How to Reach for Help and Not Be Ashamed.



It’s unfortunate that even in 2021, there is still a stigma around admitting you need help. There’s a lot of lip service paid to the fact that mental health is important and should be destigmatised in society, but some people react by being a little detached when someone goes through an episode.

That said, there are some norms we can all benefit from discussing and hopefully setting as standard. For one, admitting for help, or simply asking for it, should not be considered something you do when you’re at rock bottom only. It should be a question we can all ask, or an admission we can all make, without feeling like less of a person for it.

Of course, it’s not always easy to do this, because it means giving up the ghost and becoming more honest with yourself, which can sometimes be a painful and quite dizzying process. What does this mean in practice? Let’s discuss that, below:

Consider The Scope Of The Issue

It’s good to consider the scope of the problems you face and to define them. Sometimes, you may need psychologists to help you untangle that issue. However, sometimes it’s best to consider what issues are having the most effect on your life. This might involve a bad habit, or toxic relationships, or just feeling unwell. When you can define the issue, you can begin to find a recovery path or a necessary step forward.

Speak To Someone You Trust

Speaking to someone you trust can be the most effective method of measuring yourself, and of feeling that support when you need it. Sometimes, you might want this person to come with you to seek professional help, or perhaps you just need to get something off your chest. No matter if it’s a family member, a friend, a boss, or even an impartial volunteer listening at the other side of an appropriate charity phone line, being able to articulate the problem in itself can be very freeing.

Find Professional Help

It’s all very well and good to use positive thinking and to recognise that you may need some assistance, but unless you take that step, it’s hard to make progress. From considering talking therapy to speaking to a Doctor, or simply letting your boss know that you’ve been struggling and you may need some extra support at this time, finding the help you need is as important as admitting you need it.

Don’t be afraid to contact a number of professionals to see if they’re suitably assisted to help you. This gives you the highest chance of recovery and to be aided in our struggles, which is something we all deserve from time to time.

With this advice, we hope you can feel more empowered to say you need help when you really do need it.

This article was written by a freelance writer.



Helplines:
Samaritans Uk 116 123

April News: Moving to our First Home and Mental Health.

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(image: Unsplash)

And so we are coming to the end of another month. This month has been amazing but also so busy. I can’t wait until Rob and I get to go away on holiday somewhere in the UK- we need to book somewhere (hopefully with my Body Shop commission!). My friend suggested Cornwall but who knows! Just somewhere nice to relax, maybe the Cotswolds, Broadstairs, Devon…love the beach and having lazy days in the sun.

Something really exciting has been happening- we exchanged on our first home (!) last week and we will be completing and moving very soon! Everything is really hectic and I need to find time to declutter, sell or gift my excess of books and throw away/give to charity extra items. I have lived at my Mums for the past 8 years and I have a lot of stuff here! We are moving to a flat so I have many things I can’t bring.

Thats the great thing too about my work, is that it is flexible and I can take time out when needed to move and sort everything out and my team are so understanding. But thanks to my amazing customers, its also busy. Sometimes I feel I should escape to a spa and last night I did a home spa with my favourite Coconut products. Ahh bliss, I felt like I was in Barbados!

I find that this type of self care really improves my mental health and relaxation, trying to get enough sleep..

Moving is said to be one of the most stressful life events and I think we will do it gradually. Our families have been storing things for us in Buckinghamshire, Essex and here in North London, so we need to go and collect it all!

I have found that my anxiety is still a bit high at times, but that I am getting there slowly. Its about making sure I don’t overdo it and I reach for support or a therapy session when its needed. Rob is great at supporting me with things too.

(image: Unsplash)

Once we have moved in, I will write another update! Until then I am going to try and stay sane and not drown under a mountain of boxes! All so exciting and I cant wait to unpack our engagement and wedding gifts and use them after nearly 2 years!

Love,

Eleanor

x

6 Tips To Stay Positive This Year and Help Mental Health.

(image: Unsplash: : Alysha Rosly)


With the weather starting to warm and the Covid-19 vaccination rollout in full effect, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright. After a long and difficult year, things are starting to look up but if you’re finding it difficult to put the past behind you, you’re not alone. A year of social distancing and mask mandates has taken its toll, but the good news is with a little intentionality you can turn your attitude around to take full advantage of what the new year has to offer.


Here are six simple tips to help you stay positive this year.

1. Be grateful for what you have.

Even when it seems like everything is going wrong, there’s always something to be grateful for – you just have to learn how to see it. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a simple first step to take toward a more positive outlook. Start by jotting down a few things in a blank notebook or journal that you are thankful for each day. Over time, it will become second nature to recognize the good things in your life and you’ll find yourself spending less time focused on the negatives.

2. Maintain positive connections with others.

Spending the last year social distancing and self-isolating has been hard on all of us, but there are still ways you can stay connected with others. Cultivating positive relationships and distancing yourself from toxic people can go a long way in helping you stay positive. Look for opportunities each day to make someone else smile, especially when you’re feeling down yourself. It’s the simple things like making someone’s day that can turn your attitude around the quickest.

3. Set goals to keep yourself moving forward.

Over the past year, we’ve all been stuck in a state of suspension waiting for Covid numbers to decline so we can get on with our lives. If feeling stuck is getting you down, set a few goals for yourself to create the feeling of moving forward. It doesn’t have to be anything major, either. Make an effort to include exercise in your weekly routine or make a commitment to connect with a friend or loved one at least once a week. Each time you accomplish a goal, the self-satisfaction will motivate you to reach the next.

(Image: Unsplash: Sydney Rae)



4. Acknowledge and adjust negative self-talk.

While you’re working on cultivating an attitude of positivity, the biggest obstacle you’ll have to overcome is in your own mind. We all have a running dialogue of self-talk going through our heads on a day-to-day basis and that inner voice is incredibly influential on your attitude and outlook on life. If your inner voice is constantly negative, your attitude will be too. Consider taking a mental health day to relax and refresh so you have the energy to start acknowledging negative self-talk and, more importantly, to start working on turning it around.

5. Start each day with a positive affirmation.

The biggest challenge you’ll have to overcome in creating a more positive outlook is defeating your own negative thoughts. You’ve probably heard the saying “fake it until you make it,” and sometimes that’s exactly what you will have to do. Begin each day with a positive affirmation and you may just find it becomes easier each day to keep the positivity train rolling.

6. Seek support and help when you need it.

We could all use a little support now and then, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. If you’re trying to improve your outlook and take on an attitude of positivity, a lot of the work will be internal. That being said, however, having someone to help guide you through the process or to simply act as a sounding board can be invaluable. Whether you’re struggling to overcome anxiety, dealing with depression, or just looking for advice, a counselor or therapist could provide the help you need.

Though you may not be able to control every detail of your life, you can control your attitude. How you respond to challenges shapes your outlook on life and choosing positivity can make all the difference. Take what you’ve learned here to make this year the best one yet. 


This article was written by a freelance writer.

Feel Less Trapped In Your Life with these Powerful Ideas.

(image: Unsplash)


Feeling trapped is a common sensation that many people experience as they go through life. Their reality is one particular way, but they would like to be another. 

People can feel trapped for all sorts of reasons. It could be a mental health issue or substance abuse problem. But it could also be a job, relationship, debt or some other life circumstance.

In this post, we take a look at some of the things you can do to feel less trapped in your mind. . 

Focus On What You Can Do

When considering changing their lives, most people focus on doing the most challenging tasks first. They want radical change immediately. But then they worry that they won’t be able to follow through with it. And that means that nothing changes. 

Here’s some wise advice: focus on the things that you can do, not the ultimate goal. Start with something small and manageable and then build from there. 

Focusing on what you can do actually empowers you. We can all do something to make our lives different. So beginning something small can help a great deal. 

Look For The Positives

Sometimes you can feel trapped because all you can see are the negatives. The recent pandemic is a good example of this. People haven’t been able to move around in the usual way, and many have cabin fever. 

But the various lockdowns have also been an opportunity. At no other time in history has a government told people to stay at home. So, for many, it’s been a unique opportunity to rethink their lives and how they see themselves. 

There are always silver linings in every situation, especially the most challenging. The task is to use this energy to grow!

Get Professional Help

Today, there are all kinds of professionals who can help you feel less trapped. Doing hypnotherapy online,for instance, can help take away panic and fear that many people experience when living lives they don’t want. 

Getting professional help can also introduce you to positive relationships in your life. Many people, for instance, report that the relationship they have with the therapist is the first healthy one they ever have in their lives. On one level, that’s sad. But on the other hand, it can also be liberating. 

Focus On Making Yourself Better

Self-improvement isn’t just a buzz word – it’s something that you can achieve, especially when you feel trapped in a situation. Many people evolve towards the belief that there’s not much they can do to remedy their problems. But that’s not true. That’s just an example of negative thoughts dominating their approach to life. 

You can actually turn things around for yourself by starting with your emotions. Guided meditations, for instance, can help you reconnect with your fundamental sense of being and reduce feelings of anxiety. 

Feeling trapped is a common experience. But, fortunately, there are multiple ways that you can break out of it and get the life you want


This article was written by a freelance writer

Sending Self Care Packages: A Guide to Sending Gifts

Source: https://unsplash.com/s/photos/selfcare

When our friends and family are struggling with their mental health, it can be lovely to cheer them up with a self care gift.. Sending a gift through the mail can truly brighten someones day. Thankfully, online services and postal offices are generally very helpful when it comes to sending something. The gift could be treats for them to spoil themselves with such as bath bombs, sheet masks, hand and body creams, some inspirational quotes or books or even something soft to cuddle!


Remember that there will be delays during festive seasons

If you’re trying to send a gift during a festive season such as Christmas then remember that the postal system is probably overloaded with packages and there will be delays. Don’t expect things to arrive on time and always plan ahead.

Think about the delivery date

If its for a birthday or you want to get them their self care package quickly, its always possible it may not arrive on time. Always plan for the worst and make sure you ship the item/s early so that it at least arrives to them. Think of lovely ideas to cheer your friend or family member up!

Buy it online and send it directly

If you have any concerns or problems with sending a self care gift yourself then the easiest way to handle this is to buy the item online and send it directly to someone. For example, you could send flowers through a store instead of buying them at a florist, attempting to keep them safe in a box, and then sending it. A self care idea is to send bright flowers like sunflowers- which are happy and hopeful or others such as roses!

Do: Always package it properly

If your item is fragile then you’re going to need some serious packaging if you want it to arrive in one piece. For ultimate protection, use a very sturdy box with plenty of protective materials inside. To add an extra layer of protection, consider putting the item into a box within another box, if you are packaging it yourself! If online, you wont need to worry.

Make sure its from a reputable company, with good packaging

Make sure any self care gift is packaged correctly and with good, strong materials. It’s great that you’re thinking of reusing some old cardboard boxes for your packaging and padding, but you need to make sure that it’s going to withstand some damage during the shipping process and protects the items within. If from a good trusted company, their packaging should be sturdy enough.

Put a Smile on their face!

Be thoughtful and think of things they will love. I always find that inspirational quote cards, some beautiful flowers or chocolates, bubble bath or something humourous will always cheer people up who are going through a hard time!

The Book of Hope is Out Now!

I have written here before but I am so excited to say that the Book of Hope, which features my essay ‘Of Hope and Sunflowers’ and put together by my friends Jonny Benjamin MBE and Britt Pfluger is out now!

Happy Publication Day!


It is such an honour to be in a book with so many incredible people in their own fields talking about overcoming their own adversity and mental health issues.

As I write, the book is currently 16th in the bestsellers chart for all books on Amazon.

Hugely thankful to Jonny and Britt for including me in such a great project.

You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1509846379/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_3VAKJ0JC6HV05ZYMNHW2

How to Cope with Challenging Life Events: Top 4

(image: Andrea Piacquadio – Pexels)

Life is filled with many extraordinary moments that can fill your heart with joy and warmth – there is so much to look forward to and hope for. Throughout life, you will experience many of these life changing events; such as falling in love, landing the job you’ve worked tirelessly for, getting that breakthrough you needed in order to make a success of something – but, sometimes something will happen that is less joyous and more painful; these are challenging times and are a real pain to experience in one’s life.

It is a sad but inevitable part of life. Like a rollercoaster going up and down, making loops and causing your heart to soar with glee, every once in a while, the rollercoaster will tip over the highest point on its way to rush down and, for a brief moment, you’ll maybe feel as if you’re going to die. This is what grief and loss feel like – a pain that is so all-encompassing and overwhelming, you feel as if your body can literally not stand it. But, every single time the rollercoaster has flung you from one side to the other, it stops at the drop off point and lets you off to continue with your life.

The key, therefore, is being able to hold on until the rollercoaster, which is your challenging life event, lets you off the hook. That said, here are four challenging life events that may occur somewhere in your life, as well as tips on how to cope with them and not let it get the better of you.

Losing a job

Something almost every single person in the world will experience somewhere in their life. Losing a job can feel like the end of the world. Before you’ve even left the office, you already start picturing yourself living out of a cardboard box; this is you, being dramatic (and rightfully so) because your mind is trying to process what’s happening and exploring all avenues of options. The mind is a pretty theatrical thing, and with his best friend (your heart), the two of them together are what create the doomsday feeling inside you. Granted, losing a job sucks. But, before you start waddling in a puddle of self-pity, try and ask yourself a few quick questions;

How many times a week did you complain about your job? Was it the job you worked your butt off for, or was it only a means to keep your finances going while you worked on what you really wanted to do for a living? Did you even like your job? Asking these questions may help to shed some light on the situation and the actual severity of it. Yes, you don’t have a job now – can you try and get a new one? How about tackling that thing you’ve always wanted to do but were too scared to or didn’t have the time to do because you had your job that is now gone? Instead of seeing the loss of your job as the end, try imagining it as the start of a whole new chapter in your life. You can do pretty much anything you want – to go out there and do it! In the end, you’ll surprise yourself and not look back for a single second at the job you once had. 

Moving to a new location

They say that moving somewhere new has the same traumatic effect on one’s mind as it does when you lose a loved one. This may be true – seeing as by moving to a new location, you’re leaving everything you once knew behind in pursuit of the unknown, which is what most people are scared of. One can start to miss the minor things that you may not even have noticed while living there, like the cup of coffee you used to get at that cafe near your home. Your brain makes the grass on the other side look much greener, which is something we all do from time to time when reliving memories. Whatever reason you’re moving to a new location, whether it be a new job, or going to college, try thinking about all the new places you’ll see, all the new people you’ll meet, as well as the new things you’ll get attached to just as you did the last time. 

Losing a loved one

One of the worst things that could ever happen to you is when you lose a loved one – that’s the “I think I might die from this pain” type of feeling, and you start to deal with grief. Grief is an intense emotion accompanied by a few others, like shock, disbelief, anger, and nostalgia. Losing someone may sometimes feel like the end of the world; after all, you’re never going to see that person is again, and that’s the one thing that makes it so hard to move on. When losing someone, the important thing to do first is to allow yourself to feel every emotion that your body needs to feel – your mind needs to go through all the steps of Coping with grief and loss in order for you to really deal with it in a healthy way. Yes, burying it deep down and hustling through it may feel like the way to go at first, but ultimately, you’re just delaying the inevitable, which is facing the events that took place head-on. Surround yourself with your closest family and friends in this time, they are there for all the good and bad things that happen in your life, and you will definitely appreciate the support even if, at first, it may feel like you want to be left alone. 

Going through a divorce or breakup 

One of the hardest things to accept in life is when you were wrong about someone. Never let anyone tell you your divorce or break up isn’t that bad or that things could be worse – you are allowed to feel whatever you need to feel in order to come to terms with your relationship with someone ending. It’s hard to put into words the amount of time, energy, and love you invest throughout the course of a relationship and watching it end may feel like it was all for nothing. You may even start to feel like if things didn’t work out with that specific person, then it won’t work with anyone, but it’s not the truth. Even when it’s over now, your relationship was not all for nothing – it taught you many lessons, made you the person you are today, and made you the strong, independent individual you are today.

Remember that time spent loving someone is never time wasted. Odds are, there is someone out there right now, hoping to cross paths with someone just like you. And, if you could love the wrong person that much, just imagine the kind of love that will be shared between you and the right one. Take some time alone, enjoy living life on your own, get happy by yourself, and then when you’re ready, be open to meeting a person that will love you no matter what.

One key trait is crucial to deal with and get through all of these challenging life events: resilience. Your resilience is what will get you through in the end – that, and the unshaken belief that you deserve nothing less than the best.

This article was written by a freelance writer

Self Care Ideas for Positive Change in 2021.

(image: Toa Haftaba on Unsplash)

As we move deeper into April, your new year’s resolutions may feel like a distant dream. This is because we often set ourselves large-scale goals that are hard to maintain for long periods instead of introducing small changes that will have a significant impact further down the line. 

As a result, you must understand that sometimes the smallest alterations can have the biggest impact on your life and are often the most effective when it comes to making changes. You also don’t need to wait for the start of a new year to enact them – you can get started whenever you feel ready to do so.

With that in mind, here are some easy ways in which you can put your best foot forward for the rest of 2021 – bringing around positive change in the process. 

Get to grips with your finances.

According to a recent study, around half of the adult population in the UK worry about money on a weekly basis. Therefore, one of the ways in which you can enact positive change in your life is by taking some time to get to grips with your finances – finding new ways to make the most of your money, meaning you can make penny count. This could include: 

  • Setting yourself a budget. 
  • Opening a savings account and putting a small amount of money into it each month.

(image: Feeh Costa on Unsplash)

Take some time for yourself. Sometimes, the biggest changes occur when we start focusing on self-love and development. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can do that, such as: 

  • Focusing on being introspective, trying to understand why you may act or behave in a certain way and how you can alter your perspective of yourself and your current situations. 
  • Spending time doing something you love – whether that means exploring nature or re-reading your favourite book. 
  • Challenging yourself to try something new once a week. Whether that means you introduce a new colour into your wardrobe or pick up a new hobby. 

Participating in a digital detox

Tackle problems and worries head-on.

Nobody likes dealing with issues. We often try to push them aside in the hopes that they will come to a natural resolution on their own. However, this is often not the case – and many problems will intensify the longer we chose to ignore them. Therefore, by tackling them head-on – or at least starting to address them, you can continue to put your best foot forward.

For example, if you spend a lot of time worrying about events that will happen far in the future – think of everything that will happen in your life between now and then. This can help put your anxiety into perspective and teach you that you have nothing to worry about. However, it can also help you plan for the future and ease your mind.  

Make your mental health a priority and get support if needed too from a trusted GP or therapist.

This blog was written by a freelance writer

Being Kind to Myself: Social Anxiety, Mental Health and Life in Recovery.

(image: quotebold.com)

I really wanted to write today because the sun is shining, apple blossom is on the trees and Spring is finally here! I always feel more hopeful and happy once Spring is here but living with bipolar disorder and an anxiety disorder can mean that some days are harder than others.

This week, I have really struggled with low mood and social anxiety. I’m an optimistic person and sometimes I pack too much into my days and end up having a panic attack because I can’t cope. This is what happened to me yesterday when I decided it would be a great idea to pack in too much, including going across London and delivering many Body Shop orders to my customers and friends. My social anxiety was so high (I think largely due to being in lockdown) , I just wanted to hide and I ended up sleeping to escape my feelings and feeling super low. I am lucky that I understand what to do when this happens and I have a husband and family who support me too. I am still in therapy for my panic disorder and it has improved a lot but there are times when it gets triggered like this week.

I have also found that I am worrying more about what people think of me- if I have said the right or wrong thing or upset anyone. Its so silly but due to past rejection I get scared and those fears bubble to the surface.

On Friday, I had a really productive therapy session. There are a lot of worries about the future that I still hold and being able to unpack them in therapy is really useful for me. I am doing EMDR trauma therapy but a lot of it is talking out and facing those triggers one by one. I have a very good relationship with my therapist and having a session often calms my mind.

In positive news, last week I became an aunt to a beautiful baby girl, Cara Harriet who is the sweetest little baby. She is a joy and light in all our lives and I feel so lucky to have a little niece! My sister and brother in law are amazing 🙂

And in other good news, in April, my essay in the Book of Hope by Jonny Benjamin MBE and Britt Pfluger will be published alongside many others I look up to (Dame Kelly Holmes and my friend Hope Virgo). So there are good things as well as bad!

I am doing a lot better- I dont rapid cycle, I havn’t had an episode of mania or hypomania since 2014. My brain seems to like Lithium and Quetaipine (a mood stabiliser and anti psychotic). I have to learn to be kind to myself and practise self care, because my social anxiety is a fear response from the past.

Being kind to myself is of utmost importance. Heres a list of what I do when I am having a bad day: take a nap, have a bubble bath, read a book, hug the guineapigs and Rob, talk to Rob, a friend or family member, put on a face mask, cry, breathe and listen to calming music, watch a good TV show (I have been watching First Dates Teens), book in a therapy session, eat something nice, put some make up on, wash my hair, wear an uplifting perfume.

How are you kind to yourself on your bad days?

Love,

Eleanor x

Book Review : ‘Smart Girls Handbook: How to Silence Self Doubt’ by Scarlett V Clark of Smart Girl Tribe

Disclaimer: I got sent a free copy of the book to review but did not receive payment for this review.

I was so excited to receive my copy of this book! I have been following Scarlett Clark’s work for a year or more- she is an incredible woman! She set up a global hub for women on issues that matter, Smart Girl Tribe at the age of only 19! Scarlett is a true trailblazer and entrepreneur, who is all about womens empowerment. Smart Girl Tribe is now the UK’s number one empowerment organisation and as well as being an accomplished motivational speaker, activist and writer, Scarlett can now add author to the list!

On International Womens Day, earlier this month, Scarlett released The Smart Girls Handbook: How to Silence Self Doubt, Find your Purpose and Redefine the Impossible’ with Trigger Publishing (who also published my book!). I often have self doubt and it can be hard to find life purpose too for so many of us, especially if you struggle in life.

(image: Scarlett Clark/ Trigger Publishing)

Using her own story alongside the most popular questions that Scarlett is asked at the many events she runs in schools and colleges, The Smart Girl’s Handbook  aims to help you:

• Discover your talent and find your passion.
• Learn how to deal with fear of failure.
• Cope with anxiety and start speaking your truth.
• Build a strong group of true friends and slay the naysayers.
• Be confident and love yourself.

Each chapter follows the themes above and uses examples from Scarlett’s own life to explore the central idea. Included are tools, tips and exercises to work through, as well as interviews with other ‘Smart Girls’. This is a handbook for any girl who wants to push boundaries and go for what they want.

Scarlett tackles each issue head on, giving examples from her life journey and providing incredible motivational tips. I loved learning more about her, her life story and why she set up Smart Girl Tribe by herself at such a young age. Her fearless attitude and strength of character really stood out to me but also how she empowers other women to be and do the same.

Having lived with anxiety since the age of 15, I have had many years of holding back through fear but I have also achieved a lot too. I will go back to this book for advice again and again! It is an empowering book that will help women of any age, and especially teens and young women to reach for their dreams.

Each chapter has the Smart Girl Tribe promise headings and includes exercises to help you on your way too:

1) I promise to discover my talent and find my passion
2) I promise to learn how to deal with the fear of failure
3) I promise to learn to cope with anxiety and start speaking my truth
4) I promise to slay the mean girls and build a strong tribe of true friends
5) I promise to be confident and love myself unconditionally
6) I promise to be a total #boss
7) I promise to embrace self-care and take a well-needed pause
8) I promise to stand up and help change the world

Thanks Scarlett for being you and publishing this wonderful book too!

If you;d like to read your copy you can here



About Scarlett Clark:
At 19, female entrepreneur Scarlett V Clark set up a global hub for young women. Smart Girl Tribe quickly became the UK’s number one female empowerment organization. Since then she has worked with the UN, the British Council, HeforShe, Women for Women, and spoken at the Houses of Parliament. Now in her mid 20’s, Scarlett is an ambassador for the NSPCC and 50:50 which lobbies parliament and the political parties to be more inclusive of women. With a Masters degree in journalism, Scarlett has written for major publications including Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar. She is an avid traveller, competitive skier and multi linguist.