Coming Home For The Mental Health Awareness Shabbat And Self Care by Eleanor

Happy new year everyone! Gosh its nearly the end of January and I havn’t written a blog for a while so thought I would share some things that have been happening here and talk a bit about mental health stuff too.

Firstly, my mental health is fairly stable at the moment, as has been the case for a number of years. I don’t get typical bipolar depressive or manic episodes on my medications and this year is my 9th year out of hospital , which is always a positive. However, I still suffer with anxiety and stress and get overwhelmed so have to pace myself! I have bad days too where things feel too much but thankfully they don’t escalate into a depression.

So for the positives- I have achieved some huge anxiety wins for me. Since November, I have been on the tube (first time in 3 years), I have gone up to the West End with Rob to the theatre using public transport, my panic attacks have been lessening, I have been able to see more people in person and I also passed my probation at work and have been made permanent (huge win!). I am someone who struggles with agarophobia when I feel more anxious and stressed and going out alone can still be a challenge.

I have been allowing myself to venture into previously anxiety provoking situations- for example, I get cabs alone home from work. I had to start doing this last year and it helped me get back into the world again. It wasn’t easy due to many fears I had but I have been able to do it, slowly. My job is also hybrid so I can work from home too- but getting back out into the world and having kind work colleagues at an office has been such a vital part of my recovery too. My therapist has been so helpful in dealing with the panic attacks and anxiety and I do still get triggered but at the moment on a lesser scale. I still find blood tests, hospitals and general health stuff scary because of what I have been through. I really recommend therapy.

I sometimes do have to cancel arrangements when things feel too much so am sorry to anyone I have had to postpone… its not easy and I hate doing it as I feel bad… but I am learning the balance of looking after me and socialising too. I don’t always get it right but I am trying.

Then, my friend in Bushey, Lee, texted me a few weeks back and asked if I would like to speak in my childhood community for the Jami (Jewish charity) Mental Health Awareness Shabbat. I hadn’t done public speaking about my story since before Covid in 2019, when I spoke with my Dad Mike at Limmud and at Chigwell shul (synagogue, my husbands community). I have had drama training so for me speaking publicly as someone else is OK, but when I have to stand up and share my own story, I get nervous as its so personal. The first time I was asked to speak in a shul at Belsize Square, I made it to the community but my Dad had to give the talk by himself as i was too panicked to attend the service. I managed in time to dip my toe in slowly, always with the support of my Dad and my therapist.

This talk in Bushey felt significant. It’s the Jewish community I grew up in and was a part of until I was 23. I felt like I was going home. The Bushey team told me they had two other speakers, but would I like to speak and share my story with bipolar disorder?

I thought to myself… I am ready, my panic attacks and social anxiety are more under control. To me being asked to come home to Bushey shul was a sign. My Grandpa Harry passed away in 2021 from Covid- and he and Grandma had lived in Bushey since the 1990s, when we were little. Our family lived in both Bushey and Bushey Heath and I studied at Immanuel College, across the road from our home and my grandparents. The area contains so many happy memories for me. I knew the new senior Rabbi and Rebbetzen, as he had officiated at my grandparents funerals and was so kind to our family. My Dad is also still a member of the shul and I still know a lot of people who live in the community too. Its a very special community and one I am proud to be from (and still feel.a small part of despite not being a local anymore).

So, I decided, with my Dad and Rob’s support on the day (and anxiety meds), that I could stand up in shul and speak with the other two speakers on the Shabbat (sabbath) morning. My Mum and step dad were supporting from afar and looking after our guineapigs.

The senior Rabbi and Rebbetzen hosted us for the Friday night which was wonderful as we got to meet lots of new couples and see the Ketts, the other Rabbi and Rebbetzen! For lunch after the service, we went to Lee’s house, which was very special as she was my batmitzvah teacher and is a good family friend.

I was initially told the talk was going to be in a break out room- but on the day it was decided that it would be from the pulpit. Last time I ventured to that pulpit and stood up there was when I was 12 years old, sharing my batmitzva portion of the Torah. The year my Dad was very ill and diagnosed with bipolar. I became ill just 3 years later.

Now, here I was back as a married woman of 34, revealing about the mental illness that had found its way into my family and caused a lot of devastation. However, the main reasons I wanted to stand up and talk about bipolar disorder are because I know that this illness runs in families, many Jewish families struggle with it. I wanted to give the message that you can live with this illness but you can have periods of remission, recovery, you can find hope.

And as I spoke to the audience of people – many of whom I had known since my childhood, who saw me grow up and saw my family eventually leave Bushey for Edgware, I felt humbled. I felt honoured to be asked to speak and I hoped that by sharing my own journey with bipolar (being diagnosed at 16, in hospital twice, the last time in 2014 for a very serious manic episode), that I could touch someone who needed to hear it. My Dad gave me permission to tell his story too.

When I grew up in. the early 2000s, talking about mental illness and particularly in Jewish spaces, was not the norm. I hope that through sharing my own journey and my Dads (he was undiagnosed for 9 years until he was 44), that I will have helped someone.

Most importantly, I felt I had come home. The kindness and warmth shown to me by the members of the Bushey community who I have known since I was a little girl was something so incredibly special and touching. People confided in me after the service about their own struggles. Others thanked me for sharing my story. I was hugely touched by the other two speakers who spoke after me about their own journeys with mental health and their children’s. I won’t name them here in case they want to be anonymous but I learnt so much from them and their experiences.

So I want to say a huge thank you to Lee, to the Rabbis and Rebbetzens and to everyone in Bushey who I have known for years and have loved- for hosting us, for inviting me to talk about something so personal in such a special community. It touched my heart. I really hope it helps.

I genuinely did not know how I stood up there to speak to 90 odd people- what kept me going is knowing I was doing this to help eradicate the stigma of mental illness but also I hope that the words I spoke gave comfort to anyone going through mental illness, that it does get better. It can improve. You won’t be ill forever.

When I was unwell in 2014, Jonny Benjamin MBE was speaking and sharing about mental illness. He taught me that sharing your story to help others is vital. So thanks Jonny for all your support too (whether you knew you gave me the courage or not :).

I also want to thank Jami charity, Laura Bahar and Rabbi Daniel Epstein. I was part of the volunteering team that helped set up the first mental health awareness shabbat. The project has blossomed and is now annual and it is truly wonderful to see.

What I want to clarify is that although I am currently a lot better with my anxiety, it is very much a grey area, day by day thing. That can be hard for people to understand- how one day you can be great with loads of energy and the next you have to stay home and recuperate- self care. But I think knowledge of mental health is increasing now, so do check in with your friends and family and offer a safe space without judgement- its so helpful.

Thank you again for reading this if you got this far. You can do whatever you put your mind too- reach for help from medical teams, medication, therapists and never give up.

With gratitude and love,

Eleanor

x

How To Avoid January Anxiety And Burn Out By Dr Catherine Carney at Delamere

(image: Unsplash)

As soon as the 1st of January hits, every advertisement seems to switch from encouraging total indulgence, to tips and tricks on how to ‘better’ yourself both mentally and physically. Such a drastic change in narrative can cause your New Year to begin in a stressful, pressurised manner, and can even lead to burnout. 

With this in mind, Dr Catherine Carney of private rehabilitation centre, Delamere, has offered some tips and tricks to combat the anxiety that January can bring. As well as this, she will also outline the most common causes of New Year burnout, making it easier for you to avoid them. 

  1. Setting unrealistic goals 

While there is nothing wrong with being ambitious, pushing yourself too hard is destined to lead to disappointment and a feeling of failure. Rather than comparing yourself to people on social media platforms, it is always better to write a short list of smaller, more obtainable goals. 

Once you have achieved these, you can start to work on more difficult ones. This may be easier said than done due to toxic hustle culture being everywhere, but it is important to remember that everybody progresses at a different pace. If you attempt too much in one go for example, telling yourself you will go to the gym every day or read 10 books a month, you could mentally and physically crash and burn. 

  1. Comparing your progress to someone else’s 

As stated previously, different people achieve things in their own time, which is crucial to remember around New Year. If somebody you know has started running 10k a day and you are struggling to get past 5k, then try not to punish yourself – or worse, exert yourself too much and cause an injury. 

Your body and your mind can only do so much in a certain period, so it is always important to remember to rest and recharge. Not allowing yourself to do this can lead to you wanting to isolate yourself from others, due to feeling like a failure, as well as making you feel exhausted and worn out. Taking small, realistic steps is key when it comes to forming a new habit.

  1. Forgetting to plan your time

Many people find themselves struggling with day-to-day life in general, so adding a new task or activity can cause them to be completely thrown off. Telling yourself you will go for a run, read a book, or do some writing, but not planning a specific time, could lead to you becoming stressed and irritated – especially if you do not end up doing the task. 

Juggling work, sleep, a social life, eating healthily, and leisure activities can be very difficult, so it is handy to write tasks and goals down. Setting a specific time would allow you to get things done prior to the new activity you are trying to stick to, as well as allowing you to fill your time efficiently and with things you enjoy. 

  1. Neglecting rest, relaxation, and meditation

Sitting down and allowing your body and mind to recharge is possibly the most effective way of avoiding burnout. It can be very easy to forget about this, especially with hustle culture making people feel guilty for not being productive. However, mentally recharging will allow you to feel more energised when it comes to tackling your New Year’s Resolutions. 

Meditation and general wellness has been proven to lessen feelings of anxiety and depression, allowing you to clear your mind after a challenging day and re-centre your energy. While wellness is not the right path for everybody, it could be worthwhile to give it a try, especially if your resolutions have left you feeling sluggish. 

  1. Forgetting to see friends and family 

Many people experiencing depressive feelings will feel compelled to socially isolate themselves. This can be for a number of reasons, ranging from feeling too emotionally exhausted to leave the house, to not wanting people to know how they are feeling. However, as depressive thoughts go hand-in-hand with burnout, it is crucial to maintain contact with friends and family – especially around the New Year. 

If you have not achieved something you told people you would, or are generally feeling like you are underachieving, socially withdrawing may feel like a comforting thing to do. Sharing your thoughts and worries with a loved one will allow them to offer words of encouragement and support, as well as a potential solution to your issue. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym more often, your friend could offer to go with you. 

Content from Dr Catherine Carney at: https://delamere.com/addiction-treatment/work-burnout

How To Know If You Have An Eating Disorder And What To Do About It by Brooke Chaplan

(image: Unsplash)

Eating disorders come in many shapes and sizes. They can be hard to identify, as they can develop slowly over time, or they can be immediately apparent. Knowing the symptoms of an eating disorder and understanding the best way to seek help is important in order to help those who are suffering from these illnesses.  

Signs of an Eating Disorder 

Eating disorders often manifest themselves through physical changes in appearance, as well as psychological changes such as mood swings, isolation, and feelings of guilt or shame. There are a few signs that may indicate someone is struggling with an eating disorder:  

  • Dramatic changes in weight or body shape (either gaining or losing weight suddenly)  
  • Avoiding social situations where food is involved  
  • Obsessive counting of calories or talking about dieting constantly  
  • Obsessive exercising (working out excessively even when injured)  
  • Preoccupation with food, body image, and weight gain/loss  
  • Negative self-talk (criticizing one’s own body image)  

If you have any reason to believe that someone you care about has an eating disorder, it’s important to get them help right away. The longer someone goes without treatment for an eating disorder, the more difficult it becomes for that person to overcome the illness

It’s also important to remember that a person doesn’t need to show all the signs listed above for it to be considered an eating disorder; if you suspect something is wrong, trust your instincts and reach out for help.  

Seeking Treatment for Eating Disorders   

If you think someone may have an eating disorder it’s important not to ignore the warning signs. The best course of action is always to seek professional medical advice. A psychiatrist or therapist will be able to diagnose any underlying issues and recommend treatment options based on their experience and expertise.

Treatment options for eating disorders vary depending on the individual but typically include some combination of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or other therapies, medication management, nutrition counselling, and lifestyle coaching. It’s essential that individuals receive support from family members during treatment so they can stay focused on their recovery journey.  

Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that require professional medical attention in order to be treated properly. If you think someone might have an eating disorder it’s important not to ignore the warning signs but rather seek professional advice right away in order for the individual to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan tailored specifically for them.

With proper treatment, individuals with eating disorders can learn how to manage their mental health around food, body image, and emotional well-being so they can live a healthy life.

This article was written by freelance writer Brooke Chaplan.

7 Proven Strategies To Gain Unprecedented Confidence.

(image: Judeus Samson, Unsplash)

Confidence is essential to everyday life, and it can be challenging to find when you need it. But don’t worry – there are simple steps that anyone can take in order to give themselves an instant boost of confidence. So if you want to become more self-assured and feel better about yourself, read on for seven easy tips that will help you build your self-confidence right away. From basic body language tricks to changing your mindset, these tips will help you feel more confident no matter the situation.

1) Understand The Benefits Of Self-Confidence

Understanding the benefits of self-confidence is the first step towards developing it for yourself. There are many advantages to having a healthy level of confidence that can help you overcome challenges, reach goals and enjoy life more fully. People with higher levels of confidence tend to be more successful in their relationships, careers, and academic and financial goals as they are less afraid to take risks.

Self-assured people also have improved mental health, better decision-making skills and a greater ability to trust themselves. They find it easier to cope with negative emotions such as fear and anxiety and feel more in control of their lives. With the right level of self-confidence, you can have the courage to pursue your dreams and live a meaningful life filled with joy, love and fulfillment.

2) Dress To Impress

One of the key things that can give anyone an instant boost in confidence is to dress for success. Clothing can significantly impact how you feel and how others perceive you. Dressing stylishly and with good taste can give you a sense of pride, increasing your self-esteem. The trick is to focus on creating an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident – one that best reflects your unique personality, style and essence.

When it comes to picking out an outfit, it’s essential to be aware of colours and patterns that bring out your best features. For example, wear darker or monochromatic colours if you want to draw attention away from certain areas. You may also want to consider accessorising with jewellery or scarves to complete your look, as these items can add texture and dimension to the overall ensemble.

3) Try A New Hairstyle

A new hairstyle can do wonders for your confidence, instantly making you look and feel more attractive. For those looking for a dramatic change, consider going for a bolder cut or colour. If you’re feeling adventurous, try something unique, like an edgy pixie cut or an ombre dye job. You could even wear trendy braids or funky buns if you’re daring.

For those who prefer a subtler approach, simple changes such as adding layers to your hair or tweaking the bangs can give you a refreshed look without drastically altering your appearance. However, no matter what hairstyle you choose, you should make sure that you know how to care for your hair. For example, caring for naturally wavy hair requires different techniques than caring for naturally straight hair. So be sure to do your research before you make any drastic changes.

(image: Alysha Rosly)

4) Improve Your Posture And Body Language

Improving your posture and body language is a great way to exude more confidence. This could be as simple as practising proper posture while walking, sitting or even standing still in place. Standing tall with your shoulders back, chest out and head up will instantly make you appear more confident and assertive. Practising good body language, such as maintaining eye contact, using open gestures and leaning forward when interacting with others, is also essential. Doing this can help you express yourself better and project an air of self-assurance.

Subtle changes in how you interact with people can go a long way in improving your confidence level. For example, instead of crossing your arms defensively when talking to someone, try adopting an open stance with your arms at your sides or folded across the front of your body. Smiling warmly also helps create a sense of trustworthiness and openness which are key elements for establishing connections with other people. These small changes in behaviour can make all the difference when it comes to making a positive first impression and building relationships based on trust and respect.

5) Develop A Positive Mindset

A positive mindset is essential for gaining self-confidence and feeling good about yourself. It’s important to remember that your thoughts have a significant impact on how you feel, so learning to manage and control them can be extremely beneficial. To develop a positive mindset, practising daily affirmations and recognising your past successes is essential. This will help empower you to move forward and tackle any challenges that come your way.

It’s also essential to cultivate a sense of gratitude in order to foster a more positive outlook on life. Practising gratitude means taking the time to acknowledge the blessings in your life, whether big or small. This could be anything from appreciating a beautiful sunrise to recognising family and friends’ support when you need it most. Doing this will create an attitude of positivity and appreciation, which helps build confidence over time.

6) Surround Yourself With Positive People

Surrounding yourself with positive people is an essential part of building your confidence. Positive people can provide you with encouragement, support, and motivation when you need it most. With the right social circle, you can feel more secure and supported in times of doubt and insecurity. Research has also shown that having a strong support system can help with stress relief and improve mental health and emotional well-being.

Seek out those who support your goals and dreams by joining clubs or groups related to your interests. Doing so can open up new friendships that bring out the best in each other. It’s also beneficial to create activities that bring friends together, such as game nights, brunches, and movie marathons—all of which will provide an excellent opportunity to unwind together after a long week. If time or distance prevents meeting up with friends in person, stay connected through video calls, text messages, and even sending surprise packages now and then as small gestures of appreciation for one another’s company.

7) Set Goals And Visualise Success

Setting goals and visualising success is a powerful confidence-building exercise. By setting clear, achievable goals, you can gain a sense of direction and purpose, which helps build your self-esteem. Visualisation has also been shown to be an effective tool for achieving success in life. By focusing on the desired outcomes of a situation or task, you can better prepare yourself mentally for the challenges ahead.

The power of visualisation should not be underestimated because it can help unlock inner resources and hidden potential that remain untapped without this practice. Using mental imagery techniques involves focusing on the end result you desire to achieve, picturing yourself succeeding in each step along the way, learning from any mistakes or missteps that may occur and believing in yourself and your abilities to reach the goal. Additionally, regularly engaging in visualisation allows you to tap into creative problem-solving skills that could lead to innovative solutions you may not have thought of otherwise.

There are many simple things that anyone can do to give themselves an instant boost of confidence. From making physical changes to developing a positive mindset and surrounding yourself with supportive people, practising these daily habits will help increase your self-confidence over time. By setting achievable goals and visualising success, you can unlock inner resources and hidden potential that will open the door for greater opportunities and successes.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

How To Tell If You Or A Loved One Needs Psychiatric Help by Brooke Chaplan.

(image: free image)

Mental illness can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. It is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental illness in order to get help as soon as possible. Knowing what to look for can be tricky, so here are some common warning signs that you or a loved one may need psychiatric help.  

Unexplained Changes in Mood and Behaviour  

One of the most common signs of mental illness is a sudden and unexplained change in mood or behaviour. This could include changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, energy levels, attitude towards others, or motivation levels. If you notice any sudden shifts in these areas that last more than two weeks and cannot be attributed to a specific event or life change, it may indicate an underlying mental health issue.  

Negative Self-Talk or Rumination  

Another sign that someone needs professional help is if they frequently engage in negative self-talk or ruminate on the same thoughts over and over again. For example, if they often say things like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do anything right” without any basis for those statements, this could be a sign that something more serious is going on beneath the surface. Additionally, if someone spends hours every day thinking about their mistakes from the past without being able to move forward—this could also be an indication that professional help is necessary.  

Isolation from Friends and Family  

Finally, if someone begins isolating themselves from friends and family members more often than usual—or does not seem interested in having conversations with them—this could be another indicator that something more serious is happening mentally. It’s normal for people to want some alone time once in a while—but if you notice your loved one consistently avoiding social activities and interactions with others over long periods of time—it may mean they need extra emotional support from a professional psychiatrist before they can get back on track.   

Other Behaviours

Other behaviours you should watch out for is frequent tearfulness, self harm thoughts or ideas, suicidal thoughts and ideation- as this indicates someone is reaching a crisis point with their mental health. In some there may be an increase in activity or mania. This can lead to psychosis- where your mind loses touch with reality, common in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (but can also happen outside these conditions).

Mental health issues are complex and often difficult to recognise at first glance. However, it’s important to understand that early intervention can make all the difference when it comes to managing mental illness effectively. If you notice any of these warning signs in yourself or a loved one—don’t hesitate to reach out for help!

Professional psychiatric services should always be sought out when necessary as this will create better outcomes for everyone involved in the long run. In the UK, that may be via the NHS but due to overwhelmed services, if you can afford private treatment, go down this route as it will be quicker!

This article was. written by Brooke Chaplan, freelance writer.

Methods for Helping Your Addiction Recovery by Kara Masterson.

(image: free image)

Addiction recovery is a challenging process, but there are certain methods that can make the experience a bit easier to handle. These methods can range from creating a support network to seeking out counselling services that can help you navigate the recovery process and help hold you accountable. As a result, following these tips can help make addiction recovery smoother and more successful.

Create a Support Network

Creating a strong support system of family members, friends, and certified professionals who understand the challenges of addiction recovery is essential to your success. Your support network should be made up of those who have your best interests at heart and will provide you with unconditional love and encouragement as you navigate through this difficult time. This type of positive reinforcement will help keep you motivated and on track during your journey toward sobriety.

Seek Out Counselling Services

Professional recovery programs and counselling services may offer a variety of methods and coping mechanisms to help you in the recovery process; such as individualised therapy sessions, group therapy, family counselling, and recovery coaching. These services provide an important opportunity to explore past experiences and underlying issues that have caused or contributed to your past substance abuse, as well as new ways to cope with the underlying triggers and a better understanding of yourself and the things you may be dealing with.

With the guidance of a trained mental health therapist or addiction specialist, addiction recovery patients can develop effective strategies for managing and overcoming their triggers, cravings, and other difficult emotions without relapsing back into old habits. Thus, seeking out counselling services from experienced professionals is an invaluable asset to recovery success.

Practice Self-Care

Lastly, another important tip for making addiction recovery smoother is to practice self-care. This means taking care of yourself physically by eating healthy meals, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep each night. It also means taking care of yourself mentally by setting aside time each day for relaxation activities such as yoga or meditation. Additionally, it’s important to focus on positive thinking and avoiding negative self-talk which can be detrimental during this delicate time in your life.

Making addiction recovery smoother requires dedication and effort from both yourself and those around you who are supporting you on this journey toward long-term sobriety. By creating a strong support network, seeking out professional counselling services, and practicing self-care daily, you can set yourself up for success in overcoming your addiction issues once and for all. With these tips in mind, you’ll be better equipped to make addiction recovery easier than ever before!

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer.

Tips For Planning A Sensory-Friendly Wedding by Clay Reese

(image: Unsplash, Jakob Owens)

Your wedding day is meant to be a truly special time, a day to celebrate your love with friends and family. Once you’re engaged, you’ll likely find many people want to know what you’re doing for the wedding – with some people expecting a big, showy day, with everyone in your extended family getting an invite. 

Weddings are exciting, but they can also be overwhelming, especially if you don’t love large social gatherings or find the fuss and fanfare that traditionally comes with the day a little anxiety-inducing. However, the most important thing about your wedding day is that it is right for you and your partner, not what everyone else expects from you. Here, we show you how you can still have a dream wedding day, but keep things calm and sensory-friendly. 

Get comfortable with your venue

Often, couples have one chance to view their venue before booking, and then they might only get one visit in before the big day. This is especially true if it’s a popular venue, or you want to get married in peak season. Unfortunately, this can leave you feeling a little unsettled on the day of your wedding, since you aren’t familiar with the space and don’t have your own familiar things around you. 

If this is something you’re concerned about, you may want to opt for a less popular venue, or one that you’re already familiar with, such as a local church, hall or even a family home. This will allow you to make several visits before the big day, so that you feel comfortable with your surroundings and can relax and enjoy the moment.

Keep things small- if that’s what you want

Big weddings can come with a lot of noise, talking and a huge amount of people to organise. Keeping things small and only inviting your closest friends will mean that you don’t have as much sensory input to deal with, but it also means they’re likely to respect your needs. If you have any specific requirements, consider communicating this with your guests beforehand, so you can arrive assured that no one is going to cross your boundaries.

Making the decision about your guest list as soon as possible will allow you to speak to people well in advance of the big day, and handle those conversations in the best setting for you, whether that’s written, over the phone or in person.

Consider your outfit

Weddings usually mean wearing a special dress or suit, but sometimes those with sensory issues can find the feel of certain fabrics or seams can cause problems. If this is the case for you, then make sure to find a dressmaker, tailor or clothing brand that you feel comfortable with, so that you’re not distracted by your outfit on the day. 

Wear ear plugs

Even with a small number of guests and a quiet venue, there can still be a lot of stimulation if you’re sensitive to noise. Wearing discreet ear plugs can allow you to soften the impact of this noise and enjoy your day without getting overwhelmed. There are plenty of subtle options available, but if you’re worried about them being obvious in your wedding photos, you could take them out for the solo and couple shots, since it’s just likely to be you and your photographer at this time.

(image: Sooz at Unsplash)

Plan for breaks

When planning your day, work with your venue so that you don’t feel rushed or under pressure at any time. Incorporate plenty of breaks into the schedule, and make sure you leave some time for just you and your partner to soak up the joy after the ceremony. You could go for a walk, or sit quietly in a separate room – whatever you need, speak to your venue to make sure you can get that special time. Not only will this help you deal with any sensory overwhelm, but it’s also just a really lovely way to celebrate together and take your first moments as a married couple.

A calmer day

By carefully planning your day to meet your needs, you can relax and enjoy the wedding planning process. Invite your closest friends and family, raise a glass, and celebrate your love together in a way that is perfect for you.

Clay Reese is a blogger and digital media expert.

Moving Forward Into 2023. Happy New Year!

(image: girlwithdreams)

Tonight I was sat with Rob and our friends at their home, enjoying a dinner together. We ate good food and just loved being together. We then watched the beautiful fireworks on TV as Big Ben (the clock) tolled in midnight.

And as I watched the colours take off and swirl in the night sky over London, wishing our friends happy new year and looking at Rob, I thought about the year that has been.

At the end of 2021, I created a vision board for this year and what I wanted to manifest. Amazingly, a lot of it has and I am hugely grateful for so much that this year has brought (some parts though weren’t so good, and thats absolutely ok.. we are human and life isn’t always perfect).

There are some dreams that I hope will come true for 2023. Good health and happiness of course for us, family, friends and everyone at the top of the list.

2022 was a year of many ups and some downs. For now, I would like to keep my resolutions and hopes to myself until I feel ready to share them but want to wish you all a happy, healthy new year. May it bring only blessings and may all our hopes and wishes manifest for the good.

Thank you for reading and supporting this blog in 2022 and always! In March, it will be 7 years since I started blogging!

Heres to 2023!

Love,

Eleanor x

How Car Accidents Affect Mental Health And What To Do About It: by Stubbs Law Firm

(image: Will Creswick: Unsplash).

Car crashes can be some of the lowest moments in any individual’s life. In the aftermath of any accident, it’s common for medics to immediately focus on any physical injuries sustained by the victims. However, in addition to physical wounds, many victims also suffer psychological trauma that may last long after their physical injuries heal.

Studies by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs reveal that more than 20% of car accident victims develop mental trauma, while approximately 10% of victims develop full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. This psychological trauma can significantly lower the victim’s quality of life if not addressed.

Car accidents can affect your mental health in the following ways.

1. Emotional distress

Many people struggle with severe anxiety and emotional distress in the few weeks and months after the accident. Recurring nightmares, fearfulness, and avoidance of any form of vehicle travel are common psychological distress symptoms in the aftermath of a car crash. This psychological trauma can be hard to shake off, especially when physical injuries are permanent.

2. Anger and mood swings

Drivers may struggle with guilt and sadness, especially if they were responsible for the crash. Passengers and other victims may channel their anger and frustrations at the driver for causing the crash. Negative thoughts can affect the victim’s relationships at work, home, and school.

3. Depression

High-stress levels can quickly plunge a car accident victim into depression which causes many people to seek refuge in drugs and alcohol abuse. Common signs of depression may include sleeping disorders, appetite loss, suicidal tendencies, and emotional outbursts. Post-car crash depression can be challenging to diagnose and treat without the involvement of a mental wellness specialist. 

4. Regression in children

Psychological trauma affects kids in many ways that may affect their mental and physical development. Some common symptoms of regression and mental trauma in children may include loss of concentration, poor grades in school, and bed-wetting.

Ways to improve your mental health state post-accident

It’s necessary to seek professional help if the mental trauma lingers over a few weeks and affects your social and family relationship.

Therapy

Recovering from mental trauma after an accident becomes easier when you seek professional help. A psychologist will guide you on the next steps and what medication to take depending on the severity of your condition. Group therapy with other accident victims can go a long way in relieving stress and helping you ease back to your normal life.

Seek legal help

While victims may receive compensation for physical injuries sustained during car crashes, insurance companies may downplay the psychological impact of such events, especially for victims who don’t suffer physical injuries. Psychological trauma can impact your ability to work and provide for your family hence the need to seek compensation through personal injury claims. Your compensation may help pay for therapy and offset any lost income from car crashes. When seeking legal help from an attorney, provide accurate details of the crash and include medical details from your doctor’s consultation.

Stubbs Law Firm is vastly experienced in various legal solutions, from personal injury to insurance disputes. We help car crash victims get justice, and appropriate compensation for all injuries suffered in car accidents.

This non-sponsored article was written by Stubbs Law Firm.

Anxiety And Climbing, Not Carrying Mountains. by Eleanor.

(image: Quote CC)

This week was a good week. Generally, my bipolar has been stable for a while. I am able to go to work and hold down two jobs somehow and I also passed my probation (in the words of Borat, Great Success!). But there are times when things are overwhelming and I feel like a wobbly mess. Like today.

I achieved my goals that I came up with when I was in the middle of agoraphobia a few months ago. My panic disorder reset itself to a healthy level thanks to therapy and things improving at work. As such, I have been able to see more people face to face and this week I was able to go to Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club with my Dad to see Natalie Williams and Soul family Motown show (my Chanukah present). We have been before over the years and love going to see them and going with my Dad makes me feel safe as he drives us.

However, I often find that something like that is followed by a day of needing to slow down and look after me as I can feel a little depleted and more anxious. Its just a bit of a pattern my mind goes too. The cold and dark weather also do not help with this and I start just wanting to stay at home. I have also been putting myself under too much pressure and end up exhausted.. any other perfectionists/achievers do the same?

So, I couldn’t go to see friends and some family this weekend and had to cancel arrangements which wasn’t great. However, my baby nephew was born last week and had his Jewish naming ceremony yesterday which was special as Rob and I carried him in on a special pillow. We then hosted my mum and step dad for shabbat (Jewish sabbath) lunch- so I am seeing that as a big achievement despite everything. In the past, I wouldn’t have even been able to attend it- so I know I am in a better place. However, I also had to cancel other family plans which I don’t feel good about.

I think I have just been trying to do way too much as I always do when I feel a bit better and I am sorry to those I have had to let down due to increased anxiety. I know its not my fault, its an illness, but I still feel bad.

One positive, at the ceremony I was able to see my two aunties who I hadn’t seen for a while (which was one of my goals too) so that made me so happy.

Overall, I am doing well but I am still dealing with the panic and anxious thought patterns at times… and its learning a) what the triggers are b) what I can do to help myself when it happens. I have had about a month off from seeing my therapist so probably need another session soon. I think I just need a quiet day watching Netflix.

(image: Grow Together Now)

Rob and I are getting away over Christmas so hopefully that will be a good time to recharge and reset my batteries after a very busy year for both of us.

My sister said to me today to remember to be kind to myself, so that is what I am going to do. Though I do feel a little bit sad at having to cancel plans. Though I look back at the past few weeks and realise that I have done a lot in terms of seeing people- so maybe its all just too much and I need to plan less.

I am mostly healthy and life is generally good. Heres to climbing mountains, not carrying them all the time- and not feeling guilty if I can’t achieve something.

Love,

Eleanor x