World Mental Health Day blog series
World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health to education, raise awareness and advocate against social stigma. Today, as a guest blogger for The Cellar Trust, I want to share with you the things that have helped with my own mental health – pre and post COVID and how this has lead me to be where I am today.
To put it into perspective – A few years ago, I really struggled with my own mental health. I ruminated negative thoughts about myself and worried about what others thought about me, I struggled to enjoy my everyday life and hobbies and I struggled to motivate myself to achieve anything because I didn’t feel good enough to do so. BUT! I reached out to MyWellbeing College and engaged in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with them, to learn techniques to control and challenge negative thoughts, manage my worries and improve my motivation which as a result helped me to start enjoying my life again. I continue to use these invaluable techniques today!
Because my mind wasn’t consumed with negativity, I was able to think about what I wanted to do with my life and even pick up some new hobbies – pre and post COVID! I have always loved making things – I remember when I was 7 or 8 making 3D owls out of paper or how much I enjoyed textiles at school. So, I ordered a colourful elephant paint by numbers (more modern than Elmer) and some pretty floral embroidery sets (Amazon trusted orders, of course!), to set me back off making something I can be proud of but also enjoy along the way!
With COVID we’ve not been able to enjoy time with friends and family like we might be used to! So, I continued with the painting and embroidery, started reading books – To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee is worth a read (it’s a classic!) and continuing to do yoga and walking my dog; Millie (a cute little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel). But, I also made time and cherished facetime my friends and family, as we all know human’s are social beings and we need that human connection – best to get it anyway we can!
I’ve come to realise the key to managing my own mental health is Balance, making sure I have a good balance of work (and something I find meaningful), productive tasks, time alone doing things I enjoy, socialise, and not to forget – self-care…It’s so important! But reminding myself that our lives are ever changing and even the things we find meaningful or things we enjoy can change over time so it’s important to recognise and enjoy the journey – challenging the negativity that comes our way (often negativity teaches us something – I try and find that in everything so I stay aware and appreciative of my experiences)!
We all have up and down days but it’s important to recognise the down days and do the things that help us have more up days than down – we are all unique so find what helps you! I love seeing myself grow each and every day and I cherish the enlightenment I now feel after completing therapy. This even led me to realise the career path for me was in mental health – to help others find their own enlightenment and enjoyment in life again. I am now a Peer Support Worker for The Cellar Trust and MyWellbeing College helping people struggling with their own mental health, to access our service and start their journey to recovery!