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

7 Proven Strategies To Gain Unprecedented Confidence.

(image: Judeus Samson, Unsplash)

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

1) Understand The Benefits Of Self-Confidence

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

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

2) Dress To Impress

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

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

3) Try A New Hairstyle

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

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

(image: Alysha Rosly)

4) Improve Your Posture And Body Language

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

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

5) Develop A Positive Mindset

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

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

6) Surround Yourself With Positive People

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

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

7) Set Goals And Visualise Success

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

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

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

This article was written by a freelance writer.

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

(image: free image)

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

Unexplained Changes in Mood and Behaviour  

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

Negative Self-Talk or Rumination  

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

Isolation from Friends and Family  

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

Other Behaviours

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

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

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

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

Tips For Planning A Sensory-Friendly Wedding by Clay Reese

(image: Unsplash, Jakob Owens)

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

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

Get comfortable with your venue

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

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

Keep things small- if that’s what you want

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

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

Consider your outfit

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

Wear ear plugs

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

(image: Sooz at Unsplash)

Plan for breaks

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

A calmer day

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

Clay Reese is a blogger and digital media expert.

Moving Forward Into 2023. Happy New Year!

(image: girlwithdreams)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heres to 2023!

Love,

Eleanor x

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

It’s Not Just The Therapist or Psychiatrist Alone: Why Treatment Centres Matter in Mental Health.

(Image: David Travis at Unsplash)

It’s not just the therapist or psychiatrist alone. The treatment centre/hospital matters in mental health.. It’s not that therapists are bad or unimportant; they can be critical in helping people with mental health concerns start on the road to recovery. However, sometimes treatment centres can have a huge impact on mental health and well-being, as a whole.

Lasting Impact of the Environment

First, the environment in which individuals with mental health concerns receive treatment can have a lasting impact on their mental health. Is the institution warm and welcoming to visitors? Or does it feel sterile and cold? Does it have adequate resources to meet the needs of its patients? Or is it underfunded and overcrowded? All these factors can have a significant impact on recovery, as they may create feelings of anxiety or alienation in the patient. For example, if the institute has Knightsbridge Furniture and a welcoming waiting area for visitors, it may make people feel less anxious about their treatment, because the furniture is designed to provide comfort.

Supportive Staff Members

Secondly, supportive staff members are paramount for mental health recovery. Not only do staff members need to be competent and knowledgeable about the latest treatment techniques and practices; they also need to be warm, welcoming and supportive towards their patients. They should be able to provide a safe space for individuals with mental health concerns to explore their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or punishment. This will help foster an atmosphere of trust and healing at the treatment centre/hospital.

Accessible Resources

Third, centres should strive to make resources accessible and available to those in need. Mental health concerns can often be complex and multifaceted, so individuals may require a variety of services. Treatment centres should provide access to everything from basic mental health services such as counselling, to more specialised resources like crisis intervention teams or support groups. If these resources are not readily available, then individuals might not get the help they need when they need it.

Appropriate Levels of Care

Fourth, treatment centres must provide appropriate levels of care for the patients they serve. This includes ensuring that each individual gets the right combination of treatment and support based on their specific needs. For example, a patient with severe depression or other severe illnesses may benefit from both medication management and psychotherapy while someone with mild anxiety may only require weekly therapy sessions.

A Holistic Approach

Finally, centres should strive to provide a holistic approach to mental health care. This means taking into account not only the individual’s diagnosis or symptoms, but also their lifestyle, environment, and social support system. Taking these factors into consideration can ensure that individuals receive the most appropriate treatment for their unique needs. Additionally, it can help facilitate long-term recovery and prevent future issues from developing.

It is clear that when it comes to mental health recovery, a treatment centre/hospital plays a vital role in helping individuals achieve positive outcomes. From providing supportive staff members to making resources accessible and offering a holistic approach to care – institutions must strive to meet the needs of those they serve in order to ensure the best possible outcomes.

So, while it is important to have a skilled therapist or psychiatrist, never underestimate the importance of a supportive and well-resourced treatment centre as part of that overall care. Together, they can provide individuals with everything they need to start on their journey to mental health recovery.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

5 Lessons Football Has Taught Me About Life And Mental Health by Rose Atkinson-Carter

(image: Unsplash: Konstantin Ekdokimov)

It’s true what they say: the best lessons are taught outside the classroom. We’re all constantly learning and growing in the most unexpected ways and dedicating yourself to any sport or hobby is bound to teach you more than you imagined, if you’re open to it.

I’ve played football for almost 20 years and learned a thing or two about dedication and persistence, which have affected my approach towards my mental health. Sure, there have been times when I’ve felt like the cons have outweighed the pros — training in a blizzard is never fun — but when all is said and done, football has helped me weather my own personal storms.

Along the way, I’ve picked up a few practical life skills and lessons that extend beyond the football pitch, to that big game called Life.

1.   A healthy routine can get you through tough times

The first lesson football taught me is to consistently show up for myself, especially on the days when I don’t feel like it. Growing up, building habits was never something I gave much thought to. Football practice was just second nature.

My football “habit” has been essential in getting me through times of low motivation and stress. Motivation is not a flat line — it’s something that fluctuates. There will be days when motivation alone will not be enough to get us to lace up and buckle down, and taking a mental health day is never something to be ashamed of. However, playing a team sport, or at least having a schedule to follow, is a great way to help yourself along on days when you need an external motivation to keep going.

2.   Prioritising ‘hobbies’ can create balance

When work piles up, it’s easy to stop prioritising your own wellbeing and to lose sight of what’s important in the grand scheme of things. Playing football has forced me to consider my priorities and this has, in turn, helped me create balance.

Sometimes, playing a sport when you’re busy with other things adds pressure. It’s tempting to cut out the ‘non-essentials’ — the hobbies and things that don’t seem to contribute to your career or relationships. However, I’ve found that prioritizing football has had a net positive effect on my life. It feels counterintuitive, but letting your mind take a break allows you to clear your mind, reduce stress, and work and feel better.

3.   You don’t always have to get along to produce great results

You don’t need to get along with everybody to get results. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you don’t all need to be BFFs to win a game.

Teamwork isn’t about creating a group of like-minded individuals who see eye-to-eye on everything. It’s about identifying everyone’s individual strengths and using that aggregated power to pull in the same direction. So while you don’t have to love everyone’s company, the team — the people you surround yourself with — is incredibly important in shaping your experiences.

4.   When you feel like quitting, ask yourself why

Wanting to quit something is quite natural, especially the longer you’ve spent doing something. When the urge to quit strikes, it’s good to explore where that feeling is coming from. For me, playing with strangers at university was incredibly stressful, but I eventually had to acknowledge that the problem wasn’t football, but social anxiety.

One thing that has helped me find answers has been to first recognise the feeling, and then try to drill down and understand where exactly it’s coming from. Asking myself ‘what is it that I think will happen if I don’t quit?’ helps me identify the elements of activities I dread or have negative feelings about (e.g. “I will have to keep seeing stressful person X every day”), which then means I can make conscious decisions without rushing into quitting.

5.   Quitting doesn’t make you a quitter

Then there are the times when you try a few more times, and the feeling of wanting to quit still remains. While football taught me a lot about perseverance, I’ve also had a hard time knowing when quitting might actually be the best thing for me.

A common misconception is that quitting is the easiest option, or that quitting “makes” you a quitter. But think about it this way: leaving something behind involves making an active decision to change. The trouble is, if you don’t know what you’re trading it in for, it’s much easier to just keep going with the status quo.

Quitting something after careful consideration can actually be the best way to continue to show up for yourself. Ultimately, there’s a huge difference between giving up on yourself and giving up something that no longer brings you joy and comfort.

Football, to me, has always been more than just fancy footwork. From showing me how to get up after a few tackles to accepting defeats and working hard towards my goals, it has been one of my most influential teachers. As the final whistle blows, I hope some of the lessons it has taught me can be useful to you as well.

Rose Atkinson-Carter is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors hoping to get published with the world’s best book editors, designers, and marketers. She loves to advise authors on topics like book formatting and literary copyright — and to play football, of course!

Petition with Bipolar UK: Speed up Bipolar Diagnosis to Save Lives. Lets Talk Bipolar by Eleanor

(image: Bipolar UK charity)

Please sign this petition to the NHS to speed up bipolar diagnosis to save lives. As I write in my book, my Dad Mike was diagnosed 9 years after he got ill and just 4 years before me. I believe I was only diagnosed at 16 years old because my Dad received his diagnosis. Additionally, my Dad was pushed to the brink of suicidal ideation (thoughts and plans of suicide) but was able to control this once he saw a psychiatrist finally after nearly 10 years- so many can’t. My Dad was saved just in time. He often says the love for his family stopped him, but for some, they are even more ill and cannot focus on this.

A new campaign by the amazing Bipolar UK charity and the new government Bipolar Commission to tell the NHS:

Speed up bipolar diagnosis to save lives
· There’s an average delay of 9.5 years between people first contacting a health professional about symptoms and getting an accurate diagnosis of bipolar
· 60% of people said this delay had a significant impact on their life
· 84% of people said a diagnosis was ‘helpful’ or ‘very helpful’

A diagnosis makes it possible for someone to get effective treatment and support, and to live well with bipolar.

It’s estimated that at least 5% of people who take their own life have a diagnosis of bipolar. The shorter the delay in diagnosis, the sooner someone can empower themselves with effective self-management and foster a positive circle with fewer relapses in both the short and long-term.

In my own family, myself and other relatives here and abroad have been diagnosed with this condition. It is so important to get correct treatment.

#letstalkbipolar

Please sign here, thank you:

Need to Relax? 5 Unbeatable Ways To Unwind by Dixie Somers.

(image: adobe stock royalty free)

Sometimes life can be overwhelming. Whether it’s an extra project at work, adjusting to a new schedule or city, or trying to start a new exercise routine, your body can become overly stressed. Fortunately, there are many ways to relax yourself, and while some work better than others, there is no shortage of ways to take care of yourself. Here are five unbeatable ways to unwind and get rid of that extra stress. 

Make a List of Today’s Triumphs 

While making a list may seem like the complete opposite of what you’re used to when it comes to unwinding, it’s more therapeutic than you think. Some people even take solace in checking off to-do lists, as it makes them feel accomplished. Taking the time to write down all the things that went right today is a great way to put your mind at ease. Many times, we end up focusing on all the things that went wrong and forget about all the things that went right. 

Having an attitude of gratitude goes a long way for your mental wellbeing. By being grateful for all that you have and all that you’ve done, you cultivate peace in yourself, as well as self-gratitude. These emotions are the exact opposite of tension and uncertainty, and can help rewire your anxieties into something more positive and soothing. 

Consider Colouring 

This suggestion may garner some confusion at first, colouring is in fact a great way to help distract the mind and promote calmness. It allows your creativity to flourish, which recharges the brain. Whether it’s using an adult colouring book or just creating your own style with some coloured pencils, colouring can be a great way to unwind and recharge.  

Even if you’re not the artistic type yourself, there are plenty of ways to enjoy colouring and being creative. There are a plethora of sources online or in craft stores for unwinding by colouring. If you are more artistic, consider taking a painting class, or finding a paint-by-numbers booklet at a hobby store. Whatever your skill level, colouring can be a quiet, peaceful way to relax and enjoy some colour therapy. 

Soak in a Hot Tub 

Hot water has always been a fantastic way to help soothe the body and ease pain. Consider talking to a certified hot tub company if you would like a bigger, more luxurious way to enjoy a hot soak than in your bathtub. 

 Determine the best hot tub to meet your needs, whether it’s indoor or outdoor, and be sure you have enough room for either. Some great features of hot tubs include an audio system, jets, low lighting, cooling systems, and so forth.  

Go for a Walk 

Walks tend to be underrated when it comes to de-stressing. However, they are one of the best and most affordable ways to do so. Simply putting your body in motion and taking in the scenery can do wonders for clearing your mind and making your body feel good. Consider taking walks in different locations to help improve their effect on your mental health. 

If you live somewhere with walking trails, use them. They can take you to places near your home that you never noticed before. Walks in local parks and even shopping districts can be therapeutic as well. Taking the time to slow down and enjoy nature is a must for anyone in life, and is an unbeatable way to relax when you’re under a significant amount of stress. 

Turn on Your Favourite Tunes 

Music is another timeless way to help let the overactive mind escape into a state of soothing calmness. Consider turning on some music and relaxing on the couch. Or, if your schedule is too busy to take time to sit down, consider flipping on your favorite music while you’re working on something. This will help to distract your mind and allow it to unwind. 

The type of music you turn on makes a huge difference in your mood. Easy-listening music, such as instrumentals or classical music, can help to calm your mind and ease into yours. If you’d rather listen to something other than music, there are plenty of apps, online channels, and audio files for ASMR–listen to ocean waves, chirping crickets, or birdsong to keep you at ease. Maybe you want to learn something as you unwind–tuning into an insightful audiobook or a guided meditation can both be amazing ways to keep your mind tuned-in while you’re relaxing.  

When your life gets stressful, having a multitude of ways to unwind and soothe your brain and body is a must. The above are viable methods that you can add to your arsenal to ensure that you can always handle any bouts of stress that life throws at you. Try mixing up your routine every now and then so things feel fresh, relaxing, and keep helping you push on.  

This article was written by freelance writer Dixie Somers, based in the USA.