Awareness Week and wanted to put a lot of effort into a post but as I started struggling I lost motivation.... soz for the post being so late !!

I cried, I cried so much over the last couple of weeks/months and it was draining, tiring, worrying and it made no sense. I was over thinking everything, worrying about every single aspect of my life and making up scenarios in my head and then worrying about those outcomes even though that scenario I had made up wasn't real. I felt like I was going crazy. I couldn't seem to stop it even though I've been through this millions of times before. I was worrying about the future, about my relationships, about EVERYTHING possible and there were times where I really felt like I was never going to get through this, and sometimes I have days where I still feel like that. 

There are so many things you can do to help yourself get better. Give yourself time, there will be days where it is the hardest thing ever to get out of bed, to text people back, to make plans, to try and love people when you can't even love yourself or your life, or do anything even if it was something you used to love and have a passion for. But there will also be days where you feel loads better and you'll feel so excited that you'll forget you ever felt crappy and rubbish. You'll feel like you're on a rollercoaster. But remember to listen to your body, do what YOU need to do, not what other people think. If all your friends go out drinking a lot and you're much happier having a bath and watching netflix, or spending a night in with your best friend, then do that. Don't feel guilty, don't feel like you're missing out. Do the things that will make you feel better and then before you know it you'll be able to go out with them and enjoy every second of it.

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RELATIONSHIPS

"It's important to make friendships that are deeper than gossiping and drinking and smoking and going out. Make friends who you can go get breakfast with, make friends you can cry with, make friends who support your life goals and believe in you."

Make sure to count those friends who have stayed up all night talking to you and making sure you don't give up because they cared, or hugged you a million times and told you they loved you, or wiped your tears away and tried to make everything better because they cared so much. Those people who do that are worth a million times more than the people who ran away the moment you told them you really needed them. Depression can really teach you about who your real friends are. When you feel so rubbish sometimes it's hard enough being around yourself, let alone being around other people. But the people who stayed and invested time in you are so worth it, invest all your time and energy into making these friendships and relationships work and screw the others. 

I know that when I've been through this before I found that surrounding myself with people who not only inspire me, but make me feel happy and good about myself helped so much. It's so important to get rid of the toxic people in your life, or if you're in a situation where you can't really get rid of them or out of your life you just need to try and back away a little - don't let them influence your life. Accept people for who they are, my mum always told me that every friend you have in your life will never be perfect but they will all bring you different things. Some are great for long chats and cries, some are great for having a laugh and making crazy memories, some are crappy friends but are good for going out clubbing with. Over the years I've connected and made some very good, special friendships with people that are positive and happy and so amazing. I always come away from spending time with them, or even skyping with them, buzzing about life and feeling good.

EXERCISE

Another thing that can really help is getting into exercise and releasing endorphins, and this is the one thing that helped me whenever I was going through a bad patch. Whether it was going on a long walk or run with my favourite music playing, or doing an intense workout like boxing or a HIIT session where I was so focused on the moves that I would completely zoned out. Either one helped me so much. You don't have to turn into a full on gym zombie if that's not your thing, you can do anything that you find enjoyable - like long walks, jogs, yoga, a dance class, or boxing. It can be really hard to get started but once you finish you'll feel so much better than you did before. Simple things like long walks whilst listening to your favourite music and thinking can make so much difference, they can really lift your spirits and make you feel good. I don't really see running or walking as exercise anymore, I see it more as a type of meditation as it's time for me to think and breathe properly and feel good. Learning to be OK with spending time with yourself and accepting what you're going through is another thing that helps, the more you fight it, the worser it will become. I used to be so scared that if I spent 5 minutes alone and had time to think I would have a panic attack, but I learnt that having some quiet time doesn't mean that at all. I now love being on my own, quite often I'll go out to coffee shops on my own and read of book or write, or go out and explore somewhere new and grab some food.

MEDITATION

MEDIATING IS SO AMAZING AND IMPORTANT YOU GUYS !!! Omg trust me, it can be the most daunting thing thinking you have to sit down for 10 minutes and just be - but the more you practise it, the easier it will become. As the last couple of weeks have been so tough I decided to start meditating again and it has helped me soOoo much. I use the app 'HEADSPACE' and the lessons they teach you are so interesting that they stick with me all day. Whenever I start to feel like I'm getting in a funk I try and remember how I felt after my meditation session and get back into that zone. It's daunting, but trust me, it's so worth it. I also found that writing a gratitude journal - where I just write positive things that have happened in my day, can help switch your brain into a much better mindset. Writing is also a great way to get everything out of your mind, and when it's on paper it's easier to sort through and rationalise. 

FLOW

Finding something that you love more than anything, that sets a burning passion inside of you is something that you should make sure you do as often as possible. Quite often we neglect ourselves of the things we love doing the most. I'm not sure why, but we do. When you're completely focused on something your mind can't wander. You're so engaged on what you're doing and that thoughts don't enter your mind and when this happens it's THE BEST FEELING. When you feel shit you can loose your passion and interest for everything, I know I did. I lost my love for photography, for art, for working out, cooking, for my blog, for reading. But I'm slowly starting to get back into all of them. No matter how crappy you feel make sure you don't let it get in the way of you following your dreams.

And last but not least, treat your body with the respect it deserves, cry when you need too and let it all out, make yourself go watch sunrises, go for walks, take long showers, sleep in when you need too, but wake up early when you want too, eat good food for you body, but eat chocolate when your soul needs it, read books, take photos, list all the things you're grateful for, surround yourself with food friends, write this day down, write everything down, talk to people when you need too, have hugs, let it all out, find new music, watch your favourite films, trust in life, and trust in The Universe. 

Once you feel better, everything will feel so much nicer after feeling so rubbish. Food, eating out, kissing, dancing, cuddling, sleeping, laying in bed, music, being outside, friends, making new friends, leaving the house, studying, making art, getting in at 6am, waking up at 6am, thinking about the future and the past with a smile, and my absolute favourite, spending a whole day doing nothing and feeling ABSOLUTELY FINE. 

I still have off days where I struggle but I try to not over think them as much. I've gotten into a great workout routine and my mind feels a lot more calmer. 

I made meditating and writing my journal a priority every morning and it has helped so much. I look forward to waking up now knowing that meditating will clear my mind and I can get all my thoughts onto paper, whether they're positive or negative. The thing with depression is that you never know how you're going to wake up feeling in the morning, sometimes you can try and do everything in your power to make yourself feel better and have a good day, sometimes it works, but sometimes it can feel almost impossible.

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If you know a friend or a family member going through something like this, whether it's depression, anxiety, panic attacks or any type of Mental Health problem, please be kind to them. Listen to them, hug them, don't get mad at them or make them feel weird. They have a huge battle going on inside of their brain and they're probably trying their hardest. If they've confided in you - trust me, it's a big deal for them, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't open up to anyone, so if they open up to you, feel happy that they trust you enough to want your help and for you to know what's going on. I know that for me 

I find it really difficult talking to people, I hate it but at the same time I really hate keeping it all in. I get worried that I'll push people away from not telling them but then I get scared that talking to people who are close to me will make them think 'ahh she's too much to deal with, I don't need this in my life'. Just try and h

elp them, give them strength, be kind, be supportive, make them feel good, remind them they're strong and that they can get through this. Do little things to help brighten up their life - They'll be so grateful, and will never ever forget it.

A, x