31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 22

Day 22 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

Time to dig a little deeper into ourselves today – not as scary as it sounds!

I'm reflective only in the sense that I learn to move forward. I reflect with a purpose. Kobe Bryant

Today, it is time to reflect. Reflect on the day that has passed, or even the week/month/year so far. Take stock of the challenges and successes. What has made you feel good in body and mind? What has made you feel anxious, tired and down?

After you have reflected, make a pact with yourself that you will make a specific change. What change would make you feel better, healthier and happier? For me, I have learned that office politics get me down and affect my life negatively both in and out of work. The change I am committing to myself is that I will do my best to stay out of these politics, and keep my frustrations to myself and people outside of work!

In summary, you can take control of certain things which negatively affect your physical and mental wellbeing. Today, reflect on what is harming your wellbeing and make a change…

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31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 13

Day 13 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

For this day, I am going to choose an activity which I personally desperately need right now…

There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep. Homer

I normally force myself to stay awake until my ‘usual bedtime’, but sometimes, it pays off to ignore the routine and get some extra zzz’s. It is a horrible feeling when you are so tired you cannot think straight. It often leads to more stress, anxiety and depression as well.

Tonight, take yourself off to bed early. Ideally, go to bed one hour before you normally would. If it feels too early to sleep and you’re not that tired, still go to bed but read a book, write, listen to music or draw instead (avoid TVs and phones!). You will still benefit from the relaxation and comfort of going to bed earlier.

With any luck, you will wake up more refreshed and ready to face whatever tomorrow brings.

 

31 Days of Wellbeing: Day 5

Day 5 of 31 Days of Wellbeing

Okay, I have a pretty simple task for you today…although I would recommend doing this at least weekly if you find it helpful. For me, it’s Monday and the beginning of a busy week. There are birthday and new home cards to send, save the date postcards to write (yes, getting married this year eek!), cleaning to do, people to call, arrangements to make etc etc. Thinking about all these tasks in my head makes me immediately panic, stress and get anxious. All bad feelings we want to avoid! There is one simple task which helps me feel better…

Today's to-do list_1. Write a to-do list2. Breathe3. Cross off anything that's not really important

For me, writing everything I need to do puts it into perspective (often it’s not as bad as I imagined in my head) and helps me to prioritise what is important. If you feel overwhelmed and the to-do list is too long, ask yourself:

  • Can an activity wait?
  • Can anybody else help me with something on the list?
  • What is most important to get sorted soon?

I imagine many of us do this regularly at work, but it is a helpful activity to do for life outside of work as well, rather than ignoring that horrible feeling of disorganisation and chaos.

Saying all this, a couple of pieces of advice:

  • Please don’t beat yourself up if you do not tick everything off on the list. Focus on what you have ticked off and be proud!
  • Do not spend all of your free time trying to tick everything off the list – make plenty of time to do the things that make you happy and relaxed 🙂

Seeing humour

Gemma C

I love Gemma Correll’s work, which actually makes you smile at the darker issues some of us go through. I know the last thing we feel like doing is laughing when feeling low, but if you can find a little humour from time to time, it really helps. I’d say my ‘funniest’ moment when I was suffering was when I hid from an old friend’s mother in the theatre. My parents were totally bemused at what the heck I was doing, crouching down behind a theatre seat! I didn’t want anybody  I knew (aside from my parents) to see me or talk to me that night because I felt like a horrible human being. Now I look back on that, I can smile at how amusing that scene must have looked!

You might not be able to smile at your lower moments right now, but try to find something which gives you a little light relief. Whether that’s images you see on Facebook (I highly recommend looking at more images from Gemma Correll!), watching a comedy or spending time with a friend who makes you laugh, it makes a big difference to get that occasional smile.

Boost of the Day #170: THIS is what is important.

Every day the world will drag you by the hand, yelling- -This is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this!-Each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say--No. This is what is im

We worry too much about things that will have little importance in one year from now, one week, one day, even one hour.

Consider what is important to you. If anything else is making you feel stressed, it’s time to take back control mentally and let go of the little problems in life.

Save your energy for the things that truly matter.

Happy Easter Holiday everyone! x

Boost of the Day #154: Stop worrying

My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.

How can we stop worrying??? This quote sums up how pointless it is, yet it is so hard to stop once it becomes a habit.

I am still a frequent worrier, but the below things have definitely helped me to cut it down:

  • Working out – you have no time or energy to worry when you’re exercising
  • Talking – talking out your worry really puts it into perspective and if it’s a major concern, some advice from a friend will always help
  • Write it down – if you don’t want to talk to someone, write down your worry and some possible solutions. Getting it down on paper helps free your mind a little

There are some more ideas in this article which I will be trying – you should too!

Boost of the Day #83: What should you do today?

Take care of

When you have low self esteem, it is easy to feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You think you don’t deserve such treatment, especially from your worst enemy, yourself! I have a feeling your friends and family might think quite differently, and would encourage you to spend time doing the things that you love, the things that make you feel good.

Take time today, or at least for a couple of hours during the weekend, to take care of you. Watch your favourite film, pamper yourself, do what makes you happy for once…

Stressed out students

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 16.23.58 teen-stress-image1

Turned on my TV this morning and was surprised to hear talk of mental health! The BBC was discussing the rise of stress, anxiety and depression amongst university students (you can read the article here). Firstly, again I am so pleased with how often I hear mental health being discussed in the media nowadays. You barely heard anybody speak of it as frankly and openly as they do now, and that is one major step towards helping the situation – well done BBC News 🙂

Secondly, let’s talk about the actual topic in hand. When I look back at my student life, I actually feel incredibly lucky that my own mental health issues did not emerge at this point. I honestly don’t know how I would have coped. I certainly would not have wanted to tell my newly found friends about it, I am sure my tutors would not have been used to listening to such problems and I do not recall hearing about any support service available at my University, although I was of course not looking for it.

Student life is…mentally tough. I absolutely loved it when I was there, but if I went back when struggling with self-esteem, self-confidence and anxiety issues, I think I would have started to flail. There’s the academic angst of course, knowing that anything less than 2:1 could get in the way of career success and parental pride. Hard to escape when you are in a bubble with often equally as talented friends who are proud to announce they can knock out a 2:1 or 1st assignment in a few hours (or so they say…).

Even worse, there’s the potential social angst of it all. I remember one of my first housemates was very different to the rest of us. Not at all a horrible or unlikeable person, just very different interests and personality. We all got on so well together, and he basically tried to fit in and it didn’t work. He eventually became isolated and didn’t socialise with us anymore. I feel guilty now about this. To be frank, he must have felt like s**t at the time, as we eventually just stopped including him in our social events. Luckily, he went on to make great friends (with similar interests) outside of the house but now I imagine if that were me. That sort of thing would cripple me if I were at my most anxious about how I come across to others.

Then, there’s the real worst. Not making friends at all. If you feel depressed, anxious, moody and stressed, you become very reluctant to put yourself out there. You shut out your loved ones even, so why on earth would you risk getting hurt by strangers who don’t understand your situation? Or in some cases, you can really put yourself out there by drinking alcohol, taking drugs, and socialising with only strangers in a bid to shut out the demons. Then morning comes, and you have nobody to turn to still. You’re away from your family, school friends and what you’re familiar with. Where can you go?

The point of this post is to emphasise even more today how important it really is to support students with mental health issues at university. Whether they have no friends to turn to, or find it too difficult to speak to their fun-loving large circle of friends, having external services available to offer guidance and advice may be just what they need to get through the day, year or hopefully degree. Much better they start to sort their issues before their career begins…trust me…

Boost of the day #6

The evening posts continue now I am officially back to work!

quotation-michel-de-montaigne-life-humor-inspirational-meetville-quotes-35722

I love this quote for its simple way of saying, there is no damn point in worrying about what might happen tomorrow, next week, next year. I am certainly not saying this is the easiest thing to stop doing but this quote hopefully helps put it into perspective 🙂