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

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

11 Most Effective Ways for People to Protect Their Mental Health- A Guide by The Mental Health Foundation.

(image: Mental Health Foundation)

The 11 most effective ways for people to protect their mental health are revealed in a guide launched today by the Mental Health Foundation. 

The free guide, Our Best Mental Health Tips is based on the Foundation’s own ground-breaking study on what protects people from common problems such as anxiety and depression.  

The innovative study on which the new guide is based combined existing evidence about how we can protect our mental health with experts’ views, alongside the opinions of members of the public. 

Dr Antonis Kousoulis, who led the research and is a Director of the Foundation, said: ‘Our new guide encourages us to take care of the fundamentals of life – our relationships, our experiences, our bodies and our finances.  

The evidence shows that this is far more likely to keep us mentally healthy than the gimmicks and miracle cures promoted by some in the ‘wellness’ industry, who prey on our vulnerability. 

The truth is, there are no quick fixes for good mental or physical health. What works is developing healthy habits in our daily lives, that help us to feel OK and able to cope with everything. 

For example, in our new guide we talk about getting more from our sleep, learning to understand and manage our feelings, planning things to look forward to and getting help with money problems.’ 

The full list of mental health-promoting actions suggested by the new guide is as follows: 

  • Get closer to nature 
  • Learn to understand and manage your feelings 
  • Talk to someone you trust for support 
  • Be aware of using drugs and/or alcohol to cope with difficult feelings 
  • Try to make the most of your money and get help with problem debts 
  • Get more from your sleep 
  • Be kind and help create a better world 
  • Keep moving 
  • Eat healthy food
  • Be curious and open-minded to new experiences 
  • Plan things to look forward to 

Most members of the public involved in the study had experienced their own, or family members’ problems with mental health, so had the benefit of hindsight when assessing what helps most with prevention.  

The study was published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Health Promotion

The new guide (and the research on which it is based) acknowledges that people may be unable to follow some of its suggestions, for instance because the place they live makes it impossible to sleep well or spend time close to nature. 

Dr Kousoulis added: ‘Enjoying good mental health should be an equally accessible goal for all of us, yet it is often out of reach for many. Government action is needed to create the circumstances that solve problems that are beyond individuals’ reach, and help prevent people having problems with mental health in the first place.’ 

You can download the new guide free of charge from the Mental Health Foundation website. You can also order hard copies by post, with a small charge.

About the Mental Health Foundation   

Our vision is of good mental health for all. The Mental Health Foundation works to prevent mental health problems. We drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all, and support communities, families and individuals to lead mentally healthy lives with a particular focus on those at greatest risk. The Foundation is the home of Mental Health Awareness Week www.mentalhealth.org.uk  

This is a non sponsored article written by the Mental Health Foundation.

Top 10 UK Mental Health Blog 2022 from Vuelio- Thank you!

(image: Vuelio)

I am absolutely delighted to announce that we have been listed for the 4th year running (!) in the Vuelio Top 10 UK Mental Health Blog list! This means so much to me as Vuelio rank influential blogs by data and this year we are in 6th place amongst some truly amazing blogs, including my friend Cara Lisette’s!

Thank you so much to Vuelio for the support as always. I hope I can continue to blog and produce content that tackles the stigma around mental health and bipolar disorder in particular. My aim is to share others stories and to help others feel less alone.

See the full list here: https://www.vuelio.com/uk/social-media-index/mental-health-blogs-uk-top-10/

How To Stay Motivated At Times When You are Feeling Lost by Tracie Johnson

(image: T. Johnson)

Life is uncertain. Even in the best of times, something unexpected can happen. You may have a hard time getting out of bed or putting one foot in front of the other each day.

It can be a challenge to find the motivation to keep moving forward when you feel stuck or don’t know which way to turn. Don’t give up hope. You just need help finding your way.

You are Not Alone

Many people have faced struggles similar to yours, yet when you look at others around you, they may pretend everything is going well. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone has some sort of obstacle or bump in the road. However, we have been taught to hide our feelings. We avoid asking for help. Once you understand that others are involved in a struggle like yours, it will help you to feel like you are part of a community.

You are Stronger than You Realise

You may be under the misconception that you are ‘too weak’ to take on the world. Start looking for your strengths. Sit down with a piece of paper and jot down anything positive you can think of about yourself. List your achievements. Think of problems you have resolved in the past. Ask people you trust about the best things about you.

You can boost your confidence when you focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t. Focusing on your strengths may give you a sense of direction and shift your mindset.

A Helping Hand Can Make a World of Difference

Sometimes it simply takes new eyes to find the best part of you. You may be so caught up in all of your obligations that you’ve lost sight of who you want to be. You are probably like so many others who have sacrificed their own interests in order to take care of others. You may want to seek guidance or spiritual life coaching from helpful resources who can help you see yourself in a new light. 

It’s time to stop letting the rest of the world get in the way of your pursuit of happiness. Discovering the gems hidden inside of you can light the way to a brighter future as you realise your full potential.

Focus on What You Can Control in Your Life

While it’s true that there are many outside influences that are completely beyond your control, you can take charge of more than you realise. Don’t limit yourself with boundaries that have been established by others. Find your way to climb your mountains. Use the tools you have that will help you to open doors in your life. Don’t dwell on anything that has already happened. You can’t go back to the past.

Don’t let yourself get stuck in the mud of the problems of today. Tackle one small problem at a time. Don’t let your thoughts hinge on what will happen tomorrow. Stay in the present moment and celebrate your victories.

Work on Being the Best You Every Day

You’re going to make mistakes. The most important thing you can do is learn from them. If there is something that went wrong in the past, try to make a positive choice now. Wake up every morning determined to be better than you were before. Make a list of goals for the day. If you don’t achieve all of them, bump them to tomorrow. You’ll always have something to keep you going when you have more items on your to-do list. However, don’t pressure yourself and pace yourself.

Final Thoughts

You are a unique, remarkable individual. There is no one else like you on the planet. Celebrate your special qualities. Remember how important you are in the grand scheme of things. Choose something to shoot for, goalwise, on a daily basis. It will give you a reason to wake up every morning.

Think about something good in your life instead of the negative. Take two steps forward. Even if you slide back one, you are still headed the right way. Explore new opportunities. You never know when something will spark a new interest. It could pave the way to who you were always meant to be.


This article was written by writer Tracie Johnson, based in the USA.

Our Blog is 6 Years Old Today!

On the 1st March 2016, I started this blog as a way to provide therapy for myself- as I was going through panic attacks, (caused by trauma due to a hospitalisation for a bipolar manic episode). Since then I have had several years of EMDR trauma therapy and my life changed so much too- I met my husband, we got married and moved to our first home. I also found a career I love after many twists and turns due to mental illness. Life is never plain sailing especially with mental health and I still live with panic attacks/ social anxiety at times but am learning to manage them.

The blog has turned into a book Bring me to Light (with Trigger), writing for Metro.co.uk, Glamour, the Telegraph, Happiful, Rethink Mental Illness, Mind and other incredible organisations, I have partnered with large and small brands, charities, businesses, writers to create content that battles stigma on mental health. We have been awarded as a Top 10 UK blog by Vuelio since 2018 (thank you) and I love to share my story to help others and educate people about bipolar, anxiety, panic disorders, psychosis, mania and mental health in the workplace (amongst other mental health topics!). I have also recorded podcasts – most recently with Dr Rosena Allin Khan MP, shadow minister for mental health, Daniel Rosenberg at SodsPod and was also interviewed by Penny Power OBE with my Dad Mike (who is a mental health speaker).

When I started this blog I had no idea where it would lead and its been the most special, humbling and amazing journey- with so much more to do so watch this space!. I really want to help more people this year and also have a childrens book I would love to get out there to help kids with anxiety.

As always, I want to thank all my contributors and brands (sponsored or not), as well as the digital agencies and freelance writers who provide content too. I hope to keep it going for the next year at least! Let me know what you want to see.

This year heres what we have been talking about (and big thank you to everyone. If it doesnt have a name by it, content has been written by a writer):



How social distancing is affecting social anxiety in the pandemic- Anita Ginsburg

Book Review of the Smart Girls Handbook by Scarlett Clark- me (Eleanor)

Being kind to myself, social anxiety and life in recovery- me (Eleanor)

Self care ideas for positive change in 2021

How to cope with top 4 challenging life events

The Book of Hope launchme

Sending self care packages- a guide to sending gifts

Feel less trapped with these powerful ideas

6 Tips to stay positive and help mental health

Moving to our First Home and mental health- me

How to reach for help and not be ashamed

Whats the connection between mental health and addiction- Jennifer at Mandala Healing

We are a top UK mental health blog 2021- thanks Vuelio- Me

Can you still get health insurance cover if you have a history of mental illness?

The benefits of seeking mental health support and help

The link between debt and mental health

Start Up founders are 50% more likely to suffer from a mental health condition- Daniel Tannenbaum

How can mental health workers cope with the new normal?

Easing the burden of divorce- Brooke Chaplan

Stress and Panic Attacks Part two- Me

How to remain independent and look after your health as you get older

How selfie changed my life and mental health- Kathryn Chapman

The benefits of personal training for your mental health- Life Force Fitness

Recovery from alcohol or substance abuse: benefits of a sober living home

6 Ways Fathers can Assist New Mothers- Jess Levine

Work in progress- healing from trauma to find the light- me

Is stress affecting your skin? heres how to tell

Prioritising mental health on the world stage, Simone biles- me

Why privacy is critical for our mental health

Goal setting for mental health

Moving house? 5 tips to deal with moving stress

4 Ways to make mental health a priority in your life- Emma Sturgis

What you need to know about post Partum Depression- Kara Reynolds

The Midnight Library book review- me

5 interior design ideas to boost wellbeing

Steps to help aging and wellbeing

How to keep your children in mind during a divorce-Brooke Chaplan

Bryony Gordons mental health card collection for Thortful.com

The Inquisitive-a film on mental health and suicide- Kelvin Richards

Being self compassionate when I have anxiety- me

Keeping things stress free when selling an elderly family members home

7 Bipolar disorder facts everyone should know- Ronnie Deno

Recovering from an eating disorder- Kara Masterson

Wellbeing tips and activities for children- collaboration with Twinkl resources

Building trust in a relationship

How sleep patterns affect your mental health

Choosing life and freedom- my therapy journey- me

Dealing with imposter syndrome

Confidence on return to the office

lifestyles and mental health- Anna Witcherley at Head Hacks

Stress and mild anxiety formula- Nu mind wellness

Mental health problems in the pandemic- Webdoctor.ie

Patient transport helps anxious travellers- EMA Patient transport

How to stop signs of traumatic brain injury- Lizzie Weakley

Looking after mental health in a tense office environment

Dealing with anxiety as a mom/mum- Kara Reynolds

5 Self help books for 2022

Winter mental health and anxiety update- me

Tips to fight addiction- Lizzie Weakley

Lockdown, sleep, anxiety and mental health- collaboration with TEMPUR mattresses (ad)

Helping elderly people to live independently

Getting your loved one help for their addiction- Emma Sturgis

How to support your spouse with mental health issues- Kara Reynolds

Battling co occurring mental health and substance addiction- Holly

Festive season- me

Its Okay not to be Okay by Esther Marshall book review- me

The difference between a therapist and life coach- Lizzie Weakley

Managing mental health over christmas/ festive time- me

Reflecting on a new year 2022- me

Surviving trauma makes relationships difficult- self compassion helps- Taylor Blanchard

Window to the womb launches avocado app for perinatal wellbeing

Where to start when battling addiction- Rachelle Wilber

Mental health new year resolutions

Book review- Pushing through the cracks- Emily J Johnson- me

Depression meals when life gets hard- Kara Reynolds

Jami see mental health campaign blog

Recovering from cancer- the mental health aspect- Rachelle Wilber

Outdoor activities to improve your mental health- Elizabeth Howard

Mental health and eating disorder recovery journey- Emily J. Johnson

Fitness and mental health

Interview with Penny Power MBE, Thomas Power and Mike Segall on bipolar disorder

Self love for Valentines Day- with Kalms (ad)

Being debt free and in good mental health for 2022

Mental health medication- fighting the stigma- me

Overcoming alcohol addiction- Rachelle Wilber

Spiritual tips for helping mental health

Risk factors for post partum depression

Wow! Thank you for supporting me and the blog, for continuing to read and share it and to help battle the stigma around not only bipolar disorder and anxiety- but every mental illness.

Love,

Eleanor x

What I love about the Festive Season (even though I don’t celebrate Christmas). by Eleanor

(image Ylanite Koppens on Pexels)

What do you love about this time of year? Although i don’t celebrate Christmas, I absolutely love many things about this season of celebration, including Chanukah that has just been and the way this time of year can feel super cosy!

Heres my list and what I am looking forward to:

Blankets, PJs and warm socks

Festive songs- got to love Mariah

Feeling cosy/ hygge indoors

Hot chocolate with or without marshmallows

Gingerbread men

Twinkly fairy lights and the London Christmas Lights

If you celebrate Christmas- your christmas tree

Time with family and friends

For me, Chanukah- lighting candles each night and celebrating, which we did last week 🙂 we eat doughnuts

Giving gifts to those I love

Being with my husband and having chill time- his birthday is just after Christmas too. And cuddling our guineapigs Midnight and Nutmeg.

Christmas markets

Going to the theatre (as long as we are still allowed)

Having days off work to watch good TV with family

Sex and the City returning as And Just Like That, Emily in Paris second season and hopefully a new season of Bridgerton will be on its way soon.

My Body Shop pampering treats (perks of the job).

Helping others and doing good deeds

This time of year can also be a time of loneliness, poor mental health and lots of other awful things people are facing such as poverty or homelessness. But today, as I always focus on the heavier issues, i am looking for the positives but Give your time to others who need it too. if youre able.

(image: Darius Krause Pexels)

What are you doing for the holidays?

Eleanor x

8 Ways I Deal with Anxiety as a Mom (Mum) by Kara Reynolds.

(image: Pexels: Gustavo Fring)

Anxiety is hard to manage. When you have children, your stress levels can skyrocket. You have to get it under control to stay sane. 

Fortunately, you have plenty of holistic methods that help — often as much as medication or therapy. Here are eight ways I deal with anxiety as a mom. I hope these tips help you, too. 

1. I Maintain a Healthy Social Circle 

Loneliness can kill. A national cross-sectional survey found an association between patients who reported feeling isolated and increased mortality from all causes. 

I don’t know what I would do without my other mom friends. While it’s challenging for us to all coordinate our schedules to meet up as a group, I make a point to get together at least once a week with someone outside of my family for tea or a nice partner workout. It helps us both feel more connected and lets us shuffle off our mortal mom-coats for a minute and celebrate ourselves, not our roles in life. 

2. I Practice Breath Control 

Regulating your breath (like in childbirth) can help calm physiological processes. 

Focusing on your inhalations and exhalations alone helps you slow down your pace of breathing. Techniques such as 2-to-1 breathing, where you exhale for twice as long as you inhale, can further help to relax you. Navy SEALS use a method where they inhale for four, pause for as many beats, then exhale for the same count to calm their panic in crises. 

3. I Choose My Mental Battles Carefully 

As a mom, you see danger everywhere. I used to drive myself mad every time my kids strayed from my sight, but I learned to pick my mental battles more carefully as they got older. 

For example, I could lie awake tossing and turning all night, wondering if the parents at my child’s sleepover drink or take drugs in front of the kids. Conversely, I could simply meet with them before the big night and assuage my fears. 

4. I Check-in With My Body 

You know that you get irritable when you have a cold. However, minor aches and pains can sometimes leave you snapping at loved ones without realising the underlying cause. My back might groan after a day at my desk, but taking it out on my family only creates more problems. 

Therefore, I’ve learned to check in with my body regularly. I made mindful body scans a part of my routine meditation practice. These days, I do them anytime and anywhere, taking a few moments to breathe into tight areas and ease mild pain. 

5. I Move When I Don’t Feel Like It

Who hasn’t had those days where going to the gym seems like a chore? Yet, I’ve also discovered that pushing through often makes me feel better than remaining stationary. I trick myself into moving even when I don’t feel like it. 

How? I tell myself that I will work out for only five minutes. I give myself full permission to stop if I still feel lousy and sluggish after that time. However, I usually find the energy to keep going once my blood starts flowing. 

6. I Eat Healthfully — Most of the Time 

I used to go to diet extremes. Sometimes, I’d throw caution to the wind, declaring, “life’s short. Eat a donut.” Other times, I’d go on strict diets, eschewing everything that didn’t fit the meal plan until I went slightly crazy and binged. 

Now, I practice the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating. I eat foods that fall into my approved “healthy” categories 80% of the time. For the remaining 20%, I indulge in whatever I like. 

7. I Stay Away From Alcohol

A funny thing happened to me during pregnancy. Despite the increased pressure with a new life on the way, I felt less anxious. It didn’t take more than one or two postpartum cocktails to discern the reason. 

Alcohol messes with all kinds of neurotransmitters. While it initially decreases feelings of tension, it comes roaring back with a vengeance when you sober up and your brain tries to return to homeostasis. You could find yourself feeling even more tense and irritable — and craving another drink to take the edge off. 

For me, it’s simply easier to pass on the anxious feelings altogether. I found healthier ways to relax. 

8. I Meditate 

Although it may look like I’m doing nothing, my meditation time is the most critical part of my day. Without it, I wouldn’t function nearly as well in daily life. 

You don’t need anything except three to five minutes of quiet time each day to start. If you sit silently in mindfulness, you’ll amaze yourself with how long even that short span seems the first few times. If you struggle, guided meditations can help you find zen, and they’re available free on YouTube. 

Moms, How Do You Deal With Anxiety as a Parent?

The eight tips above help me deal with anxiety as a mom. I hope that this advice will likewise help you decrease your stress levels. 

This article was written by Kara Reynolds, editor of Momish

How Private Patient Transport helps Anxious Travellers by EMA Patient Transport

(image: EMA Patient Transport)

Travelling is stressful, especially when it’s to and from medical appointments; for people with anxiety issues, the stress levels during this time can be heightened even further. Private transport providers offer patients a comfortable transport experience; the journey can be as stress-free as possible thanks to their state of the art, bespoke ambulances and friendly, qualified team! Mental health patient transport services can provide a sense of comfort and trust compared to your average ambulance service. 

Not only does patient transport provide the benefit of a relaxed journey compared to your average patient transport- but for people who require additional support, these bespoke ambulances are accessible and filled with medical equipment.

Here are some of the ways private patient transport helps anxious travellers:

There’s No Waiting Time 

Private patient transport providers deliver a transport service you can rely on! No more waiting around worrying you’ll be late for your appointment. Due to the NHS being under severe pressure, their transport service is not always running on time. With private patient transport, you can rest assured you will be picked up & dropped off on time. 

The effects of long waiting times could be detrimental to anybody with anxious feelings, but you can avoid this stress and anxiety with private transport. With private ambulance services, there are no waiting times. 

Private Transport Is Bespoke 

A fantastic benefit of private ambulance services is that the focus is always on the patient. This means that when you choose a trusted, reputable provider, the provider will tailor each vehicle to meet the patient’s specific needs. This can help out anxious travellers, as they know the vehicle meets their requirements. Some vehicles even have sensory lights and TV’s, which are welcome distractions for many anxious patients. As well as these fancy extras, private patient transport always contains vital medical equipment such as oxygen and defibrillators. 

The Vehicles Are Accompanied By A Friendly & Qualified Team 

When travelling in a private patient transport vehicle, the staff on board are always experienced and friendly. This means they are qualified to deal with medical emergencies and have a welcoming personality to make travellers feel at ease. 

Whenever you choose a trusted, reputable patient transport provider, you can rest assured that their caring team has appropriate experience and training to support patients with various needs. Private ambulance providers will meet every patient with respect, dignity, and kindness. 

The Journey Will Be As Comfortable As Possible 

Thanks to state of the art, bespoke vehicles and friendly teams, the journey will always be more comfortable than your standard ambulance transport service. No matter the patient’s unique needs, there will be a bespoke ambulance to suit. 

Do you think you or a family member would benefit from using private patient transport? Get in touch with EMA Patient Transport to find out more. 

Whether you require transport to and from a medical appointment or any other type of journey- give them a call today on 0800 634 1478 or send an e-mail over to enquiries@emapatienttransport.co.uk. Open 24 hours a day; their friendly team are always at the other end of the phone, ready to help.

This article was written and sponsored by EMA Patient transport.

How are our Lifestyles linked to our Mental Health? by Anna Witcherley, Founder of Head Hacks

(image: Pexels)

Our health and wellbeing aren’t solely dependent on how our brains and bodies work; they’re also influenced by how we live. Making healthy lifestyle choices is key in supporting our mental health; influencing our self-esteem, confidence, energy, motivation, mood, and even our ability to sleep.

Want to know more about what you can do to support your health and wellbeing? Here are 5 key areas to get you started!

Get active

We know exercise is beneficial for our health and wellbeing; even being active for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week can positively impact our mood, creativity, thinking and sleep. If going for a run or to the gym isn’t your thing there are so many other ways to get moving; including going for walks, climbing, cycling, dancing, surfing and table tennis (to name just a few). 

Check out Head Hacks, a new directory website, run by a qualified Occupational Therapist, where you can search for fun things to do, locally and online, to help you get active in a way that suits you!

Sleep

If you find yourself struggling to switch off at night, or you feel you’re not getting the quality of sleep you need to feel rested there are a number of things you can do to help yourself. These include:

  • Avoiding screens for at least 30 minutes before going to bed
  • Increasing physical activity and exposure to natural light during the day
  • Avoiding drinking caffeine for at least 6 hours before going to bed
  • Avoiding smoking for at least 2 hours before going to bed
  • Maintaining a general bedtime routine, for 30 minutes before going to bed (by doing things in roughly the same order around the same time each evening).

Mindfulness

When talking about mindfulness a lot of people may link it with meditation and yoga; however mindfulness comes in many different forms. If meditation or yoga aren’t your thing why not try ‘mindful doing’? The aim is to keep your mind present while doing an activity you enjoy or that fits into your routine, (like going for a walk, cooking, eating a meal, doing the washing up etc). Try to minimise distractions and instead focus on your current thoughts and feelings, and what you’re doing (using all your senses). 

Having purpose

Having a sense of ‘purpose’ is the feeling your life has some meaning or direction; without this we can feel anxious, low, bored and unmotivated. If this is something you feel you’re lacking here are some ideas to help you find more purpose in your life:

  • Voluntary work
  • Learn a new skill
  • Develop a sense of community by connecting with others over a shared interest e.g. joining a local activity group
  • Spend time thinking about what is important to you and form one or two goals around this (remember to break these down into manageable steps!)
  • Read (research has linked reading with feelings of purpose)

Connecting with others

Positive and meaningful relationships are vital to our health and wellbeing; providing us with a sense of belonging, self-esteem, and emotional support.  However you prefer to spend time with people, find a way to connect with others in a way that suits you; some of us prefer having one or two close friends, for others it’s family, and some prefer socialising in larger groups. 

To sum up

Research shows us that how we live; our relationships, how we spend our time, our sense of purpose and belonging, all vitally contribute to our health and wellbeing. Now that Coronavirus restrictions are easing, there are increasing opportunities, both in our local areas and online, to get involved in activities that are important to us, and that will help support our health and wellbeing.

Head Hacks is a new online directory, setup by a qualified Occupational Therapist, which aims to link people up with these activities and groups, as well as sharing useful information about managing health and wellbeing. Check it out to find fun things to do near you! Anna Witcherley is the founder of Head Hacks and wrote this article.