Sunday, 27 May 2018

Mental Health - The Truth

Good afternoon!


How happy are you that it's a bank holiday weekend?! I know I am!

I'm just counting down the days till I go on holiday which is on the 2nd of June - not too long to wait now! Next week will probably go extremely slow for me as I'm just waiting for that day!!



Mental Health Statistics


As it has been Mental Health Awareness a few weeks ago I thought I would write a post on some of the statistics, I've been doing some research into it and it's quite scary how many people have had or are experiencing mental health issues as you read this.

1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and in England 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety and depression in any given week. Researching into this it is known that overall the number of people with mental health issues has not changed significantly in recent years however people the ways of how people are trying to cope with them is getting worse - more people self harm or have suicidal thoughts.  

 Every 7 years a survey is done in England to see how common specific mental health problems are, the last was done in 2016 and these were the results:

Generalised anxiety disorder - 5.9 in 100 people
Depression - 3.3 in 100
Phobias - 2.4 in 100
OCD - 1.3 in 100
Panic Disorder - 0.6 in 100
PTSD - 4.4 in 100
Mixed anxiety and depression - 7.8 in 100

In the mental health awareness week we just had the main focus for many charities was stress so there had been a study that has just been done on mental health caused by stress.

From the website - https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-stress you can see all the statistics there, but I will mention a few.

From the past year 74 percent of people have felt so stressed they have been unable to cope or felt so overwhelmed by it. However the percentage of older people to younger adults there is a major difference, 30 percent of older people reported to never feel so stressed they couldn't cope to only 7 percent of younger people who had reported to never feel this way.

Adding onto this, 51 percent of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed and 61 percent feeling anxious - the stats are so high and also quite sad to see. There are so many different causes to stress which are resulting to feeling depressed and anxious, these include:

  • Having a friend or relative with a long-term health condition
  • Having a lot of debt
  • The feeling of needing to respond to messages instantly 
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Appearance and body image
  • Housing worries
  • A high statistic for younger people is from the pressure to succeed - 60 percent of 18-24 year olds and 41 percent of 25-34 year olds reported this, compared to 17 percent of 45-54 year olds and only 6 percent for those over 55. 

If you want to see the exact statistics for these you can click onto the link above.

Mental Health in Young People


I thought I'd discuss a few statistics of mental health problems with young people as I am under that category. 
  1. 10 percent of school children have a diagnosable mental illness - in average if you had a class of 30 children, three will have a mental health problem. 
  2. It is said that 75 percent of young people with a mental health problem are not receiving treatment for it. 
  3. Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK - it is the leading cause of death in young men and women aged 20-34. It is also revealed that the number of young suicides each year is greater than it has been for the past 10 years. 
  4. More than half of young people link mental illness with alienation and isolation
  5. More than half of young people feel embarrassed about mental illness - it is reported that females are more likely to say they have a mental health problem than males. 
These are just a few statistics I have got from surveys - it just goes to show how big the problem is.

I don't want to bombard you with too many numbers but I just wanted to outline how many people suffer with mental health problems, these statistics as well will not be including everyone - there's so many people out there that suffer with these issues but won't have gone to a professional to be diagnosed or sought help or treatment.

I hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend whatever you are doing. As always, chat soon!

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Putting yourself first

Good afternoon!

Apologies for the lack of posting on a Sunday recently, I won't say I'll always have a post out on a Sunday because they'll be weeks where I just don't get the chance to sit down and write, as you've noticed for the last few weeks!

At the moment I seem to be busy every weekend and working in the week so it's been quite hectic! But of course I will always make time to do some blogging as it's something I enjoy and it's quite relaxing writing, especially when you have a million and one thoughts on your mind.

Be a little selfish, put yourself first.


I've decided to write a post on putting yourself first, I feel this is something very important to do. We often put others first and we tend to look after others before ourselves. Of course it is a lovely thing to look after others and I'm not saying you shouldn't but it's always good to put yourself first sometimes.

 From reading the 'Self Care' book by Mel Noakes she mentions quite a good example of this of when you go on an aeroplane - when they go through the flight safety instructions they mention that when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling you should put yours on before helping others around you.

    "The simple fact is you can't give from an empty well. If you're struggling to cope, if you can't breathe, how can you possibly help anyone else? Self care and looking after yourself actually enable you to be stronger for those that you love, to be able to help more effectively and to become a positive role model for the people around you."

There's so many different ways and situations to put yourself first. Here is a list of a few:

1. If you're out with someone and you start to feel anxious then tell them, say out loud that you're feeling anxious. Instead of hiding it and probably making yourself feel more anxious because you're worried that the people around you will think you're acting differently, let them know how you're feeling.

2. Make sure you're feeling comfortable, if you're not then do something about it. There's no harm in taking yourself out of a situation if you don't feel comfortable. If you're out with your friends and you start to feel so anxious and uncomfortable don't be afraid to step out. If you were sitting at a restaurant and you started to feel anxious just say that you need to go to the toilet, hide there for a few minutes, take some deep breaths before heading back out.

3. Give yourself more time. Sometimes I find when I'm feeling more anxious before going to work I like to get up earlier just to give myself that extra time to relax. I usually like to get ready for work and then have a good 20 minutes to just sit down and chill out before heading out to work. You can do this in any situation, before going to school/college, going to a friends house or a party etc.

4. Treat yourself. This is a very important thing to do and I'm not just saying this because I like to buy myself loads of new items but hey, it makes you feel good. How does it make you feel when you get a parcel and its those new t'shirts you've ordered? Or you go out and buy a film you've always wanted to watch or a new game you've wanted for so long. Little treats like that can really help you feel more positive, it's never a selfish thing to treat yourself.

5. Note down what triggers your anxiety. I do find that if something triggers your anxiety you shouldn't not do that thing but sometimes when you're feeling so anxious it's not always good to put yourself in the situations that you know will cause you to feel stressed/anxious.

6. Don't downplay your emotions. Explain to the people close to you how you're feeling, that way they'll be able to understand when you're feeling your most anxious, they can understand the situation and help you to get through it. It also helps others understand just what anxiety can do to someone.


There's so many other examples of putting yourself first but I just wanted to highlight a few. In putting yourself first it can help you to feel positive about yourself, it makes you feel good. It's good to be selfish sometimes. 😊

As it's a blog post about putting yourself first I thought I'd end it with a selfie of myself, just so happens that I've had my hair cut and dyed 💚

Hope you enjoyed this little post and remember to put yourself first and you treat yo self!

As always, chat soon.

xx


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Mindfulness

Good evening ❤

My update: 

It's been over a month now since I published my anxiety story and I can't believe how much support and lovely messages I have received because of it, it has reached so many people and I have had so many of you tell me how helpful it has been. I'm so appreciative of all the messages you guys have sent me.

If you're wondering I feel like it's good to give you a little update on how I have been. I haven't been getting ill which I'm so pleased about, I have been dealing with my anxiety a lot better. Of course it hasn't been plain sailing, I've had some hard days. I've had a lot of bad days and it seems silly sometimes because I struggle to follow my own advice that I give on here, so trust me when I say, I know how hard it is to do something and to follow someones advice when you're feeling so down and anxious. I am a lot better at eating, I've found that I eat normal amounts when I'm around people I'm comfortable with which is a step forward for me - the only times I struggle is if I've been out to eat with people I'm not a hundred percent comfortable with I find that I can barely eat anything which is annoying but I'm glad that I understand why I'm struggling to eat. In the past month I've only had one moment where I've nearly had a panic attack - it was pretty awful but I got through it. Although recently I have been experiencing a lot of heart palpitations and I have felt like my heart is racing a lot more than it should but I have had a lot on my mind recently that has been causing me a bit of stress unfortunately. However ending on a positive, I feel so much better than I did last month which I am so pleased about.

Mindfulness

 

I have been reading and learning about mindfulness and I have found it very interesting so I thought I would share what I have learnt and my thoughts on it.

One of the biggest issues many of us face is that we lose touch with our surroundings and we often don't really appreciate the present moment we are in. We often live in our heads with stresses of life and hectic schedules and therefore we end up losing our connection with our bodies and the world around us. Reading about this subject has made me realise how important it is to just stop what we're doing sometimes and really live in that moment, look around you, just watch the world going round - it's such a relaxing technique. It's so important to stop and really notice your surroundings, what sounds can you hear? What can you smell? What can you see? How do you feel, what emotions are you feeling at that very moment, letting your mind process this can be such a helpful technique if you're feeling anxious.

I find as well that it's such a simple technique, you can practice mindfulness anywhere at anytime. You could be at work on your lunch break, you could be on the way to work maybe on a bus or on a train, you could be in a restaurant or having a coffee - it's something you can do wherever.

An example of mindfulness is you could try taking a different route to work, getting up earlier than you usually do, or going somewhere different for lunch. When you do this how does it make you feel? A change of routine can be so refreshing, it can change the way you feel about the day because you're doing something out of your usual routine, it has a positive affect on your mind.

Maybe when you're on the way to work focus on your surroundings, I bet when you travel to work you often go into an auto pilot mode and when you arrive at work you think, I can't remember how my journey was to work. When you focus on your surroundings think about how you feel, maybe you saw a cute cat on the way somewhere, how did that make you feel? It might sound silly but it will make such a difference to your mind and will help with a more positive outlook.

Another example of this would be when you're eating something. Take the time to smell the food, look at the colours and the texture before putting it into your mouth. When you put it into your mouth notice the flavours and the sensations you feel while eating it. This can help you feel more satisfied, it can also help you to pay more attention to you fullness cues and it can also make you discover a lot more about your food!

Mindfulness links to meditation - you've probably heard a lot about meditation, it's something that has been around for centuries. It helps to reduce stress, helps to improve concentration, it can increase positivity, happiness and emotional wellbeing. Meditation is so good for your mind! It's good to do because you take time out to do it, it's time where you empty your mind of the day and anything you might be stressing about and you think about that present moment, it's the ultimate 'me' time. It can help to make you feel recharged and give you that positive affect. The good thing about meditation is that there are many different types, you might try one that's not for you but there's so many different meditation techniques you can try out.

If you'd like to read more about this a really helpful article I have read is - https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/. There's so much to learn and read about and there's so many different techniques, video's, breathing guides - it's super helpful, I'd recommend you read this if you don't know much about mindfulness or how to get started with it.

Another interesting page to read would be the NHS page on mindfulness, if you just want a bit of a summary of it and how it can help this is really handy to read - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/.

There's so many apps out there as well that you can download onto your phone, I have an app called 'What's Up?' This has coping strategies, information on anxiety, depression, self esteem and stress, your own personal diary you can write down notes on, it also has a section that's labelled 'help right now' which has grounding techniques if you're feeling anxious, breathing control techniques, a catastrophe scale which can help put your problems into perspective easily, forums, uplifting quotes, helpful websites and so much more, it's such a great app that you can go on whenever and wherever you are when you need it the most.

There's so much out there with this information on that you can find. I hope you have enjoyed reading my post on mindfulness and hopefully it has been something that you have found interesting. I plan on writing a lot more about this in the future.

As always, chat soon 🎔