5 Ways to Improve your Mental Wellbeing

When it comes to taking care of yourself, you should always put your mental health first. 1 in 4 people in England alone will experience a mental health problem each year, so we must be gentle with ourselves. However, modern life can be hectic, and sometimes it can be exceedingly difficult to find time to take care of yourself and your mind. So, what can you try to improve your mental well-being?

Credit: Tumisu/ Pixabay

Take regular time out

If you do not take time out to yourself each day, you will soon feel burnt out and struggle to manage your emotions. This could just be in the form of taking a nice relaxing bath in the evenings and completing your daily skincare routine. Or, you could watch an episode of your favourite show after a hard day’s work. Whatever works for you! You do not need to be doing something productive either; an evening in with Netflix can be just as good for your mental health as an evening spent cleaning or reading. After spending some time on yourself, you will feel more relaxed, and your mind will be more at ease.

Try yoga

Yoga can be a great form of exercise that will also help you focus and practice mindfulness. In addition, yoga can be a great choice for stress management, and attending a yoga class or taking an online class at home can leave you feeling ready for bed and content. If you are not a fan of yoga, then you could try daily stretches. Just ten or fifteen minutes spent stretching can make you feel flexible and can be a great way of winding down at the end of the day. Stretching is also a great way to start your day and can help set your mind at the beginning of the day so that way you are as productive and happy as you can be throughout the day.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way of taking your mind off any troubles you may be experiencing, and even just ten minutes of exercise will leave you feeling much better. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which make people feel happy and less anxious. However, when you are feeling down, it can be difficult to convince yourself to get up and complete a workout, but even just ten minutes of one of Chloe Ting’s workouts, for example, can leave you feeling happier. 

Some people struggle to complete workouts due to an illness, but there is a form of exercise out there for everyone! If you experience arthritis for example, there are exercise machines that are easy on joints that you could try! Or, if you find cardio too difficult due to a health condition such as asthma, you could try a more gentle form of exercise such as walking or cycling.

Credit: pxhere

Try herbal teas

Herbal teas are great at helping you unwind and are more relaxing than normal tea or coffee, which may only increase your anxiety and make you feel more stressed. Herbal teas, particularly chamomile tea, can ease feelings of anxiety or depression, as well as boost your immune system and aid your digestive system. So, herbal teas are great for both your body and mind! However, you should keep in mind that herbal teas are not a cure for mental illness and that if you are worried about the state of your mental well-being, you should consult a professional for help. 

Eat well

As much as we all love chocolate and pizza, sometimes these foods can leave us feeling bloated and grumpy. Therefore, you should still eat these foods because they are yummy, but you should make sure that you also eat lots of healthy foods that will make you feel better. For example, Brazil nuts are known to help improve people’s moods because they reduce inflammation and are a good source of Vitamin E, making Brazil nuts a great snack choice if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps. Other foods such as seeds, fatty fish, and leafy greens can all help improve your mood.

Listen to ASMR

ASMR has been rising in popularity over the past few years. It is a niche genre of videos on YouTube where ASMRtists (the name for YouTubers who dedicate their channels to the strange sensation) brush your hair, whisper, and perform soothing sounds. Watching ASMR can reduce your anxiety, help you fall asleep at night, and soothe you. There are hundreds of ASMR videos online, so if you find that ASMR does help you unwind and relax, then there are plenty of videos out there for you to see. 

Meet with friends

Sometimes when you are feeling low, what you need is a good laugh with friends. As difficult as it may seem, get in touch with them and ask them if they want to meet for a coffee or go for some evening drinks. Even if you find that your state of mental health is not allowing you to enjoy your time with them, you could try and talk to your friends about how you’re feeling. Talking about your mental struggles and how they make you feel can ease your burdens and help your friends understand why you are not as perky or upbeat as you usually are. 

Credit: Glenn Harper/ Flickr

Tidy your home

It may sound silly, but tidying up your home or workspace can make a massive difference to your mental state. Tidy space, tidy mind! The act of cleaning and tidying itself can be very therapeutic and can help you relax. Once you have finished tidying up, you will find that you probably feel a lot less overwhelmed, particularly if your home is particularly cluttered or messy. A messy room can overload your mind because you are thinking about all the things you have to clear away and constantly searching for items you have lost amongst the mess.

When it comes to taking care of yourself, you should always put your mental health first. 1 in 4 people in England alone will experience a mental health problem each year, so we must be gentle with ourselves. However, modern life can be hectic, and sometimes it can be exceedingly difficult to find time to take care of yourself and your mind. So, what can you try to improve your mental well-being?

This article was written by a freelance writer.

What you need to know about Post Partum Depression (PPD) by Kara Reynolds

(image: Lisa at Pexels)

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a severe medical condition that many mothers experience. It’s a condition that occurs to a mother after she gives birth to a newborn. You might be feeling hopeless as you try to be a mother — maybe your birthing process didn’t go as planned, or perhaps you’re having trouble breastfeeding. 

The symptoms of PPD can last a long time. They’re severe as well, and if left untreated, you could develop something more serious that may pose a danger to you or your child. It’s essential to learn about postpartum depression to know if this is happening to you or even your loved one. 

Know that if you have PPD, it is not your fault. It’s a medical condition that requires treatment if you want to get better. Here’s what you need to know about PPD so you can keep yourself, your loved one and the baby healthy and safe. 

Defining Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a medical condition associated with extreme feelings of worry, sadness, tiredness and hopelessness that women experience after giving birth. These feelings can last a long time, making it hard for new moms to take care of themselves and the baby. 

This condition can occur any time after childbirth. Even though it usually starts within a few weeks after having a baby, it can begin later, too, even up to a year after birth. It often doesn’t go away on its own and needs professional treatment to get better. 

Although it is common for people to feel sad or empty, it’s not common for it to last as long as it does with PPD. It’s also not an expected part of becoming a mother. PPD affects your behaviour and physical health and gets in the way of day-to-day life.

It’s Not the Same as Baby Blues

More women experience baby blues after childbirth, but this is not the same as postpartum depression. Baby blues have similar symptoms of PPD, but those feelings don’t last nearly as long and usually go away naturally after a few days or a week. PPD symptoms last much longer and the emotions are more intense.

Baby blues are more like mood swings. New mothers have to grapple with being a mum for the first time and everything that goes with it. Of course, they’re going to feel anxious, stressed and upset at times. The sudden hormonal changes can do a lot to a woman’s mind and body, but the hormones eventually level out and women can handle the feelings independently. 

It’s Fairly Common

You are not alone if you suffer from postpartum depression. In fact, about one in eight women will experience PPD in their lifetime. Postpartum depression estimates can vary by state, age and race, and can be as high as one in five women in some parts of the world. 

Additionally, PPD is often higher for first-time mothers. However, it can happen to mothers who have had many kids, and it can reoccur in each pregnancy. Rates may be even higher than estimates because not all women will report or seek help if they think they have postpartum depression. PPD is more common in women who have had a history of depression, too.

It Can Affect Your Child

Postpartum depression can make it more difficult for you to care for yourself and also your baby. If your PPD goes on without treatment: 

  • You might end up skipping your postpartum checkups for you and your baby, which can lead to other health and developmental problems.
  • It may be more challenging to bond with your child, which can affect breastfeeding.
  • Your newborn may not get the medical attention they need.

Getting the proper treatment and recognising that you or a loved one may be suffering from PPD can better the chances of the new baby thriving. 

It Comes with Many Signs and Symptoms

Mothers will often feel overwhelmed when they bring their new babies home. There are regular hormonal changes that occur, and being a mother poses a new lifestyle all in itself. However, there are signs and symptoms that may be leading to PPD. If these occur for more than two weeks, then you need to seek medical attention: 

  • Feeling hopeless, sad and overwhelmed
  • Crying more than normal
  • Having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Feeling like a bad mother or worthless
  • Changing sleep patterns
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and life in general
  • Not having any interest in your newborn
  • Eating too little or too much
  • Having physical pains, like headaches and stomach aches, that won’t go away

New mothers or even mums who have had other children may feel ashamed or embarrassed if they feel depressed (although its OK to feel this way) and may not seek the help they need. You don’t have to suffer, though — reach out to a doctor if you or someone you know experiences these symptoms.

It Can Be Prevented

While PPD is treatable, it can also be somewhat prevented. If you have had depression in the past, you can get counselling before giving birth to discuss your feelings about having a child. 

Two kinds of counselling can work best to prevent PPD for women at an increased risk. The first is cognitive-behavioural therapy, which helps you manage negative thoughts by changing your thoughts and actions. The second is interpersonal therapy, which helps you identify and deal with problems in your life. 

It’s Treatable

There is hope for those who have PPD. The earlier you seek medical help, though, the better off you and your baby will be. Common types of treatment for postpartum depression include therapy, medicines prescribed by your doctor and, in severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy. 

At home, you should rest as much as possible. Additionally, talk to your partner, join a support group and make time to visit with other people.

Take It One Day at a Time

With time and support, you can make it through this season of Post partum depression. You are not alone.

This article was written by writer Kara Reynolds, editor in chief at Momish.

4 Ways to Make Your Mental Health a Priority in your Life by Emma Sturgis

Because of the stress and fear caused by the pandemic, more people are coming forward to talk about their mental health struggles. Mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, affect millions of people around the world. The inability to cope with stressful events as well as other factors can lead to an increase in mental illness.

When you make taking care of your mental health a priority, you will be surprised at how many ways there are to help a variety of mental health issues. Here are four simple but effective ways to improve your mental health.  

(image: Pexels)

Practice Mindfulness 

According to the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, mindfulness improves mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.   Some people are skeptical about how mindfulness can create such positive results, but it really only takes a few days of regular practice to prove to yourself that being aware of what you do when you do it focuses your mind. When your mind is focused on a task in the present moment, it won’t engage in depressing or anxious thoughts. Definitely give it a go and see if it works for you.

Exercise Regularly If You Can

Physical activity is an excellent way to manage depression and improve your mental health.  Physical activity boosts the release of mood-enhancing chemicals in your brain. These endorphins can help reduce any feelings of sadness or anxiety, alongside other treatment. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain, which can make you feel more energised and happier.  Furthermore, physical activity can help people cope with stress better by improving their coping skills due to the endorphin boost or just being outside in fresh air. Exercise is also a great way to spend time with others in a social setting such as an exercise class or do some gentle exercise at home.

Eat Healthy Meals 

Diet is an important part of our lives, we should make sure that we eat a balanced diet in order to nourish both our bodies and souls. There are many healthy food options whatever mental health condition you struggle with, which help you to look after your body and mind.

Get Professional Mental Health Assistance   

Talking to a psychiatrist can help you learn how to deal with your mental health condition. It’s especially important to be able to get professional assistance when dealing with a life-altering event or trauma. Talking about your feelings, fears, and worries alleviates stress and can help mental illness. 

Try these four ways to improve your mental health. Mindfulness increases productivity and reduces stress. Physical activity benefits your mental health in many ways. Following a balanced diet nourishes both body and mind. Talking to a mental health professional can help mental health recovery.

Moving House? 5 tips to deal with Moving Stress and Depression.

(image: pexels)

Moving to a new place can be exciting, particularly when the reasons behind your move are positive – a better job, for example, a bigger, more spacious pad, moving in with your partner, and so on.

However, after you’re done with the hard work – house hunting, packing, scheduling a good intestate or local moving company etc. – the initial excitement can slowly dissipate, leaving you with all sorts of mixed feelings.

Exhaustion and uncertainty are common ones that most people deal with, but others also find themselves battling fear and anxiety or worse still, stress and depression. In fact, post-move depression is real and there’s even a name for it: relocation depression.

It’s something you’ve probably experienced before but felt hesitant to discuss with anyone as you were not sure how they would interpret it or perceive you.

However, it’s important to highlight the fact that it is absolutely okay to have relocation depression. People are wired differently. While there are those who are quick to adapt to their new environment after moving, there are also those who find the changes a bit too much and might need some time to settle in.

Which is okay. The associated changes that a house move brings and all the emotional upheaval associated with it can make it hard to readjust to your new enclave, especially if we’re talking an interstate move.

Moving is one of life’s major transitions and there’s a reason many people consider it one of the most stressful events. Keeping that in mind alone should provide a good foundation to start working on moving-related stress and depression you may suffer post-move.

That aside, we also thought we would share some tips that can help you deal with relocation syndrome should you find it rearing its ugly head after moving.

Here then, are 5 tips that can help you emerge from it feeling better.

Establish a support system

Isolation can amplify depression, relocation or otherwise. Establishing a support system in a new place is not easy, especially if you have no friends or family members nearby. But that doesn’t mean there are no alternatives.

Keeping in touch with friends and family back “home” is one way to help with the adjustment. So is joining some local support groups or seeking professional help.

Having just a single person to help you cope with this challenging transition can make a world of difference.

Get outside of your house and explore

Going outside and interacting with the world may feel like the last thing you want to do when dealing with depression. You may feel inclined to lock yourself inside and battle the demons alone.

Thing is, though, getting outside and exploring your new town or city can surprisingly feel revitalizing.

That’s not to mean you need to head out the day following your move. Feel free to get in touch with your feelings first but avoid getting cooped up too much.

Cozy up your home

This might sound like a contradiction of our previous tip, but that point we just alluded to about taking some time for yourself at home first before exploring the new surrounds might be a good idea. After all, the unpacking will still be waiting for you to deal with.

Spend some time settling in and making your new home a comfortable space. This will be your retreat from all the chaos of the outside world and inside your head. You need it to feel homely and welcoming.

Start a new hobby (or two)

The idea of picking up a hobby is not to escape from the real feelings you’re battling with inside. By all means, feel free to embrace what you’re feeling, however unpalatable it may feel like.

However, engaging in a new (or old) hobby can give you a jolt of excitement that you so badly need during this time.

Some good ideas include joining the gym within a week or two of relocating or better yet, taking up running if it’s something you’ve never done before.

Other ideas include visiting art and cultural centers in town, going to the library, exploring cafés, restaurants, and museums, or joining some local clubs – chess, reading, bible study etc.

Meet some new people

Socializing might not come naturally to some of us, but humans are inherently social creatures and even the most introverted of us crave some interaction every now and then.

You don’t have to go out with the sole mission of making friends: the activities we just mentioned in the previous point can all be opportunities to meet new people and hopefully strike up new relationships.

_____

Why we must prioritise Mental Health on the World Stage- Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka and reactions. By Eleanor

(image Pinterest)

Yesterday, I woke up to hear that the Olympic gold medal winning athlete Simone Biles – the most decorated and greatest gymnast of all time, pulled out of the Tokyo olympics, citing mental health reasons. Instantly, she was criticised by people for not being a team player, for going to the Olympics in the first place, for daring to reveal that she is human and she struggled.

Gymnastics can be a dangerous sport if you are not in the right mindset and after not feeling her best, Biles withdrew from the competition. She still stood in the glare of the world media to support her team though!

We live in a toxic society that still doesn’t understand the mind- or anything they cannot see. Whether like Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from Wimbledon, its stress, anxiety, depression or burn out/exhaustion, the reasons are valid. Just like sportspeople pull out for physical injuries, mental injuries are just as justifiable and important. The brain is an organ and it can break too.

If we look at Simone Biles and her background, which I didn’t know until looking into it, she was sexually abused by her gymnastics coach as a child. She also comes from a difficult upbringing. She will therefore be carrying trauma in her life which could get triggered by the pressures that come with the Olympics and being the most visible and famous gymnast in USA history. She is only 24.

There is a certain columnist/journalist in the UK who writes and attacks women in the public eye with mental health issues constantly. it doesn’t matter if they could be depressed, anxious, burnt out or suicidal. It doesn’t matter if they have disclosed they have been suicidal in one case. He is paid to pull these women to pieces in public and accuses anyone not agreeing or being ‘woke’ or a snowflake’.

This infuriates me that someone with so much media influence spends their time attacking people who are vulnerable and who should have support.

I hope that in the not too distant future we won’t have to have these discussions about mental resilience, about how people are quitting on their team for being unwell, about how its an ‘excuse’. This is usually said by people that have no understanding of mental health issues and who do not understand the pressures of performing in public and being successful at that level.

With Naomi Osaka, she was fined for not attending a press conference and breaching her contract. If that isn’t discrimination, I don’t know what is.

This has to change. its 2021, not 1821!

I was heartened to see so much support for these women on social media and so I hope it is a small minority of views. But sport, a typically macho arena, needs to wake up, needs to support people and stop treating athletes in this way. This also echoes the workplace in general.

Solidarity with Simone, Naomi, Meghan and anyone else struggling. They are inspirations to people around the world with mental illness and together they will make a change.

How Selfie Changed my Life and Mental Health: by Photographer Kathryn Chapman


(image of Face to Face – a mental health photoshoot : Kathryn Chapman photography)

In my early twenties, after suffering years of severe depression and anxiety, I attempted suicide and ended up in hospital. Life was completely unbearable, ending my life felt like the only option. I existed in an excruciating, disassociated, confusing, numbed-out-tuned-in agony. Sometimes I’d feel incandescent rage and injustice, other times overwhelming sadness and often infinite emptiness.


I didn’t know who I was, I hated myself and my inner critic was rampant. I had no idea how to love myself or even what that meant. I embarked on 25 years in and out of talking therapy but achieved nothing and I was left drained, hopeless and utterly tired of talking.


In 2015 my mental health hit a massive low, I was knocked off my bike and the fragility of life hit me like a tonne of bricks. But it didn’t make me more positive, it made me more whats the point?


A subsequent psych assessment revealed clinical depression, severe anxiety and ‘off the scale’ PTSD. What was reflected back was a massive shock and once I’d got my head round it, promised I’d do things differently. My way. One thing at a time.


I started with my drinking and buried trauma began to surface. It was in this space I finally started to get a handle on what was going on –  it helped enormously but didn’t stop the cycle of depression and ferocity of my inner critic. But the mirror held up during the psych assessment had planted a seed.


A couple of years later, I had an idea for a self-portrait shoot. It persisted in my head for months before I realised it wouldn’t go away until I’d created it. It was a test – I wanted to see if everything was as bad as it felt, to hold up a mirror to myself, to look myself in the eye and face myself fully. So I sat with my most difficult emotions and photographed what was there.


I hadn’t thought about how I might react to the images, what I’d think, how I’d feel or what they might teach me. But there, looking back was a woman in agony, desperate for care and love, and the only person who could do that for her was me. It was a moving and very powerful moment.

Amongst the pain and hurt, I saw vulnerability, courage, resilience and strength – here I was, in all my beautiful mess. This was the first time that I saw and fully accepted myself, the first time I gifted myself kindness, patience and gentleness. I couldn’t deny what was staring back at me and I experienced a deep compassion for myself that has remained ever since.


It was the catalyst I needed to prioritise self-care and to feed my soul. I realigned with my spiritual needs and discovered a way to quieten my inner critic. I looked after myself holistically and it came easily, because not doing it wasn’t an option. The images had changed what I thought about myself, what I said to myself, what I saw in myself. It was transformative.


Six months later (after intending never, ever to share any of the images) I posted this picture. I got so much love and support, it was amazing. 


Not long after another surprising thing happened – I found my life purpose. I developed everything I’d discovered into a therapeutic programme and named it Face to Face®. I hold up a mirror so clients may see their own potential for lasting self-compassion and happiness, helping them come home to all that they are, to see they’re enough, they’re not to blame, that they matter.


To see themselves better.


Looking back, I realise that however close I came, I never gave up hope. I never gave up thinking there must be something or someone that would make the difference I needed. The something that made the most difference was my shoot and the someone that helped turn my most significant corner was me. I was my own light.
Our answers are within us, sometimes we just need someone to walk next to us for a while, to join us on our journey and reflect back our strength while we navigate the storms.


Keep searching, be your own priority. Trust who you are and what you need. And most of all have hope, because without hope we have nothing.


Kathryn is a portrait photographer, creator of Face to Face®, Freedom Shoots and the Inner Critic Tool. She is fascinated at how we perceive ourselves and uses therapeutic photography to challenge self-belief, offering a different perspective. She helps to understand what it means to be human – vulnerable, complex, creative, beautifully flawed, perfectly imperfect and astonishingly brave.


www.kathrynchapman.co.uk

@kathrychapmanphotography@facetofacephotos

The Book of Hope is Out Now!

I have written here before but I am so excited to say that the Book of Hope, which features my essay ‘Of Hope and Sunflowers’ and put together by my friends Jonny Benjamin MBE and Britt Pfluger is out now!

Happy Publication Day!


It is such an honour to be in a book with so many incredible people in their own fields talking about overcoming their own adversity and mental health issues.

As I write, the book is currently 16th in the bestsellers chart for all books on Amazon.

Hugely thankful to Jonny and Britt for including me in such a great project.

You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1509846379/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_3VAKJ0JC6HV05ZYMNHW2

Being Kind to Myself: Social Anxiety, Mental Health and Life in Recovery.

(image: quotebold.com)

I really wanted to write today because the sun is shining, apple blossom is on the trees and Spring is finally here! I always feel more hopeful and happy once Spring is here but living with bipolar disorder and an anxiety disorder can mean that some days are harder than others.

This week, I have really struggled with low mood and social anxiety. I’m an optimistic person and sometimes I pack too much into my days and end up having a panic attack because I can’t cope. This is what happened to me yesterday when I decided it would be a great idea to pack in too much, including going across London and delivering many Body Shop orders to my customers and friends. My social anxiety was so high (I think largely due to being in lockdown) , I just wanted to hide and I ended up sleeping to escape my feelings and feeling super low. I am lucky that I understand what to do when this happens and I have a husband and family who support me too. I am still in therapy for my panic disorder and it has improved a lot but there are times when it gets triggered like this week.

I have also found that I am worrying more about what people think of me- if I have said the right or wrong thing or upset anyone. Its so silly but due to past rejection I get scared and those fears bubble to the surface.

On Friday, I had a really productive therapy session. There are a lot of worries about the future that I still hold and being able to unpack them in therapy is really useful for me. I am doing EMDR trauma therapy but a lot of it is talking out and facing those triggers one by one. I have a very good relationship with my therapist and having a session often calms my mind.

In positive news, last week I became an aunt to a beautiful baby girl, Cara Harriet who is the sweetest little baby. She is a joy and light in all our lives and I feel so lucky to have a little niece! My sister and brother in law are amazing 🙂

And in other good news, in April, my essay in the Book of Hope by Jonny Benjamin MBE and Britt Pfluger will be published alongside many others I look up to (Dame Kelly Holmes and my friend Hope Virgo). So there are good things as well as bad!

I am doing a lot better- I dont rapid cycle, I havn’t had an episode of mania or hypomania since 2014. My brain seems to like Lithium and Quetaipine (a mood stabiliser and anti psychotic). I have to learn to be kind to myself and practise self care, because my social anxiety is a fear response from the past.

Being kind to myself is of utmost importance. Heres a list of what I do when I am having a bad day: take a nap, have a bubble bath, read a book, hug the guineapigs and Rob, talk to Rob, a friend or family member, put on a face mask, cry, breathe and listen to calming music, watch a good TV show (I have been watching First Dates Teens), book in a therapy session, eat something nice, put some make up on, wash my hair, wear an uplifting perfume.

How are you kind to yourself on your bad days?

Love,

Eleanor x

Depression and What You Should Know

(image: healthyplace.com)

We have a lot of mental health awareness in the modern day. Barely a week goes by without it being mentioned that mental health is important, and that it’s “OK not to be OK”. By now, for sure, we’re all quite aware of mental health. What might be needed more from this point on is mental health understanding, because while people and organisations are more than ready to acknowledge the existence of conditions like depression, fewer are forthcoming with any practical help.

One of the problems that we have right now is that mental health issues were ignored and mocked for so long that – now we have some acceptance of their impact – a lot of people don’t have the language to deal with them. Well-meaning people might say “depression is an illness, just like X”, and not really understand that it can be seen as an unhelpful statement. It would be helpful for people with depression if the following facts were widely known.

A good day with depression doesn’t mean the problem is gone

A lot of the language used around mental illness, and particularly depression, portrays it as a steady, relentless grind – and it sure feels like that most of the time. As a result, when someone who has been suffering opens up, has a laugh and is “more like their old self”, their loved ones might see light at the end of the tunnel. Depression is a complicated condition, unfortunately, and even that brief spell of happiness might trigger a period of guilt, which deepens a depressive episode. This complication is part of what makes it so insidious.

“Looking on the bright side” isn’t a productive strategy

It’s easy to understand why people try to talk around someone dealing with depression by pointing to all the positives in life. It would seem like a productive strategy, because if they see a bright side, they will surely feel better. Right? Unfortunately not. While there are plenty of useful tips for dealing with depression, this is not one of them. Reminding people of how life is good and could be worse is more likely to make them feel like, on top of all the bad things they are feeling, they’re also ungrateful. It doesn’t help.

Depression doesn’t come from any single source

Some people believe that depression is a response to negative life situations. Others argue that it is a result of underproduction of serotonin in the brain. Both sides are right, and both are also wrong; depression isn’t solely chemically-driven, nor is it purely down to circumstances, and this means that you can’t fight it with medication alone. At the same time, it may not be possible to fight it without medication. Finding the right combination to beat depression (or at least sideline it) isn’t an overnight thing, but it is achievable. 

The best advice you can give someone with depression is that, in time, things will get better and that’s all you want for them. Acknowledge that it will take time, and that you’ll be there for them, but don’t ever try to argue them out of it.

This article was written by a freelance writer

How to Plan for your Future and Look after Mental Health in Difficult Times this 2021.

(image: Pexels)


It is no secret that life has been tough for many people lately. Having to deal with circumstances that are out of your control can be especially hard to handle. But, in the most difficult times, it is more important than ever to focus on a brighter future. Spending so much time at home may have got you thinking about your plans for the future and how you want your life to look in years to come. Considering what you want from life can be so helpful and give you a focus to aim for. Having a focus can be particularly helpful in challenging times, such as the current situation. 


Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself now is an investment in your future and the bedrock for everything else in your life. Looking after your health now can reap huge benefits for the future. Having good health will enable you to live life to the full and experience it fully. 

Being out of your usual routine can make it harder to remember to look after yourself and to stick with good habits. Self-care is essential for good mental health, so you may find it helpful to try and stick with a routine and incorporate healthy habits into your day. 

Take Care of Your Finances

Money worries are an issue that many people experience. Finding ways to improve your financial situation can help you to feel positive about the future. Taking control of your finances now will help you to plan for the future with confidence. If thinking about retirement is something that worries you, then researching ways to alleviate these concerns now could be beneficial. You may want to consider a Reverse Mortgage for Seniors or setting aside more money now to prepare for the future. Preparing your finances now will help you to gain the peace of mind to live your retirement to the full.

Focus on Your Goals

Everyone likes to have things to look forward to, so setting yourself goals for the future is an excellent way to stay focused and enthusiastic about life beyond this challenging time. It is essential that your goals are things that make you happy and don’t put you under an unhealthy amount of pressure. Overcommitting yourself to goals that you don’t feel comfortable with can be a source of anxiety and worry, which could impact your mental health. Instead, it is far better to consider goals that you will enjoy working towards and will bring you a real sense of achievement. 

Reconnect with Yourself

When planning for the future, it is vital to make sure that your plans are yours, and not a result of other people’s expectations. Making plans for your future should be about reconnecting with what you want from your life and fulfilling your own ambitions. Checking in with yourself to make sure that you are planning a future that works for you and not just for others is essential to helping you to live authentically.

If you need to talk to someone about your mental health call Samaritans 116 123

This article was written by a freelance writer.