10 Steps To Managing Your Anxiety by Anita Ginsburg.

(image: Joice Kelly at Unsplash)

Anxiety is a natural response to stress, but sometimes it can become overwhelming and interfere with your daily life. If you’re struggling with anxiety, you don’t have to go it alone. There are many effective strategies for managing anxiety that psychiatrists and mental health professionals use every day. Here are 10 proven strategies for reducing anxiety and taking control of your thoughts and feelings.

Identify Your Triggers

The first step in managing your anxiety is to identify what triggers it in the first place. Is there a specific situation, person, or event that causes you to feel anxious? By recognizing these triggers, you can begin to take steps to avoid them or find ways of coping when they do arise.

Keep a Stress Journal

Keeping track of your thoughts and feelings can be a great way to gain insight into how your body reacts to certain situations and how best to manage them. Write down any physical sensations, emotions, or triggers that contribute to your anxiety so that you can better understand what’s causing it and how best to deal with it.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is not only a great way to burn off pent-up energy but also helps release endorphins which act as natural mood boosters. Even just a few minutes of exercise each day can help reduce stress levels and improve overall mental wellbeing.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Taking time out of each day for relaxation is essential for keeping your stress levels low. Take up yoga, practice deep breathing exercises, or listen to calming music before bed each night—whatever works for you. Finding activities that bring about relaxation will help reduce the intensity of your anxiety over time and lead towards more peaceful days ahead.

Talk To Someone

Talking about the things that are causing you anxiety is often the first step in taking control of it again; whether it be with family members, friends, or even professional psychiatric services, like New Tele Doc, if needed. Having someone else who you trust to talk through issues with can help put problems into perspective and provide clarity on potential solutions going forward—something we often need when dealing with our own anxieties.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can exacerbate existing anxieties so make sure you get at least 7-8 hours per night whenever possible; if not more depending on personal circumstances. If insomnia is an issue then try getting outside during daytime hours (weather permitting) as exposure to sunlight helps regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm which aids in quality sleep later at night.

Eat Well and Drink Water

Eating well balanced meals throughout the day helps keep energy levels high while avoiding unhealthy snacks or sugary drinks which can cause blood sugar spikes/drops leading towards feelings of fatigue/anxiousness respectively. Similarly drinking lots of water helps ensure good hydration levels which makes us feel more alert mentally whilst providing physical benefits too.

Practice Mindful Meditation

Mindful meditation involves focusing on one’s thoughts without judgment in order to allow yourself some time away from any negative self-talk or worrying thoughts; allowing yourself time away from such things has been proven beneficial for those struggling with anxiety issues. It’s important however not to focus solely on this technique as other methods should always be employed alongside mindful meditation too when tackling any difficult issue such as this one.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Both caffeine and alcohol are known stimulants which if consumed regularly can increase adrenal hormones leading towards heightened states of fear, anxiety, and nervousness. Try replacing coffee/tea based beverages (which contain caffeine) instead with green tea or fruit juices (which don’t!) as these are far healthier options overall particularly when trying to combat any pre-existing anxieties already present within oneself.

Break Negative Thinking Patterns

Lastly breaking negative thinking patterns involves challenging any irrational beliefs we may have about ourselves by looking at evidence objectively. This could involve writing down pros and cons for certain decisions we make before acting upon them so we have an understanding of why certain actions should be taken based upon factual evidence rather than assumptions made from our own potentially skewed perspectives.

Everyone experiences periods of worry from time-to-time but learning how best to manage those worries will increase your confidence in being able handle similar situations better next time they arise. By following the above 10 steps anyone suffering from regular bouts of anxiety will likely find their overall quality of life improving dramatically once proper management techniques become part of their daily routine! Psychiatric services such as therapy sessions/medication may also be necessary depending upon individual circumstances. Seeking medical advice should never be seen as a sign of weakness but rather strength instead because ultimately tackling problems head-on is better than running away from them indefinitely.

Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer.

4 Ways To Improve Employee Wellbeing.

(Image: Brooke Cagle: Unsplash)

Considering the wellbeing of employees has never been more important, or more timely. With world events like the coronavirus pandemic having a serious impact on global mental health, more and more employers have begun to more seriously consider the overall wellbeing of their employees, not simply their productivity in the workplace. 

In fact, many employers are beginning to understand how the two are intimately connected.Indeed, it is reported that healthy employees are 74% more likely to be satisfied with their current job than unhealthy employees.

It is therefore important for companies to consider ways to improve employee wellbeing. Below is a list of tips for improving the wellbeing of your employees.

Training and Long-Term Goals

The reason that many employees are unhappy at work is that they feel they have stagnated, spending years in a particular position without any opportunity for growth or new responsibilities. 

It is therefore important to understand the individual professional goals of your employees and how you might deploy training and development schemes to help them achieve those goals. An employee is much happier if they feel they are working towards a goal or new opportunity, not simply stuck in a 9-5 grind. 

It is well worth investing in personal development schemes to help employees recognise and develop their individual talents. These schemes can come in the form of lecture series or workshops, training schemes or bootcamps. 

Flexibility

It has been reported by several studies that allowing employees greater flexibility regarding when and where they work can greatly improve mental health. Allowing flexible working hours  and locations can help employees feel a greater sense of autonomy over their personal and professional lives. 

Obviously this involves a degree of coordination, since employees must still be able to work collaboratively throughout the day, but studies have shown that more flexible scheduling can lead to greater wellbeing and productivity.

(image: Stefan Stefanovic: Unsplash)

Social Engagements

It is important for the wellbeing of employees to work in a friendly and collaborative workplace environment. Creating opportunities for social, non-work engagements for your employees is not just a chance for them to let off steam, it can be a vital way of helping employees build meaningful and productive social relationships with their colleagues.

If staff are on friendly terms, they are more likely to look forward to coming into work, as well as more likely to collaborate successfully with their colleagues on work-related tasks. A social and amicable work environment almost always leads to a happier and more productive workforce.

Creating a healthy office environment, full of friendly social links, can be achieved in several ways. One way is the more informal route of arranging after-work social engagements (or weekend trips) for your employees. Or you could go the more formal route of arranging dedicated team-building days or afternoons. 

There are a myriad of ways of creating a friendly workplace environment, but it is inarguable that doing so will lead to greater wellbeing among all employees. 

Strategize and Focus on Mental health

Many people believe that their mental health issues can at least partly be attributed to the pressures and strains of their professional lives or because they require financial assistance. It is therefore essential for employers to focus on creating an inclusive environment where mental health issues can be discussed and tackled in an open, honest and compassionate way. 

There are many ways in which employees can address mental health issues in the workplace. One is to create, and follow, a comprehensive wellbeing policy. The policy should signpost ways in which the company works to address mental health issues as well as the resources that the company provides for employees in regards to mental health management. 

Creating a workplace environment in which mental health is clearly seen to be a priority will foster a greater sense of emotional security and wellness for your employees.

We are 7! On Be Ur Own Light’s 7th Blog Anniversary by Eleanor

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). Can you believe that was 7 years ago?! I can’t! Since then I have had several years of therapy and my life changed so much too for the better- I met my husband, we got married and moved to our first home.

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 and have begun speaking in the community about bipolar with my Dad.

I cannot believe it has been 7 years since I opened up my computer to write- I was struggling. a lot. Writing has been such a therapy and a saviour to me.. and I hope this blog helps you too!

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.

This year March 22- 23 we have featured (where it says my name, I wrote it!)

How to Stay Motivated When You’re Feeling Lost: Tracie Johnson

Change the Story Campaign- Eating Disorder Stereotypes- Hope Virgo

Performance of She Used To Be Mine (Sara Bareilles) by Nicolina Bozzo- Eleanor

5 Tips on How To Talk To Your Boss About Mental Health- freelance writer

Does Retail Therapy help your mental health?– freelance writer

9 Tips On Prioritising Your Mental Health while raising children- freelance writer

How to Keep a Good Mindset with Physical Therapy – Sierra Powell

Bipolar and Perinatal mental health- Eleanor

4 Types of Alcohol Addiction Services You can Turn To for Help- Rachelle Wilber

How to Transform Social Anxiety – Lewis McDonnell at Phobia Support Forum

What It’s Like To Go Through Severe Depression as a Bipolar Episode- Eleanor

What To Do When You Feel Alone- Eleanor

4 Reasons to Cook For Yourself- freelance writer

Learning to Embrace Schizoaffective Disorder -Mental Health Awareness Week- James Lindsay

Promoting wellbeing, good mental health and reducing stress in the elderly- freelance writer

Top 10 UK Mental Health Blog Award from Vuelio- Eleanor

Mental health, low self esteem, body image and fashion- freelance writer

What It Means To Have an NHS Perinatal Psychiatry Meeting- Eleanor

Unbroken- How Madeleine Black learnt to heal after sexual violence- Eleanor

What Tools Go Into Substance Abuse Treatment- Kara Masterson

Living with Anxiety- Promoting Mental Health and Success In the Workplace- Erin Hallett

How to know if you have an eating disorder and what to do next- Rachelle Wilber

How can I help an alcoholic or addict parent?- Chaye McIntosh

Boost Your Confidence- freelance writer

Taking Lithium for Bipolar Disorder- Side Effects – Eleanor

4 Effective Ways to Boost Your Mood- freelance writer

Knowing when its right to seek substance abuse treatment- Rachelle Wilber

Protecting mental health, a guide- The Mental Health Foundation

Letting go of hurtful memories to be happier- freelance writer

Group therapy and healing- Lizzie Weakley

Mental health medication and heatwave side effects- Eleanor

How to Create Healthy Daily habits- Sierra Powell

3 Journalling Techniques for Improved Mental Health- freelance writer

Looking after elderly parents- freelance writer

Thank you to a mental health nurse for sharing my book – Eleanor

Interview on Living with Bipolar with Best For You NHS- Eleanor

5 Tips for Communicating with Someone with Dementia- freelance writer

7 Tips to Help Your Personality Shine Through- freelance writer

Sleep Expert on how to stay cool on hot nights- freelance writer

Book Review of my book Bring me to Light by Deb Wilk- Eleanor

4 kinds of Therapy to consider- Rachelle Wilber

Coping with Borderline Personality Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder- Dr Joann Mundin

Are work places doing enough for mental health post-covid? – freelance writer

Mental Health at Work: First Aid products- writer

The Anxiety Train- a New Year- Eleanor

PTSD therapies and what is right for you- Kara Masterson

Managing mental health when you start college/university- freelance writer

Helping elderly relatives take care of themselves- freelance writer

How to Stay Emotionally Healthy during a Divorce- Lizzie Weakley

4 Ways EMDR Therapy can help you cope with Anxiety- Rachelle Wilber

Stuck in a Rut? Try These 4 Things- Dixie Somers

Non Traditional Therapeutic Activities to Try for Anxiety- Brooke Chaplan

Dealing with Dental Anxiety- Lizzie Weakley

Overcoming Seasonal Mood Changes- Brian Thomas

3 Years of my book Bring me to Light- Eleanor

5 Unbeatable ways to unwind- Dixie Somers

Speed Up Bipolar diagnosis to save lives- Bipolar UK- Eleanor

Losing a loved one- coping with anxiety- Hannah Walters

4 Ways to Treat an eating disorder- Lizzie Weakley

Bipolar UK commission announcement on government funding – Eleanor

How Living by the waterfront improves health- Rachelle Wilber

What football has taught me about life and mental health- Rose Atkinson-Carter

Anxiety and climbing, not carrying mountains- Eleanor

How Car accidents affect mental health- Stubbs Law Firm

How can EMDR therapy help you?- Brooke Chaplan

Tips for planning a sensory friendly wedding- Clay Reese

How to manage emotional eating- Lizzie Weakley

Methods for helping addiction recovery- Kara Masterson

How to tell if a loved one needs psychiatric help- Brooke Chaplan

What to do if you have an eating disorder- Brooke Chaplan

Navigating a divorce and preserving your mental wellbeing- Dixie Somers

January anxiety and burn out, how to avoid- Dr Catherine Carney at Delamere

How to cope with ADHD- freelance writer

My talk at the mental health awareness shabbat on bipolar- Eleanor

Tips to help seasonal depression- Obehi Iyobhebhe

How to help support your friends journey to sobriety- Anita Ginsburg

Why self care is so important- Brooke Chaplan

Coping with big life changes- Meghan Belnap

Befriending my brain, a new book on psychosis and recovery by James Lindsay- Eleanor

Thank you all for contributing and I am raising a glass to 7 years of this blog!!

Love and gratitude,

Eleanor x

The Unseen Consequences: How Bad Habits Can Affect Your Health and Wellbeing.

(Image: Maria Orlova for Pexels)

Most of us have bad habits that we’re aware of, whether it’s smoking, excessive drinking, or eating unhealthy foods. We may think that the only consequence of these habits is the occasional guilty feeling or a bit of embarrassment. Still, bad habits have far-reaching and unseen repercussions that can significantly affect our health. In fact, poor habits such as these can lead to various physical and mental health issues, such as depression, insomnia, and heart disease. The good news is that we can make changes to improve our health and overall well-being by understanding the unseen consequences of our bad habits.

Premature Ageing

Premature ageing is one of the most significant and often unseen consequences of bad habits. Smoking, for example, has been linked to premature wrinkles, age spots, and an overall aged appearance. The same applies to excessive drinking and unhealthy eating habits, contributing to poor skin health and general ageing.

Research has shown that bad habits can also contribute to accelerated ageing of the brain. Studies have found that excessive drinking, smoking, and other unhealthy habits can increase the risk of developing dementia and other age-related cognitive issues.

Decreased Mental Health

Bad habits can also have a negative impact on our mental health. Studies have found that smoking, excessive drinking, and unhealthy eating habits can all increase the risk of developing depression and anxiety. Additionally, poor habits can lead to an increased risk of developing insomnia, which can harm our mental health.

Addictions can be hard to break and severely impact your physical and mental health. Moreover, studies have found that bad habits can also increase the risk of developing substance abuse issues. If you feel you are struggling with addictions, there are drug rehab clinics which can help you, with qualified therapists.

Additionally, unhealthy habits can also lead to an increased risk of developing stress and other negative emotions. Studies have found that smokers and excessive drinkers are more likely to experience emotions such as anger and frustration, which can lead to further mental health issues.

Reduced Motivation

Bad habits can also have a negative effect on our motivation levels. People with unhealthy habits often feel lethargic and lack the energy and drive to complete tasks or take on new challenges. This can sometimes be attributed to poor nutrition, as unhealthy foods leave us feeling sluggish and unmotivated. Similarly, those who smoke often feel tired and lack the energy to exercise, which can further decrease motivation levels.

Bad habits can increase the risk of developing chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. These conditions can cause fatigue, which can further reduce our motivation levels. Additionally, those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol are more likely to experience difficulty concentrating, which can decrease motivation and mental health.

Increased Risk of Health Conditions and Diseases

Finally, bad habits can increase the risk of developing severe health conditions and diseases. Those who smoke are more likely to experience a stroke, lung cancer, heart disease, and an increased risk of developing COPD and other respiratory conditions. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, and an increased risk of certain types of cancer.

Furthermore, those who engage in unhealthy habits are more likely to develop obesity and type 2 diabetes and an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These conditions can lead to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack and even reduce our life expectancy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ‘bad habits’ can have far-reaching and unseen consequences that significantly affect our health and overall wellbeing. However, by understanding the unseen effects of our bad habits, we can make changes to improve our health and wellness for good.

This article was written by a freelance writer. If you need help for addictions or eating disorders, please reach for help from qualified professionals.

How To Cope With The Big Changes Life Throws At Us By Meghan Belnap.

(image: unsplash)

No one’s life is perfect. At some point, we all face difficult challenges and struggles that can leave us feeling lost, powerless, and alone. If you’re currently dealing with a big life change, know that you’re not alone. Here are some tips for how to cope with the big changes life throws at us. 

Acknowledge that change is hard, and give yourself time to grieve the loss of what was 

Acknowledging the difficulty of coping with emotional hardships in life can be the first step toward healing. Change is never easy and it is natural to experience grief or sorrow over losing something familiar or safe. Taking the time to sit with those feelings will help give space for understanding rather than running away and pretending like everything is fine. Being compassionate to yourself throughout this process can allow you to accept the struggles you are facing, ultimately helping you venture forward. 

Lean on your support system – friends, family, therapist, etc. 

When grappling with emotional struggles in life, it is helpful to remember that you are never alone. Caring and reliable support systems of friends, family, and therapists can make a significant difference in your journey of healing. A strong foundation of accepting people will lift your spirits and provide valuable perspectives on your situation. You might find this through your community at school, going to a local group therapy meeting, or through a religious or other network.  Every individual has different needs when it comes to dealing with emotional difficulties; leaning on those around you as a source of comfort can be an extremely supportive outlet, as you navigate through trying times. 

Find healthy coping mechanisms that work for you 

When dealing with difficult emotions, it is essential to find healthy ways to cope. Each person has different needs and preferences when it comes to finding relief from emotional hardships. Luckily, there is an abundance of coping mechanisms available. Whether it’s exercise, journaling, painting, or something else entirely, identifying which coping activities work best for you can help reduce stress in your life and give you an outlet for negative emotions. Being proactive in finding techniques that bring relief is the foundation for healing. 

Create a new routine or structure for yourself to help with the transition 

When dealing with emotional struggles in life, creating a new routine or structure for yourself can provide much-needed comfort and stability. This can range from something as simple as coming up with a plan for your daily tasks or an overarching chart that breaks down what you want to accomplish each week. Furthermore, it may be beneficial to set aside time where you can focus on self-care or just unplug and take a breather from the world around you. Though this type of change may seem daunting at first, having an established plan can give us control, which is often otherwise lacking during hard times. By putting confidence in yourself and investing effort in your goals, you can take strides on the path toward healing. 

Be patient with yourself 

Making a major change in life can be traumatic, and it is important to be patient with yourself as you adjust. Healing often happens one step at a time, so allow yourself the time and space to take whatever baby steps are necessary to feel better. Finding people who understand and can offer meaningful support along your journey is important, but make sure that the people you turn to also help you focus on your sense of strength and purpose rather than simply engaging in a pity party. With patience, you will eventually discover that you’ve healed enough that growth can start to occur. 

Going through tough changes in life is never easy, but there are ways to make it more manageable. Acknowledge your feelings, reach out for support, find healthy coping mechanisms, and be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to grieve and adjust, and eventually, things will start getting better. Remember that you’re not alone – Lean on your loved ones and professionals for help when needed. You’re worth it. 



Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being outdoors and researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

Are You Slipping Into Seasonal Depression? Tips to Help By Obehi Iyobhebhe

(image: Sydney Sims: Unsplash).

It’s a day like every other day before, but you can’t find the motivation to follow your typical routine. On average, you’d jump out of bed, drink a hot cup of coffee, and catch up with morning shows and podcasts before hitting the gym or work. But you somehow don’t feel like doing anything today; this happens at a particular time of year.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is depression associated with seasonal changes, e.g., winter, fall (autumn), or summer. People tend to associate seasonal depression with “winter blues,” but it also appears in other seasons, and how to differentiate it from sadness is that SAD occurs in the same season every year for you.

Symptoms of seasonal depression

The symptoms of seasonal depression are divided into three categories:

General symptoms

● Loss of interest in activities you enjoy

● Sluggishness or hyperactivity

● Low moods that last all day, every day

● Insomnia or oversleeping

● Increased carbohydrate craving

● Loss of focus

● Low energy

● Suicidal ideation

Fall and winter SAD

Seasonal depression in the winter typically starts in the fall and lasts until after the winter, and these are the symptoms:

● Oversleeping

● Craving foods high in carbohydrates

● Weight gain

● Tiredness

Spring and summer SAD

Summer depression is more common during spring until summer, and the symptoms include:

● Weight loss

● Insomnia

● Anxiety

● Increased irritability

Are you slipping into seasonal depression?

As somebody who experiences seasonal depression in the winter, I can subjectively say there’s no ultimate method to cure or treat SAD, but there are tips to help you navigate it.

Tip #1: Identify the events that lead up to the seasonal depression

Are you in college and anxious about going home for winter break? Or you’re a mom about to spend her entire summer with extended family and it’s sapping your energy? It’s best to understand what happens when you experience seasonal depression so you understand the major problem and how to tackle it.

Tip #2: Don’t spend time alone

I understand how tempting it is to avoid people when you’re in a low mood, but spending time alone can make you brood over your intrusive thoughts, keeping you in a more depressed state. It’s best to invite your friends over if you don’t have the energy to see them and feel able to have them round. You don’t have to go too far out of the house or your comfort zone as long as you don’t spend too much time isolated.

Tip #3: Say NO to plans that make you feel uncomfortable

When you’re experiencing seasonal depression, you could be inclined to accept invitations just to escape the feeling of sadness, guilt and worthlessness. But you will only feel more drained by going to places you don’t want to be. Look after yourself.

Final tip

The ultimate hack that works for me during seasonal depression is being open about my suicidal ideation. Whether it’s second-hand suicidal or intrusive thoughts, I have a friend I can be vulnerable around, and I tell them everything that goes on in my mind during that period.

“What if they get tired of listening to me complain?”

It’s normal to feel guilty when you constantly complain to one person about your problems – you could feel like a burden and want to step back. But if that trusted friend or family member has never told you to stop talking or coming to them, you should keep going to them. And if that friend ever tells you that they are tired of hearing you complain, it doesn’t mean they hate you – your friends have probably internalised your problems too much and need a step back before continuing to be there for you.

In all, don’t be afraid to talk about how you feel when you experience seasonal depression, and remember, it will pass, so don’t make permanent decisions during that period.

I’m rooting for you and believe you’ll see better mental health days this year and beyond.

Author’s Bio

Obehi Iyobhebhe is a freelance writer in the business and psychology space. She’s passionate about helping people improve their life’s quality by paying attention to their mental health.

Obehi is also interested in helping entrepreneurs hit their business goals by creating blogs and email campaigns to generate leads.

You can find her here: https://ehinotes.medium.com/ and https://www.linkedin.com/in/obehi-iyobhebhe/

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.

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.

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