New Look Site on Be Ur Own Light: a Mental Health Recovery Blog!

I wanted to make Be Ur Own Light clearer to access and easier to read aesthetically. I hope you like some of the minor changes to make it more accessible.

Welcome too to all our new followers- we are nearly at 300 on WordPress and over 3,000 on Twitter and over 2,000 on Instagram.

Be Ur Own Light is written to challenge mental health stigma and more posts will be published shortly.


Eleanor, founder of Be Ur Own Light

Our Charity Appeal

Be Ur Own Light Blog is raising money for Jami, the Jewish Association for Mental Illness.

Jami can be found at

They help people in the Jewish community in London who have suffered from mental illness and are recovering. They provide befriending, hospital visiting, anti stigma campaigns, educational talks, coffee meet ups and are just opening a cafe for people to socialise in.

To donate to the appeal just click on the link on Justgiving below. Any small amount is perfectly adequate and if you can’t give, please don’t worry! Thank you!

Together we can make a difference to people with mental health difficulties.


Breathe Life Initiative- Tackling Loneliness through Kindness


Here at Be Ur Own Light, we support many charitable initiatives. We were contacted by ‘Breathe Life’, an amazing UK charity campaign to combat loneliness in the elderly and wanted to tell you about them so you can get involved wherever you are in the world!.

The campaign says,

‘Every day huge numbers of older people are dying from loneliness. Research has proven that the effects are as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. In the UK alone, one fifth of older people feel lonely. …. We believe small acts of kindness can help loneliness‘ (Breathe Life)

This is sadly not just an issue in the elderly as 53% of those aged 18-34 have felt depressed due to loneliness. As more and more people live on their own, this affects millions of people in UK society alone.

Its time to reconnect with our elders and Breathe Life seeks to do this. Never before have we lived such separated lives from our loved ones, only connected by technology.

To combat loneliness in our society, Breathe Life partnered with Life Links Cheshire have selected 5 Elders- men and women from Cheshire in the North of England with a wealth of widsom, joy and resilience to share to people of all ages. You can email them for 30 days, important questions you want answered and they can share their knowledge with you (and in turn make connections to combat isolation and loneliness).  As the campaign states,

Together, we hope to give older people regular mental stimulation and a visceral sense of self worth by actively creating connections for them in which they feel they are offering something of value to society. We might restore a sense of pride that breaks the deadening effects of loneliness.’

For more information about the Elders, the Breathe life Campaign and how you can get involved:



Gratitude to you: with thanks

Recently I have been having the opportunity to grow my little blog here and it is amazingly being read around the world. From the UK to Israel, The USA and Canada to Australia, Italy, Germany, Spain,  Norway, Finland, Croatia, Monaco, Indonesia, India, Peru, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, Uruguay, Nigeria and Sudan.. I am amazed each day by where people are reading from and I am so so thankful. I write this not to brag but just because its so wonderful for me to reach people from different cultures. 🙂

We now have almost 60 dedicated WordPress followers, over 1,000 followers on Twitter, almost 700 in Instagram and 130 of my close friends and family on Facebook. This week, inspirational acid attack survivor Katie Piper liked one of our posts on Instagram about positive affirmation which was incredibly exciting!

We hope to grow the blog to spread light around the world for those suffering with mental health issues. I love receiving your supportive comments and sharing in online conversations with you all.

Today I am feeling so happy and thank you for engaging. I am also excited to announce a blog collaboration with Counsellors Cafe UK website, which will hopefully be posted in the next few weeks  and  Jewish Association of Mental Illness, who may be using my blog posts in the new year.

I am also thankful to Louie Rethink Mental Illness and Tim at Time to Change for getting me published before I even started publicising my blog.

With love xxxthankyou1

An amazing Care Coordinator

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder when I was just 16 years old. During the years that followed I had some brilliant psychiatrists and some dull ones that I didn’t click well with, met several good psychologists and had some excellent therapists for talking therapy or CBT. However, this post is dedicated to my old Care Coordinator who finished working with me a month or so ago and I just want to talk a bit about the role, what it entails and how much she aided my recovery.

When you have had an acute episode of mental illness (which may have included a hospital stay or day unit) , you may be assigned what is known as a Care Coordinator. Care Coordinators are usually mental health nurses trained to coordinate care between you, the client and the whole mental health team- whether thats a support worker, psychiatrist, psychologist. They talk to you about how you are feeling, give you advice and speak to other professionals on your behalf.

After my hospitalisation in 2014, I was assigned a truly lovely, wonderful woman to help aid me in my recovery at home. I am writing about her because sometimes its very rare to click  so well with someone, for someone to be so positive and upbeat and kind.

When I met my Care Coordinator, I was still very depressed and anxious, in my adjustment from coming out of hospital on a psychiatric ward. She used to come and sometimes I wouldn’t want to see her because I was feeling low or anxious and didn’t want to talk. We worked together for a year and she listened to all my fears about being maid of honour for my sisters wedding, getting back into work, dating, keeping up friendships with anxiety and how I was going to rebuild my life and cope again.

She provided a listening ear and helping hand in a time of immense darkness.

She watched me as I struggled to hold down work, recommending a support worker for me, and sessions with a psychologist, I had a course of 10 sessions. She asked if she needed to help me with housing or benefits (here in the UK this is money from the government if you are sick). Luckily I have a good family support network but my Care Coord became like a good friend to all of us and I grew to love our sessions and enjoy talking to her about my life, her life and its similarities :).

After 6 months to a year of being back to health and not acutely unwell any more, my Care Coord had to move on to help other people who were more ill than me. However, she will always have a special place in my heart for the joy and positivity she helped me find and I don’t think I will ever forget her.

Welcome and collaborations.

I just wanted to welcome all my new followers here on WordPress and on Twitter and Instagram to Be Ur Own Light.

At Be Ur Own Light, I have lived experience of bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and depression. However, this blog is all about positivity, recovery, support and resilience.

I want to welcome you to my blogging community here and to announce we have some exciting blog collaborations to come.

If you would like to feature a guest post or for me to write a bespoke blog for your page- just email me at

Wishing everyone a happy Friday! and recommending Katie Pipers book of positive affirmations today. They always get my day started off feeling positive!

Life update: Managing anxiety- When you wake up feeling overwhelmed.

It has been a while since I wrote an update about my life and mental health. Generally, I am doing OK and finding that I can cope with the anxiety, yet there are days when I wake up and feel overwhelmed and like I need peace and quiet.

I wrote this the other day,

Sometimes there are times when I will wake up and just feel so overwhelmed by the day that I cancel my plans and have to be quiet. Its like the internal me needs calm and peace and can’t get it without having space to breathe and to be.

I need breathing space from the world today and its madness in order to strengthen and restore me and build me back up. Peace and serenity and calm.’

This is quite an accurate description of how I feel sometimes. Its learning how to manage those feelings so it doesn’t ruin my morning/ whole day. Its about finding the positivity in the mundane, getting enough rest, eating well and trying my best to keep going.

Today I will be seeing my counsellor and catching up on the past few weeks. We have had a lot of Jewish festivals and spending time with friends, family, loved ones- so there has been a lot of socialising. At times, the festivals make me want to withdraw but there are also times when I feel stronger and happy and enjoy them also.

Yesterday my little step niece who is 3, came over with my step bro and his wife. It was so lovely to see her- she is adorable.

In terms of work, I am still looking at what is out there and working for my Dad in the mean time. My panic attacks have lessened so its just about finding a job thats right for me.

Lastly, Be Ur Own Light has a new Guest posts tab. Our first guest post is by Aryeh who has clinical depression and anxiety. Well done Aryeh for speaking out! 

Stigma part 1- We are not attention seekers

I decided to write this today after a very interesting week for Mental Health awareness here in the UK. We are very lucky to have a much more accepting society than in elsewhere in the world and we also have a National Health Service meaning sufferers can seek free treatment (albeit with waiting lists).

However, like most of the Western world- there is still a long way to go in changing attitudes, hearts and minds about mental illness sufferers. This was epitomised this week by the brilliant World Mental Health Day, with celebrities admitting to depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Despite this, I noticed an appalling phenomenon on social media. This week, Zayn Malik, the singer formerly of One Direction, cancelled solo concerts due to high anxiety. I thought he was so brave to give this reason and for his celebrity friends to publicly support him. However, when reading the Facebook comments my heart sank. Here were a few (I am paraphrasing as don’t want to put the actual comments on this blog):

‘He didn’t have anxiety when he was in One Direction and earnt all that money…’

‘Such an attention seeker, man up’

‘Drama Queen…. getting bored of this’

These were the gist of many comments written from cowards hiding behind computer screens. However I couldn’t help but think that if he disclosed he had heart problems, diabetes, cancer etc…. people wouldn’t say he was attention seeking. I definitely face palmed reading these comments…..unless you have experience of an anxiety disorder or have a friend of family member with it, you have no idea the courage it takes to a) get on with life and b) talk about it- let alone to the whole world.

Then, yesterday, reports came out that the singer Will Young quit Strictly Come Dancing (UK version of Dancing with the stars) due to anxiety and the scrutiny that the job required. Of course, the Facebook trolls were back in force with similar comments,

If he didnt like the attention, he shouldn’t have gone on Pop Idol in the first place’

‘Drama Queen, can’t believe hes quit, hes let everyone down

etc etc – a whole plethora of disparaging, stigmatised comments. Luckily, there were many people combating them but why have so many people got ingrained attitudes in them that anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders are caused by people wanting attention?

We are not attention seekers.

We want more than anything to live a normal life despite our conditions. We don’t want high anxiety or suicidal thoughts. We don’t want to feel embarrassed or ashamed for our conditions.

We are not drama queens. End the stigma now.

World Mental Health Day- The Mental Health Checklist.

Today is World Mental Health Day. This is a day focusing on mental health and illness around the world and encourages people to talk about their own experiences. So, I thought I would write a checklist of tools that have helped me recover from depression and severe anxiety in the past. I still have bad days but this is what has helped me.

1) Support Network- having someone to talk to. Whether its one friend, a family member or an extended support network on or offline, talking to those you love and who care for you is vital. If you struggle in this area, the charity Samaritans is always on hand to listen on their helpline.

2) Waking up earlier- Try and get up an hour earlier in the morning to kickstart your day.

3) Get washed and dressed even if you don’t feel like it when depressed. It can alter your mood for a little while and prepare you for the day.

4) Set 3 small achievable goals in your day. It could be as ‘insignificant’ as getting out of bed if you are depressed. (Note: not insignificant at all!!). If you are feeling good, set yourself a goal personal to you.

5) Exercise. I hate exercise- but even moving around a little can change your mindset. Build it up slowly.

6) Eating and resting well. With my bipolar, this has been vital in keeping me well. If you are having trouble eating or sleeping, speak to your GP/ psychiatrist.

7) Positivity. Try to think and visualise something happy. While difficult when you are very low, even writing about something happy cheers me up.

8) Don’t suffer in silence- Tell someone how bad you are feeling.

Happy World Mental Health Day from London, England.


The isolation of social anxiety

I was lying in bed last night thinking and feeling sad. I had a wonderful weekend last weekend and was able to do a lot, see lots of family and friends and generally feel good. However, from the Monday, I began to feel more and more anxious. I had to cancel 3 arrangements with different friends this week due to heightened anxiety again. This sometimes happens when I do a lot.

I decided to do more of my hypnotherapy exercises as I hadn’t completed them for the full 2 weeks and I think that has helped. I will keep doing it.

It can feel very isolating at times but I am lucky that the majority of my close friends understand whats going on.

I am looking forward to having a peaceful weekend.