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!
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 launch– me
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.
Be Ur Own Light is 5! I cant believe its been 5 years since I began this as a therapy blog as I was suffering from severe panic from trauma and lost my job. I love this blog and will continue to write to break the stigma around mental illness.
This year, Vuelio awarded us as a Top UK mental health blog again which is just incredible. We were also nominated in the Mental Health Blog Awards 2020.
This year we have worked with some amazing writers and organisations on mental health. Thank you:
OCD and Break Ups- Brooke Chaplan
Pocket book of love and Happiness- Trigger Publishing review
5 Ways Therapy can heal your family- Samantha Higgins
Why people are using weighted blankets- Calming Blanket
How to make your surroundings more calming if you have anxiety- Daniel Tannenbaum
Mental health tips to get you through lockdown- Chantal Shaw
How debt impacts your mental health- Ian Sims
Life under lockdown: by Chloe Walker
Lockdown and mental health by Graham Morgan MBE
Best employee benefits for mental health: Daniel Tannenbaum
We will beat this, it will get better: Jenny Nguyen
Covid 19, mental health and work: Danielle Strouther
5 ways to evaluate body mind and soul: Daniel Torres
5 ways you can reduce anxiety- Samantha Higgins
How to help teens with mental illness succeed at school- Brooke Chaplan
Stuck in self isolation? Useful DIY projects- Brandon Smith
My crippling anxiety floored me, now I wouldnt be without it: Emma Johnson, Worry Knot Jewellery
UK went into lockdown, I went into meltdown- Nicole
How to help loved ones with alzheimers- Hannah Boothe
How to avoid burnout during a pandemic- Jade Mansfield at Worsley centre
Maintaining a healthy work life balanace- Love It Cover It
On DBT, art and healing- Violette Kay
How to protect your mental health during the pandemic- Mary Davis
How managing my space helps my mental health- Poppy Duffree- Organise with Poppy
Relaxing places to visit to calm coronavirus anxiety
Bamboo sheets for less anxiety at night
Self care tips for 2020- Anthony L
Redecorating your bedroom for improved mental health- Rosette
5 things that could be triggering your depression- Samantha Higgins
Escaping outdoors is beneficial to mental health- Amy Sloane
How to work and be a mother during the pandemic- Miranda Davis
Overcoming the impact of substance abuse on mental health- Anita Ginsburg
How to minimise stress for the elderly in senior living- Johnny Kershaws
15 Ways to turn your home into a self care sanctuary- ImproveNet
Living with OCD during a global pandemic- Impulse Therapy
Managing emotions for better mental health
Taking care of your mental health when a loved one passes away
Checking in on your elderly loved ones mental health during the pandemic
Identifying the source of your eating disorder and finding recovery- Anita Ginsburg
Self care activities to do for those who love to be alone- Regina Thomas
Out of Office by Fiona Thomas- book review by Eleanor
Using yoga to improve productivity at home: Daisy Moss
The difference between a psychiatrist and psychologist- Anita Ginsburg
Moving to another country- are you escaping your baggage?
10 tips to avoid covid burn out at home and help your mental health
How to help others when you have lived experience of mental health
Coping with menopausal anxiety and panic attacks by LadyCare menopause
Home improvements to help mental health
5 ways a relationship can hurt your mental health- Miranda Davis
Life is Finite
The secret signs of anxiety
Digital detox ideas for mental wellbeing
How can you better your mental health?
Developing a new found confidence in yourself for the festive season
How to plan for your future in difficult times
Depression and what you should know
Planning for the future to ease your mind
and I wrote some personal articles too!
Thank you for continuing to read and for the support for so long, it means everything to me.
Its Today- 1st March 2020 and Be Ur Own Light is 4 years old! (cue the streamers!)
I still remember starting this blog as an outlet for my fears, thoughts and emotions dealing with my bipolar and anxiety. The blog started as a way to tell my friends and family how I was feeling and has evolved into working with guest bloggers and now brands/ partners on sponsored wellness posts too! Writing the blog and sharing thoughts has been so therapeutic and it has taken me on a journey that I could not have imagined.
In November 2019, I published my first book ‘Bring me to Light‘ with Trigger Publishing which is the book of my life story with bipolar disorder, anxiety and my life in general (travelling, going to drama school, starting a career as a writer). The blog has also grown so much this year and is currently nominated in the Mental Health Blog Awards for Blogger of the Year, thank you to our nominee!
Additionally, Vuelio awarded us as a Top 10 UK Mental Health Blog for the second year running and interviewed me (Eleanor) about working as a blogger! Thanks also to Feedspot.com and My Therapy App for listing us in their mental health blog lists too for social anxiety and bipolar!
This year, I have written about World Bipolar Day for the Centre of Mental Health, about my search for EMDR therapy on the NHS, living with depression in winter, about writing my book and new life changes (getting married) and 2020 new year round up with hopes for the future. We also promoted mental health campaigns such as Shout UK text line (founded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and Meghan), Christmas 4 CAMHS, Time to Talk Day and Mental Health Awareness Week. Additionally, I spoke in Essex with my Dad about our joint story with bipolar for the Jami Mental Health Awareness Shabbat and we also spoke at Limmud Conference in Birmingham!
This winter I did some interviews for the book which can be seen on the Book tab above and also received some lovely reviews. It was amazing to appear in Happiful Magazine’s bonus wellness Mag this January (edited by campaigner Natasha Devon) and to write for Glamour and Bipolar UK. I also enjoyed being interviewed for the Jewish News and Jewish Chronicle! Hopefully at some point I will do podcasts about it too and more interviews.
From March 2019-2020, the blog has attracted wonderful and talented guest bloggers wanting to spread their messages about mental health and wellness.
We have also worked with the following brands on sponsored and gifted posts and hope to work with many more this next year : YuLife, Nutra Tea, Essential Olie, Loveitcoverit on mental health apps, I-sopod floatation tanks, Core Wellness Maryland, Wellbeing Escapes Holidays.
My guest bloggers have written about their recovery and living with mental illnesses, as well as advice on how to improve your mental health. There a posts for whether you are going through a divorce, a bereavement, are stressed or have anxiety. We also had posts with people’s first hand experiences of mental illness including a brave post about being a sibling of someone with mental illness and one of living with an eating disorder. Furthermore, Be Ur Own Light has also covered World Mental Health Day and Time to Talk Day this year, featuring personal mental health stories as a way to raise awareness and fight misconceptions.
We have also covered new books coming out, a mental health fashion brand and a song about social anxiety, as well as posts about different therapies to help you.
Thank you to my amazing guest bloggers (non sponsored) March 2019-2020 for your fantastic content:
Ashley Smith- How Massage Therapy helps Anxiety Disorders
Emily Bartels- 5 tips for a mental health emergency plan
Dale Vernor- Understanding PTSD by Gender
Tan at Booknerd Tan- How audio books and walking has helped anxiety
Emma Sturgis- Loving yourself, tips for a body positive life
EM Training Solutions- How to maintain mental health at work
David Morin- On social anxiety and talking to others
Lyle Murphy- How equine therapy can help those with mental health issues
Charlie Waller Memorial Trust- Best of Musicals event
A Time to Change Hypnotherapy- Hypnotherapy for self esteem
Nu View Treatment Center- The connection between anxiety and substance abuse
Shout UK- Royal family launches mental health text line
Mental Health Foundation – Mental Health Awareness Week May 2019 Body Image
Emerson Blake- Coping with the stress of becoming a single parent
The Worsley Centre- A guide to therapies and finding the right one for you
Byron Donovan at Grey Matter – How I recovered from depression to form a fashion brand
Luci Larkin at Wooley and Co Law- How to reduce stress and maintain mental health during a divorce
Nat Juchems- How to keep your loved ones memory alive after bereavement
Emily Ilett- on her book ‘The Girl who Lost her Shadow’
Mark Simmonds- an interview about his book ‘Breakdown and Repair’ with Trigger Publishing
Curtis Dean- 5 facts about music for stress relief
Robert Tropp- How quitting illegal drugs helps anxiety in the long term
Aaron James- the difference between psychotherapy and counselling
Dr Justine Curry- 4 ways to help a friend with bipolar disorder
Christmas 4 CAMHS campaign for children in childrens mental health wards
Ani O- 4 ways to ease the fear of doctors appointments
Katherine Myers- Ways that spending time outdoors can improve your mental health
Anita- 5 ways to lift you out the slump of seasonal depression
Chloe Walker- taking care of your child’s mental health
CBT Toronto- how to deal with social anxiety and depression
Katy- a true story with anorexia and OCD
Vanessa Hill- Life changing habits to bring into the new year
Rachel Leycroft- Expressing social anxiety through songwriting
Shira- Living with a sibling with mental illness: the meaning of normal
Capillus- 10 signs you may have an anxiety disorder
Brooke Chaplan- When therapy isn’t enough
Jami Mental Health Awareness Shabbat 2020
Mike Segall- Time to Talk Day- 9 years undiagnosed, my story with bipolar disorder
Jasveer Atwal- Living with PCOS and managing mental health
Leigh Adley at Set Your Mind Free- How CBT helps children with anxiety
Lizzie Weakley- How to heal and move forward when you have an eating disorder
Sofie- Living with an eating disorder
Thank you so much to all of you and I am excited to see what 2020-21 brings for the blog!
Be Ur Own Light continues to be read globally and I love receiving your messages about the blogs and finding new writers too.
Heres to a 2020 of positive mental health, of fighting the stigma against mental illness and creating a positive and supportive community here.
Happy 4th birthday Be Ur Own Light! ❤ May this be an enlightening year of growth for us.
Earlier this week, on the 1st March, Be Ur Own Light turned 3 years old! I still remember starting this blog as an outlet for my fears, thoughts and emotions after leaving a job in 2016 due to acute anxiety and panic ( part of my bipolar) . Writing the blog and sharing thoughts has been so therapeutic and it has taken me on a journey that I could not have imagined when I started writing. As many of you know, this blog led to me writing for big media outlets and to my book deal (book hopefully will be out in November) and I am so grateful for the confidence it has given me too- and the chance to connect with people all over the world.
However, this year (as with the past 2), the blog has attracted a horde of talented writers wanting to spread their messages about mental health and wellness. Some have shared their personal stories of hope and recovery, others have given useful tips on health and wellness and we have covered topics as wide ranging as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and addictions to drugs and alcohol. We have talked about pet therapy, writing therapy, mindfulness and yoga, amongst other therapies.
My guest bloggers have written about their recovery from mental illnesses like anorexia and bipolar disorder. National campaigns like the Diana Award also got in touch with us to discuss bullying and LGBT issues too and Jami charity asked us to cover their mental health awareness campaign (which I helped set up). Furthermore, Be Ur Own Light has also covered World Mental Health Day and Time to Talk Day this year, featuring personal mental health stories as a way to raise awareness and fight misconceptions.
Thank you to my amazing guest bloggers March 2018-2019 for your fantastic content:
Donna at Wildwoman Book Club for Self care
Lynn Crilly- Hope with eating disorders (book)
Cordelia Moor- Living with Quiet BPD for Time to Talk Day
Sarah- On Depression for Time to Talk Day
Peter McDonnell- Managing anxiety and psychosis for TTD
Cara Lisette- Recovery from anorexia and bipolar disorder for TTD
David Welham- Depression and Recovery/ Being a parent of children taking exams
Rachelle Wilber- Treatment for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
Brandon Christensen- What is mental health stigma?
Charlotte Underwood- Overcoming Adversity/ The Saviour Complex
Ralph Macey- Managing Bipolar in the workplace
Manmohan Singh- Benefits of Yoga
Alex Sabin- Enjoying the Holidays after Addiction
Spela Kranjec- How to Accept Yourself/ My Journey in surviving Anorexia
Jami charity- Mental Health Awareness Shabbat campaign
Brookman- Avoiding a relationship crisis at Christmas
Sarah Cardwell- Womens health awareness
Anti Bullying Week, the Diana Award and Everyones Talking about Jamie
Allen- Recovery from alcoholism and mental illness
Lizzie Weakley- How to combat your eating disorder
Posy and Posy- Flowers for wellness
N- Poem on depression- Copy of my Mask
Dan Brown at My Therapy- Suicide prevention on social media- World MH Day
Lydia- On complex PTSD and recovery
Ashley Smith- how Physiotherapy helps with stress and anxiety
Amy Hutson- How Writing Therapy helps
Christine H- What family therapy is really like
Meera Watts- How Yoga enhances your lifestyle
Dawn Prime- How can Animal and Pet therapy help
Bill Weiss- Mental Health Stigma and Drug addiction
Dr Nancy Irwin- Signs your loved one is abusing drugs
Eve Crabtree- The MIND diet for Dementia
James Kenneth- Overcoming mental health challenges
Ellie Willis- A guide to mood disorders
AXA PPP- is social media bad for our health?
Lori Longoria- How baths and spas help relaxation
Tomas Sanchez- can alcohol raise stress levels and affect mental health
Dr Janina Scarlet- Therapy quest book
Cloe Matheson- tips to reduce stress
Paul Matthews- fitness and how it helps depression
Katie Rose- How to help anxiety and panic attacks
Anonymous- on sexual abuse
Kayla Clough- coping with post partum depression
Kara Masterson- 4 tips to begin the fight against drug addiction
Michelle Hannan- 5 tips to boost your immune system
Kevin Morley- Satori Mind- Tips to boost mindfulness
Sara Whitehouse at Stadia Sports-How sport can help mental health
Amy Boyington- How holistic medicine helps mental health
Thank you so much to all of you and I am excited to see what 2019 brings for the blog!
2018 was a very special year for me and my writing- being published in Metro.co.uk, Glamour, The Telegraph, Happiful magazine, the Jewish News and several other media outlets. I was featured in articles in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Prima, Yahoo News, Prevention magazine and Refinery29 and guest blogged on other mental health blogs too.
This year on the blog I wrote about my life with social anxiety and work anxiety, winter blues and SAD/ depression, I shared my articles about being plus size and a bride and about my recovery from bipolar disorder. Furthermore, I wrote about the Twitter hashtags I started #mydepressionmeans and #myanxietymeans, to help people feel less alone and share their own experiences online.
On the blog I also reviewed the brilliant book ‘Love and Remission‘ by Annie Belasco by Trigger Publishing, about breast cancer and mental health. Triggers mental health books are great and I read so many that I was unable to review due to time constraints including Depression in a Digital Age by Fiona Thomas and books by Paul McGregor and Ruth Fox.
This year we were given the accolade of being a Top 10 UK Mental Health Blog by Vuelio and were a shortlisted finalist in the 2018 UK Blog Awards (Health and Social Care category). I was also invited to the Mind Media Awards which was an incredible experience and this year, we have been nominated for Blogger of the Year in the Mental Health Blog Awards.
Be Ur Own Light continues to be read globally and I love receiving your messages about the blogs and finding new writers too. Blogging makes me happy and I hope it helps so many of you too and you love what we do here.
Heres to a productive, wonderful, fun and exciting year of educating and battling mental health stigma too 🙂
Happy 3rd birthday Be Ur Own Light! ❤ May this be a special year for us