How I am staying well and looking after my mental health

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2019 is here, and so am i. I am feeling the most present i have felt in a while. no longer haunted by the past and depressed about the future. I have been away busy stressing about uni work but the other day I was looking out my bedroom window happy to be back in Falmouth after a Christmas in oxford, little simz was on the radio and i  Just placed a new book on my windowsill, i think i was feeling content.

Its coming up to a year of living my life fully embracing recovery. I am officially stable. But what a lot of people don’t know it takes a lot of hard work keeping it that way. You can have all the help in the world from other people but its really down to you. If you don’t want to recover you won’t. So if you are someone wanting recovery or if you are reading this and feel like you need some help with keeping your wellbeing in check. I’m going to share my favourite tips and coping skills i have use myself.

Practicing Mindfulness daily 

Back in the day when i had Dialectical behaviour therapy i studied a whole module on mindfulness. The best way i can sum it up is its about concentrating on the present experience. you can concentrate on your breathing or the senses. Just letting our thoughts pass us by instead of latching onto them and wondering off. You can do a lot of activities mindfully for example colouring, cooking, eating, walking, yoga etc. There are lots of helpful apps out there as well my favourites being headspace and calm.

Consuming the things that make you feel physically healthy.

So for example if you drank all night and eat Mcdonalds all day, you are probably going to feel a bit shit. So eat all that green stuff, cut down on the beers and make a fucking smoothie. You need to learn what works for your body, a lot of people have different food intolerances or even just a bad reaction to certain things like caffeine or alcohol. A balance diet and healthy relationship with food is essential. food is fuel! I’ve been using the app lifesum to track what i’m eating to see i’m getting all my nutrients.

Getting outside

Living in Falmouth I’d be stupid to not make the most of natural beauty and get outside. I set goals to leave the house at least once a day. Trips to the beach are one of my go to plans when it comes to cheering myself up.

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Expressing myself creatively.

Getting your thoughts and feelings out can be so freeing. You can express yourself through writing drawing, painting, dancing, singing, making music etc and feel like you’ve got something out. Bottling up your emotions is never the right thing to do so i started a creative writing blog.

Creating a safe space

Your physical surroundings and environment can have an impact on your mental health. So decorate your safe space with things that make you happy maybe some photos and some plants if you get the vibe. Move things around, keep updating it to match your needs. add some lights, burn some incense, Keep it clean and care for it. Fill it with things to stimulate the senses in a positive way this keeps you grounded and present.

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Surround myself with the right people

Make sure those around you have your best intentions at heart. Don’t let anyone take advantage or put you down. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and bring out your positive energy. It’s okay to let go of relationships if they are sacrifcing your wellbeing .

Taking time out and Distracting myself

Sometimes the real world is a bit too much and i like to loose myself in a book or tv show. Films or even games are a great way to escape for a while. the important thing to remember is you can’t escape the world forever, its important to find a balance.

Accessing Support

I used to hate asking for help but i have learnt over the years the best way to stay well is to have a support network and help from professionals or people who understand. I get support through my university, my mental health team, my parents and recently a Falmouth based mental health charity. There is also plenty of advice F.A.Qs and info on mental illness on sites such as Mind or other organisations.

I hope this helped someone and look forward to some new content on here and my youtube!

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1 Comment

  1. Ian Brazier
    January 22, 2019 / 8:25 pm

    This is great Erin. I particularly like the mindfulness practice. It can actually turn the most boring things in the day into the most important.

    I look forward to reading more in the future and as many if not most of my clients struggle with poor mental health it is really important to talk about good mental health too.

    Ian Brazier

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