Coming Home For The Mental Health Awareness Shabbat And Self Care by Eleanor

Happy new year everyone! Gosh its nearly the end of January and I havn’t written a blog for a while so thought I would share some things that have been happening here and talk a bit about mental health stuff too.

Firstly, my mental health is fairly stable at the moment, as has been the case for a number of years. I don’t get typical bipolar depressive or manic episodes on my medications and this year is my 9th year out of hospital , which is always a positive. However, I still suffer with anxiety and stress and get overwhelmed so have to pace myself! I have bad days too where things feel too much but thankfully they don’t escalate into a depression.

So for the positives- I have achieved some huge anxiety wins for me. Since November, I have been on the tube (first time in 3 years), I have gone up to the West End with Rob to the theatre using public transport, my panic attacks have been lessening, I have been able to see more people in person and I also passed my probation at work and have been made permanent (huge win!). I am someone who struggles with agarophobia when I feel more anxious and stressed and going out alone can still be a challenge.

I have been allowing myself to venture into previously anxiety provoking situations- for example, I get cabs alone home from work. I had to start doing this last year and it helped me get back into the world again. It wasn’t easy due to many fears I had but I have been able to do it, slowly. My job is also hybrid so I can work from home too- but getting back out into the world and having kind work colleagues at an office has been such a vital part of my recovery too. My therapist has been so helpful in dealing with the panic attacks and anxiety and I do still get triggered but at the moment on a lesser scale. I still find blood tests, hospitals and general health stuff scary because of what I have been through. I really recommend therapy.

I sometimes do have to cancel arrangements when things feel too much so am sorry to anyone I have had to postpone… its not easy and I hate doing it as I feel bad… but I am learning the balance of looking after me and socialising too. I don’t always get it right but I am trying.

Then, my friend in Bushey, Lee, texted me a few weeks back and asked if I would like to speak in my childhood community for the Jami (Jewish charity) Mental Health Awareness Shabbat. I hadn’t done public speaking about my story since before Covid in 2019, when I spoke with my Dad Mike at Limmud and at Chigwell shul (synagogue, my husbands community). I have had drama training so for me speaking publicly as someone else is OK, but when I have to stand up and share my own story, I get nervous as its so personal. The first time I was asked to speak in a shul at Belsize Square, I made it to the community but my Dad had to give the talk by himself as i was too panicked to attend the service. I managed in time to dip my toe in slowly, always with the support of my Dad and my therapist.

This talk in Bushey felt significant. It’s the Jewish community I grew up in and was a part of until I was 23. I felt like I was going home. The Bushey team told me they had two other speakers, but would I like to speak and share my story with bipolar disorder?

I thought to myself… I am ready, my panic attacks and social anxiety are more under control. To me being asked to come home to Bushey shul was a sign. My Grandpa Harry passed away in 2021 from Covid- and he and Grandma had lived in Bushey since the 1990s, when we were little. Our family lived in both Bushey and Bushey Heath and I studied at Immanuel College, across the road from our home and my grandparents. The area contains so many happy memories for me. I knew the new senior Rabbi and Rebbetzen, as he had officiated at my grandparents funerals and was so kind to our family. My Dad is also still a member of the shul and I still know a lot of people who live in the community too. Its a very special community and one I am proud to be from (and still feel.a small part of despite not being a local anymore).

So, I decided, with my Dad and Rob’s support on the day (and anxiety meds), that I could stand up in shul and speak with the other two speakers on the Shabbat (sabbath) morning. My Mum and step dad were supporting from afar and looking after our guineapigs.

The senior Rabbi and Rebbetzen hosted us for the Friday night which was wonderful as we got to meet lots of new couples and see the Ketts, the other Rabbi and Rebbetzen! For lunch after the service, we went to Lee’s house, which was very special as she was my batmitzvah teacher and is a good family friend.

I was initially told the talk was going to be in a break out room- but on the day it was decided that it would be from the pulpit. Last time I ventured to that pulpit and stood up there was when I was 12 years old, sharing my batmitzva portion of the Torah. The year my Dad was very ill and diagnosed with bipolar. I became ill just 3 years later.

Now, here I was back as a married woman of 34, revealing about the mental illness that had found its way into my family and caused a lot of devastation. However, the main reasons I wanted to stand up and talk about bipolar disorder are because I know that this illness runs in families, many Jewish families struggle with it. I wanted to give the message that you can live with this illness but you can have periods of remission, recovery, you can find hope.

And as I spoke to the audience of people – many of whom I had known since my childhood, who saw me grow up and saw my family eventually leave Bushey for Edgware, I felt humbled. I felt honoured to be asked to speak and I hoped that by sharing my own journey with bipolar (being diagnosed at 16, in hospital twice, the last time in 2014 for a very serious manic episode), that I could touch someone who needed to hear it. My Dad gave me permission to tell his story too.

When I grew up in. the early 2000s, talking about mental illness and particularly in Jewish spaces, was not the norm. I hope that through sharing my own journey and my Dads (he was undiagnosed for 9 years until he was 44), that I will have helped someone.

Most importantly, I felt I had come home. The kindness and warmth shown to me by the members of the Bushey community who I have known since I was a little girl was something so incredibly special and touching. People confided in me after the service about their own struggles. Others thanked me for sharing my story. I was hugely touched by the other two speakers who spoke after me about their own journeys with mental health and their children’s. I won’t name them here in case they want to be anonymous but I learnt so much from them and their experiences.

So I want to say a huge thank you to Lee, to the Rabbis and Rebbetzens and to everyone in Bushey who I have known for years and have loved- for hosting us, for inviting me to talk about something so personal in such a special community. It touched my heart. I really hope it helps.

I genuinely did not know how I stood up there to speak to 90 odd people- what kept me going is knowing I was doing this to help eradicate the stigma of mental illness but also I hope that the words I spoke gave comfort to anyone going through mental illness, that it does get better. It can improve. You won’t be ill forever.

When I was unwell in 2014, Jonny Benjamin MBE was speaking and sharing about mental illness. He taught me that sharing your story to help others is vital. So thanks Jonny for all your support too (whether you knew you gave me the courage or not :).

I also want to thank Jami charity, Laura Bahar and Rabbi Daniel Epstein. I was part of the volunteering team that helped set up the first mental health awareness shabbat. The project has blossomed and is now annual and it is truly wonderful to see.

What I want to clarify is that although I am currently a lot better with my anxiety, it is very much a grey area, day by day thing. That can be hard for people to understand- how one day you can be great with loads of energy and the next you have to stay home and recuperate- self care. But I think knowledge of mental health is increasing now, so do check in with your friends and family and offer a safe space without judgement- its so helpful.

Thank you again for reading this if you got this far. You can do whatever you put your mind too- reach for help from medical teams, medication, therapists and never give up.

With gratitude and love,

Eleanor

x

How To Cope With Everyday Challenges For Those Living With ADHD.

(image: Unsplash)

Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be challenging in everyday situations. From difficulties staying focused and organised to managing emotions, those living with ADHD face unique struggles that can make life more difficult. However, there are effective strategies for coping with these challenges and leading a successful life despite them.

In this article, we will discuss six tips for managing the everyday effects of ADHD. With the right tools and techniques, anyone can learn how to manage their symptoms and live a fulfilling life.

1. Establish a Routine

For those of you who are Living With ADHD, you probably already know the importance of establishing routines. Having a regular schedule and structure can help to keep your day running smoothly, allowing you to stay on task and be productive.

Start small by developing simple routines that are easy to remember and stick to, such as setting a specific time for meals or getting dressed in the morning. You may also want to create an evening routine so that you can relax and prepare for bed in the smoothest way possible. Whatever you need to do for that day, having a routine to follow can help you to get it done.

2. Break Tasks into Manageable Pieces

As you navigate life, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the daily challenges that come your way. Some may be big, and some may be small, but to cope with these tasks, it is important to break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. This way, you can feel less disheartened and instead focus on achieving each small goal as opposed to focusing on one huge end goal. 

They can also make it easier to stay on track. For example, if you’re trying to complete a project that is due in two weeks, break down the task into achievable steps for each day. This way, you can stay motivated and make progress without feeling overwhelmed.

3. Utilize Technology

Technology is constantly evolving, and if you know how to take advantage, it can help make living with ADHD a little easier. For instance, there are plenty of helpful tracking apps out there that can be used to remind yourself of tasks that need to be done or alert you when something needs attention.

Additionally, using an alarm clock app can help keep your schedule on track. There are also applications that can help you manage your focus better, as well as those that provide helpful tips for how to cope with life’s challenges. Taking advantage of technology can be a great way to stay organised, on-task and motivated.

4. Use Visual Aids

While you may think that you are too old to use visual aids, they can be a huge help when it comes to dealing with everyday challenges. Visual reminders, such as Post-it notes on the refrigerator or calendar events written in bright colors, can help you remember important tasks and deadlines, reducing your anxiety levels.

Not only that, but they can also provide you with the opportunity to reward yourself for completing tasks, as you can check off items or post pictures that are reminders of what you’ve accomplished. 

5. Get Regular Exercise

Regardless of whether you have ADHD or not, regular exercise is important for mental and physical health. This is because it can help people to focus better, gain more energy, reduce stress levels, and improve overall well-being.

Finding the right type of exercise can help you manage your symptoms. Try activities such as running, swimming, walking, or even yoga to keep your body and mind active. Exercise can also help to boost dopamine, which is a chemical that regulates attention and concentration.

Finally, remember to set manageable goals for yourself when starting an exercise routine. This will help you stay motivated and on track with achieving your fitness goals!

6. Practice Mindfulness

You may be surprised at just how many people living with ADHD use mindfulness to cope with their daily challenges. Mindfulness helps you focus on the present moment, without worrying about what happened in the past or imagining a future outcome.

This can give you more control over your thoughts and actions, which can be particularly beneficial when it comes to controlling impulsive behavior. To practice mindfulness, take a few minutes every day to sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You can also practice mindful eating or walking.

By becoming more aware of the present moment and taking control over how you react to situations, it can help you manage symptoms of ADHD and lead to increased self-esteem, improved concentration, better relationships with friends and family, as well as reduced stress and anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Living with ADHD can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. By taking the time to understand your own unique needs and creating strategies that work for you, you can manage everyday tasks and build self-confidence in yourself. It is important to remember that living with ADHD does not define you as an individual; instead, use it as an opportunity to discover new ways of doing things or approaching challenges in life.

With patience and practice, anything is possible! So don’t give up – take small steps each day towards conquering whatever comes your way.

This article was written by a freelance writer,.

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 Navigate A Divorce And Preserve Your Mental Wellbeing by Dixie Somers

(image: Adobe Stock)

Divorce can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience. It can be especially challenging to maintain mental health while dealing with the stress of ending a marriage. Luckily, there are strategies you can use to help preserve your mental health during this difficult time. Let’s explore some effective ways to cope and keep yourself healthy during your divorce.

Find Supportive People To Talk To

It’s important to have people in your life who understand what you’re going through, who will listen without judgement, and who will offer advice when asked. These people could include family, friends, a therapist, a reliable divorce attorney, or even an online support group for divorcees. Reaching out to supportive people is a great way to process your thoughts, feelings, and emotions as it relates to the divorce. Even if these people don’t necessarily give you advice on how to handle the situation, just being able to vent and talk things through can make all the difference in terms of keeping your mental health in check.

Practice Self-Care & Self-Compassion

Divorce is often accompanied by feelings of guilt or shame that can take their toll on mental health if not addressed properly. To combat these negative emotions, it’s important to practise self-care and self-compassion. This means taking care of yourself by getting enough rest, eating healthy meals regularly, exercising regularly (which releases endorphins that help you feel better), spending quality time with friends and family who are supportive of you—anything that helps bring joy into your life!

Additionally, try reminding yourself that it takes two people for a relationship to work and that only one person should not be blamed for its failure. It is also ok to feel sad; it’s natural when going through such difficult times so allow yourself some moments of sadness but don’t forget the importance of self-care.

Allow Yourself Time To Heal

Give yourself permission to heal in whatever way works best for you without feeling guilty about it. Everyone processes events differently so try not rush into any new relationships or commitments until you feel ready; instead focus on healing first as this will allow you to create healthier connections moving forward. Furthermore recognise that this is an opportunity for personal growth; although painful at times growth requires challenge which is exactly what divorce provides! Allowing yourself time for healing enables the chance for true transformation which may lead you down paths unknown before now.

Don’t Rush It

An important part of navigating a divorce is not rushing into a new relationship until you are truly ready. Taking the time to heal and focus on yourself can help ensure that any future relationships will be healthier and more fulfilling. It’s natural to feel lonely after ending a marriage but it’s important to remember that entering a new relationship too soon can potentially do more harm than good. Allow yourself time to process the emotions and experiences of your marriage while also allowing yourself to heal before embarking on a new relationship.

This will help make sure that any future connections are healthier and happier for everyone involved. Ultimately, taking the time to focus on yourself during this difficult period can lead to more meaningful connections in the future.

Divorce can be an incredibly difficult experience but maintaining good mental health throughout this transition is vital. By finding supportive people to talk with, practising self-care and self-compassion, and allowing yourself time to heal—you can get through it while still preserving your mental wellbeing along the way.

Don’t forget—divorce isn’t easy but with proper support it doesn’t have to be devastating either! With small steps each day towards healing you’ll soon find yourself back on track towards living fully again!

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer

How To Know If You Have An Eating Disorder And What To Do About It by Brooke Chaplan

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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 Improve Employee Engagement and Wellbeing In Your Workplace.

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Employee engagement is a critical factor in the success of any organisation. By encouraging employee engagement, organisations can create a workplace that is both productive and enjoyable. In this guide, we’ll look at some effective strategies for improving employee engagement and getting more out of your workforce.

Set Clear Expectations But Check In…

One of the most important steps to creating an engaged workplace is setting clear expectations. Make sure employees understand their roles and responsibilities, as well as the company’s goals and objectives. This will help them stay focused on what needs to be done and better understand how their work contributes to overall organisational success. This also includes setting measurable objectives and providing regular feedback so employees know when they’ve achieved their goals.

These objectives must take into account any mental health issues or disability if the employee has one, when they begin. Reasonable adjustments can be made for employees who need them.

Foster Collaboration

Encourage collaboration between team members by creating opportunities for them to work together. This can be done through brainstorming sessions, collaborative problem-solving activities, or team-building exercises. Working together helps employees build trust and understanding, leading to a more engaged workforce. You can also do this by providing resources such as group communication tools, flexible working arrangements, or company social events.

Invest in Adequate Training

Provide employees with adequate training and professional development opportunities. This will help ensure they have the knowledge, expertise, and confidence to perform their tasks effectively. Investing in employee training also shows them that you value their skills and are willing to support their growth. Additionally, ensure you provide enough resources and support for employees to do their jobs. This could include access to the right technology, adequate workspace, and a comfortable work environment.

Promote a Positive Work Environment and Wellbeing

Creating a positive work environment is essential for keeping employees engaged and motivated. Encourage an open dialogue between team members, provide recognition for good work, and offer incentives to reward outstanding performance. Additionally, implement policies that promote equality and respect among all staff members regardless of differences in race, gender, or background. Furthermore, make sure you have staff trained in mental health first aid and employee wellbeing- this is vital in ensuring a safe and happy workplace.

(image: Annie Spratt, Unsplash)

Utilise Technology

Technology can be used as an effective tool for improving employee engagement. For example, goal-setting software can help employees track their progress and stay motivated. Collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams can also encourage employees to work together and share ideas more easily. Technology also helps businesses stay connected with their remote employees. By providing resources like video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing, organisations can ensure that everyone stays on the same page regardless of their physical location.

Measure And Assess Progress

Finally, organisations should measure and assess employee engagement on an ongoing basis. This can be done through surveys or interviews to understand how employees feel about their work environment and what they believe could be improved. Tracking progress over time will also help businesses identify trends and areas of improvement that can be addressed in the future.

Don’t forget to also measure the success of any initiatives or programs you implement. Ensure that employees know what is being done to improve engagement and understand how their participation in them makes a difference. This will help ensure they remain involved, motivated, and engaged with their work. Additionally, collaboration in this way can boost wellbeing if done correctly.

Communicate Regularly

It is also important to keep employees in the loop about any changes that may be happening within the organisation. This includes ensuring they know about new projects, goals, or initiatives. Also, fostering an open dialogue will help ensure that employees feel their opinions are heard and appreciated. Regular check-ins can also be beneficial in helping to keep employees up-to-date on the progress of their work.

Creating a culture of employee engagement within your organisation takes time and effort, but it is essential for success. By implementing these strategies, you can ensure that your team is motivated and engaged so that everyone works together for the common goal of organisational success.

Overall, organisations can improve their employee engagement by setting objectives, fostering collaboration, investing in adequate training, creating a positive work environment, utilising technology, and measuring progress. These strategies will help create an engaged workforce that can contribute to a more productive and enjoyable work experience for everyone involved.

Additionally, these techniques are essential for ensuring that employees stay motivated, energised, and committed to achieving their goals. By taking the time to implement these strategies, organisations can ensure they are creating an environment where their employees can thrive.

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.

Emotional Eating: How To Manage Triggers By Lizzie Weakley.

(image: Roamincolor at Unsplash)

Do you find yourself reaching for food to fill an emotional void? Do you often find yourself snacking out of boredom or anxiety? Emotional eating is a common problem that many people struggle with, but it doesn’t have to be something that controls your life. Here are some tips and strategies for managing emotional eating triggers and developing healthy habits.

Identifying Your Triggers

The first step in overcoming emotional eating is to identify the triggers that lead to it. Everyone has different triggers, so it is important to take the time and reflect on what causes you to turn to food when feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Some of the most common triggers include boredom, stress, loneliness, sadness, anger, fatigue, and anxiety. Once you have identified your particular triggers, then you can start taking steps towards addressing them.

Learning New Coping Mechanisms

The next step is to learn new coping mechanisms that allow you to manage these emotions without turning to food. This could be physical activities such as going for a walk or jog, doing yoga, or any other type of exercise that helps reduce stress levels.

It could also be trying out mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing exercises which can help centre your thoughts and help clear out negative feelings. Other methods could include talking with friends or writing down your thoughts in a journal in order to gain some clarity about why you are feeling certain emotions and how best to work through them.

Taking an Online Coaching Course

Finally, another great way of managing emotional eating triggers is by taking an online emotional eating coaching course designed specifically for this purpose. An online coaching course can provide the guidance needed in order to make meaningful lifestyle changes that will help overcome emotional eating patterns over time. The course will provide tips on how best to manage cravings and difficult emotions while also teaching techniques on how best to maintain healthy habits long-term while learning positive self-care practices along the way.

Emotional eating can be a difficult habit to break but with the right strategies in place, it can become manageable over time! Taking the steps outlined above such as identifying your triggers, learning new coping mechanisms, and taking an online coaching course are all great ways of helping manage emotional eating triggers while developing healthier habits along the way. With dedication and effort this problem can improve significantly!

Lizzie Weakley is a 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