Stress and Panic Attacks Part Two- My Mental Health.

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Hi friends,

8 weeks ago when I last wrote, we were about to move into our new home. We have now been settled in and been there 5 weeks. It is so exciting and we have been overwhelmed with love. Moving though is a big life change and has triggered my mental illness again.

Lurking under the surface is my Bipolar/ PTSD anxiety disorder. If I do a lot and am more active, I can’t cope. I always try and do more than I am able and then end up crashing into panic- insomnia, racing anxious thoughts mainly and having to cancel plans. Social anxiety becomes heightened. Last week, I went to my mother in laws in Essex three times and also went to a family wedding (which was so special!). Both were lovely, but on Saturday night, my anxiety was triggered, thinking about going back home and socialising the next day- and my body and mind said Enough. This is too much.

Being on your own when you’re anxious and can’t sleep (but everyone else is) is one of the worst places to be. I actually posted an Instagram message at 6am about how I was feeling because I didn’t want to wake anyone up. People were really kind. I slept for maybe 2 hours and felt teary and emotional on Sunday, but had support from Rob and my family too.

The past few days my anxiety has been unleashed and remains high. I am writing this from my Mums house today as I didn’t want to be on my own again working in our flat . I have booked a session in with my therapist too because I am waking up feeling panicked. Its like my body and brain are trying to protect me from something, an old fight or flight response. I keep having regular panic attacks where I shut down, cry and hide in bed. Speaking to my therapist I know will help me process and clear the triggers behind whats going on.

Living with this is debilitating- but I will not be beaten. I will keep doing all I can to improve my low mood and anxiety, to keep going despite any setbacks and to try to heal my mind and soul so I can feel more confident and happier again.

Thanks for reading, I send love to anyone struggling

Eleanor

x

Feeling Lost? Ease the burden by Handling your Divorce and your Mental Health: by Brooke Chaplan

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Events in 2020 put a great deal of pressure on relationships and many marriages didn’t survive. If yours is folding or has already collapsed, do your best to treat yourself and your former spouse as fairly as possible. Focus on the safety and security of all, and make sure to give children the most caring and logical structure possible.

Prioritise Safety First

If either adult in the relationship is abusive in any form, including physically, financially, sexually, or emotionally, the first step must be to get them out of the house. Even if they continue to choose that behaviour, getting them out of the space where your children live will reduce the risk of further damage. Additionally, counselling for all parties should be sought.

The abuser may resist therapy. Talk to a family law specialist about supervised visits if they refuse to seek counselling.

If you can create an abuse-free space as a couple, you have a chance of handling your divorce as fairly as possible. Divorces can be emotionally draining for everyone involved, so it is important to control the situation in order to prevent potential problems in the future.

Be Smart About the Money

Too often, angry people set out to financially sabotage their ex. Ultimately this serves nobody, especially if you have dependent children in the household. To get to a better place in your mind and heart about this, you and your spouse may need to sit down and put together a budget for two households.

If you can’t make the numbers work on paper, you may need to make a different choice. For example, perhaps you could move into separate rooms and continue to maintain one household for a time. This isn’t ideal, but it can make it possible to avoid conflict while you make financial adjustments. It can also prevent the spread of your family’s environmental impact. Of course, you should not agree to any ideas that you are not comfortable with. Reaching an agreement that you are satisfied with will help make it easier to move on emotionally.

Stay Friendly

It’s hard not to resent your spouse as you work through the divorce process. This unfriendliness can force your loved ones to take sides. If you need to vent with a friend or talk to a therapist, do so. Having someone to talk to during your divorce can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. However, forcing family and friends to take sides in your battle will probably not be healthy for any of you in the long run.

Divorce can be the toughest decision you’ll ever make. However, it can also be one of the best choices for you and your children. Be smart and do your best to keep your and your children’s best interests in mind.

This blog was written by Brooke Chaplan, freelance writer and regular contributor

How can Mental Health Workers Cope with the ‘New Normal’

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Mental health workers have continued to take care of their patients even in the midst of the recent Covid-19 quarantines and lockdowns. However, there is no doubt that the pandemic has made their job a little more difficult; longer working hours, the threat of infection and redeployments have all placed enormous pressure on working conditions. In addition, due to the nature of their work, many mental health staff are worried about infecting their family members.   

How has Covid-19 affected mental health care?

If you are a mental health worker, you may be worried about how the pandemic will affect the way in which your patients can continue to receive high-quality care. For example, staffing levels may be reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions, sickness or self-isolation requirements. Meanwhile, community support is being cut back, which only makes failed discharges more likely.  

There may also be a fear that you or your patients may unintentionally transmit Covid-19 to other people despite taking every health precaution possible.      

What would you do if a patient exhibited signs of the disease?

Often, mental health patients are unable to understand their condition. Moreover, many healthcare facilities are not even providing the most basic protection (PPE) to staff.   

How can managers and supervisors promote their staff’s well-being?

  • By providing accurate and timely updates
  • By rotating staff so they alternate between very stressful and less stressful duties
  • By buddying-up new recruits with experienced staff 
  • By making sure that every team member takes regular breaks

Coping mechanisms

As a key worker, maintaining your emotional well-being is of paramount importance. According to this article, people working in the mental healthcare sector are often anxious about:

  • The safety of their patients
  • The possibility of infecting others or getting infected themselves
  • The financial impact of the pandemic

One survey has revealed that many nurses are suffering both mentally and physically. 

Stress is an everyday aspect of the job, even without the current Covid-19 crisis. The important thing is to effectively manage your stress as well as your psychosocial and physical status. 

Despite the heavy workload, stress and isolation from your family and loved ones, you need to remain resilient during the ‘new normal’. Days off are essential in order to recharge your batteries, so you should never feel guilty about taking them. Also, make sure you take your assigned work breaks. 

Furthermore, there are various coping techniques that can help. For example:

  • Always stay hydrated
  • Eat healthily
  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Maintain social contact, even if it is virtual 

It is also a good idea to stick to tried-and-tested coping strategies, including:

  • Deep breathing
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Regular exercise
  • Being mindful
  • Talking to someone (a family member, co-worker or friend) 

However, it is important that you try to avoid these unhealthy coping practices:

  • Drinking
  • Taking recreational drugs
  • Smoking

Turn off social media

Social media can be a valuable tool for obtaining and sharing information. When it comes to your mental health, it is also a useful outlet for letting off steam. 

However, the negativity that often permeates social networks can also heighten your anxiety so you need to make sure you:

  • Mute any words or phrases that can trigger negative emotions
  • Unfollow or ‘snooze’ offending hashtags, users or groups
  • Set boundaries with regard to the time you spend on social media 

Rumours or speculation can often trigger anxiety. However, accessing accurate and up-to-date information about the virus is the best way of counteracting this problem.   

Conclusion

Although mental health nurses may not be considered to be frontline workers, they still face the same risks. In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has made their job even more difficult due to staff shortages and the reduction in community support. There have also been issues with the supply of PPE. Bearing all these issues in mind, it is essential that staff take care of their physical and mental well-being. There are various coping strategies that can help, including getting enough food and sleep, maintaining regular social contact and exercising as often as possible.   

This article was written by a freelance writer.

What is the Connection between Mental Health and Addiction by Jennifer at Mandala Healing.

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Everyone has their own mental health. But people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or any other substance abuse are more prone to develop mental illness. While on the other hand, individuals who have mental illnesses are also more prone to developing drug, alcohol, or substance addiction. 

People struggling with addiction and mental health problems have complained about the co-occurring disorder. However, it can be tough to identify which one is the primary. A mental health diagnosis, such as clinical depression, can undoubtedly worsen an individual’s problems with addiction. Similarly, a person experiencing addiction may find that their mental health declines as their use grows. 

If these conditions are left untreated, then co-occurring disorders can lead to a nasty cycle of repeated addiction and worsens mental health symptoms. To overcome addiction and mental health issues, professional care is necessary at a rehab center like Florida Addiction Treatment

But before that, it is vital to understand the relationship between addiction and mental health when looking for help for yourself or a loved one. Because both addiction and mental health diagnoses are chronic medical conditions, they can be treated and managed with the right and approachable treatment while they cannot be cured. 

Understanding the Link Between Mental Health and Addiction:

You might wonder if mental illness can cause addiction or if addiction creates the perfect storm leading to mental health problems. However, in most cases, it is rarely clear which one manifested first. 

Addiction to drugs and alcohol or any other substance can occur due to people self medicating if they suffer from any mental health disorder. Self-medicating with addiction in times of crisis may provide temporary relief at first. But it may help you feel more comfortable connecting with your peers or boost your confidence. However, this is part of the danger of the link between mental health and addiction. 

Continued use is hazardous and develops the risk of addiction. What you look at as a remedy to your problem can quickly put you on a brutal cycle of misuse and abuse. 

Long-term use of addiction often produces side-effects such as anxiety and depression. Taking addictive substances alters your brain chemistry, and extended use of it only increases your chances of developing mental illness. 

People coping with these specific mental health conditions are more likely to get addicted to drugs or alcohol (but not in every case)-

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


Potential Causes of Co-Occurring Disorders:

Addiction and mental health issues can occur because of many factors; however, some potential causes may involve genetics, age, and environmental factors. 

  • Genetics or family history-

Genetics can play a critical part in the evolution of both addiction disorder and mental condition. It has been studied that genes contribute to many health issues.

As genes are passed down from generation to generation, the family history of a disorder is also a strong indicator. Autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, major depression are all examples of conditions that can be spread through your genes. 

  • Environmental factors-

However, you don’t have to have the genes for a particular disease, which does not mean that you will develop the condition. The environment plays a key role in how their genes are expressed. 

High-stress environments, trauma, physical or sexual abuse can also contribute towards a co-occurring disorder. Looking at your friends and family engage in dangerous behavior like addiction can also play a key factor. People likely to follow the examples of those they are close with. When your close ones behave poorly, you may be more likely to as well. 

  • Age-

Exposure to certain things during teen years can also be an element. Being offered drugs or alcohol at an early age can also contribute to addiction and possibly mental illness. Since at an early age, the brain is still in the developing stage. Developing a mental health illness at an early age may also make you more susceptible to addiction. 

Treatment for Mental Illness and Addiction: 

The best treatment for both disorders is an integrated approach, where both the substance abuse problem and the mental illness are treated together. Whether your mental health or addiction problem came first, long-term recovery depends on getting treatment for both the disorders by the same treatment provider. 

Treatment for mental health may include medication, individual or group counselling, self-care measures, lifestyle change, and peer support.

Addiction treatment may include detoxification, managing withdrawal symptoms, behavioral therapy, and support groups to help maintain sobriety. 

6 Tips To Stay Positive This Year and Help Mental Health.

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With the weather starting to warm and the Covid-19 vaccination rollout in full effect, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining bright. After a long and difficult year, things are starting to look up but if you’re finding it difficult to put the past behind you, you’re not alone. A year of social distancing and mask mandates has taken its toll, but the good news is with a little intentionality you can turn your attitude around to take full advantage of what the new year has to offer.


Here are six simple tips to help you stay positive this year.

1. Be grateful for what you have.

Even when it seems like everything is going wrong, there’s always something to be grateful for – you just have to learn how to see it. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a simple first step to take toward a more positive outlook. Start by jotting down a few things in a blank notebook or journal that you are thankful for each day. Over time, it will become second nature to recognize the good things in your life and you’ll find yourself spending less time focused on the negatives.

2. Maintain positive connections with others.

Spending the last year social distancing and self-isolating has been hard on all of us, but there are still ways you can stay connected with others. Cultivating positive relationships and distancing yourself from toxic people can go a long way in helping you stay positive. Look for opportunities each day to make someone else smile, especially when you’re feeling down yourself. It’s the simple things like making someone’s day that can turn your attitude around the quickest.

3. Set goals to keep yourself moving forward.

Over the past year, we’ve all been stuck in a state of suspension waiting for Covid numbers to decline so we can get on with our lives. If feeling stuck is getting you down, set a few goals for yourself to create the feeling of moving forward. It doesn’t have to be anything major, either. Make an effort to include exercise in your weekly routine or make a commitment to connect with a friend or loved one at least once a week. Each time you accomplish a goal, the self-satisfaction will motivate you to reach the next.

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4. Acknowledge and adjust negative self-talk.

While you’re working on cultivating an attitude of positivity, the biggest obstacle you’ll have to overcome is in your own mind. We all have a running dialogue of self-talk going through our heads on a day-to-day basis and that inner voice is incredibly influential on your attitude and outlook on life. If your inner voice is constantly negative, your attitude will be too. Consider taking a mental health day to relax and refresh so you have the energy to start acknowledging negative self-talk and, more importantly, to start working on turning it around.

5. Start each day with a positive affirmation.

The biggest challenge you’ll have to overcome in creating a more positive outlook is defeating your own negative thoughts. You’ve probably heard the saying “fake it until you make it,” and sometimes that’s exactly what you will have to do. Begin each day with a positive affirmation and you may just find it becomes easier each day to keep the positivity train rolling.

6. Seek support and help when you need it.

We could all use a little support now and then, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. If you’re trying to improve your outlook and take on an attitude of positivity, a lot of the work will be internal. That being said, however, having someone to help guide you through the process or to simply act as a sounding board can be invaluable. Whether you’re struggling to overcome anxiety, dealing with depression, or just looking for advice, a counselor or therapist could provide the help you need.

Though you may not be able to control every detail of your life, you can control your attitude. How you respond to challenges shapes your outlook on life and choosing positivity can make all the difference. Take what you’ve learned here to make this year the best one yet. 


This article was written by a freelance writer.

Feel Less Trapped In Your Life with these Powerful Ideas.

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Feeling trapped is a common sensation that many people experience as they go through life. Their reality is one particular way, but they would like to be another. 

People can feel trapped for all sorts of reasons. It could be a mental health issue or substance abuse problem. But it could also be a job, relationship, debt or some other life circumstance.

In this post, we take a look at some of the things you can do to feel less trapped in your mind. . 

Focus On What You Can Do

When considering changing their lives, most people focus on doing the most challenging tasks first. They want radical change immediately. But then they worry that they won’t be able to follow through with it. And that means that nothing changes. 

Here’s some wise advice: focus on the things that you can do, not the ultimate goal. Start with something small and manageable and then build from there. 

Focusing on what you can do actually empowers you. We can all do something to make our lives different. So beginning something small can help a great deal. 

Look For The Positives

Sometimes you can feel trapped because all you can see are the negatives. The recent pandemic is a good example of this. People haven’t been able to move around in the usual way, and many have cabin fever. 

But the various lockdowns have also been an opportunity. At no other time in history has a government told people to stay at home. So, for many, it’s been a unique opportunity to rethink their lives and how they see themselves. 

There are always silver linings in every situation, especially the most challenging. The task is to use this energy to grow!

Get Professional Help

Today, there are all kinds of professionals who can help you feel less trapped. Doing hypnotherapy online,for instance, can help take away panic and fear that many people experience when living lives they don’t want. 

Getting professional help can also introduce you to positive relationships in your life. Many people, for instance, report that the relationship they have with the therapist is the first healthy one they ever have in their lives. On one level, that’s sad. But on the other hand, it can also be liberating. 

Focus On Making Yourself Better

Self-improvement isn’t just a buzz word – it’s something that you can achieve, especially when you feel trapped in a situation. Many people evolve towards the belief that there’s not much they can do to remedy their problems. But that’s not true. That’s just an example of negative thoughts dominating their approach to life. 

You can actually turn things around for yourself by starting with your emotions. Guided meditations, for instance, can help you reconnect with your fundamental sense of being and reduce feelings of anxiety. 

Feeling trapped is a common experience. But, fortunately, there are multiple ways that you can break out of it and get the life you want


This article was written by a freelance writer

Be Ur Own Light Blog turns 5!

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Be Ur Own Light is 5! I cant believe its been 5 years since I began this as a therapy blog as I was suffering from severe panic from trauma and lost my job. I love this blog and will continue to write to break the stigma around mental illness.

This year, Vuelio awarded us as a Top UK mental health blog again which is just incredible. We were also nominated in the Mental Health Blog Awards 2020.

This year we have worked with some amazing writers and organisations on mental health. Thank you:

OCD and Break Ups- Brooke Chaplan

Pocket book of love and Happiness- Trigger Publishing review

5 Ways Therapy can heal your family- Samantha Higgins

Why people are using weighted blankets- Calming Blanket

How to make your surroundings more calming if you have anxiety- Daniel Tannenbaum

Mental health tips to get you through lockdown- Chantal Shaw

How debt impacts your mental health- Ian Sims

Life under lockdown: by Chloe Walker

Lockdown and mental health by Graham Morgan MBE

Best employee benefits for mental health: Daniel Tannenbaum

We will beat this, it will get better: Jenny Nguyen

Covid 19, mental health and work: Danielle Strouther

5 ways to evaluate body mind and soul: Daniel Torres

5 ways you can reduce anxiety- Samantha Higgins

How to help teens with mental illness succeed at school- Brooke Chaplan

Stuck in self isolation? Useful DIY projects- Brandon Smith

My crippling anxiety floored me, now I wouldnt be without it: Emma Johnson, Worry Knot Jewellery

UK went into lockdown, I went into meltdown- Nicole

How to help loved ones with alzheimers- Hannah Boothe

How to avoid burnout during a pandemic- Jade Mansfield at Worsley centre

Maintaining a healthy work life balanace- Love It Cover It


On DBT, art and healing- Violette Kay

How to protect your mental health during the pandemic- Mary Davis

How managing my space helps my mental health- Poppy Duffree- Organise with Poppy

Relaxing places to visit to calm coronavirus anxiety

Bamboo sheets for less anxiety at night

Self care tips for 2020- Anthony L

Redecorating your bedroom for improved mental health- Rosette

 5 things that could be triggering your depression- Samantha Higgins

Escaping outdoors is beneficial to mental health- Amy Sloane

How to work and be a mother during the pandemic- Miranda Davis 

Overcoming the impact of substance abuse on mental health- Anita Ginsburg

How to minimise stress for the elderly in senior living- Johnny Kershaws

15 Ways to turn your home into a self care sanctuary- ImproveNet

Living with OCD during a global pandemic- Impulse Therapy

Managing emotions for better mental health

Taking care of your mental health when a loved one passes away

Checking in on your elderly loved ones mental health during the pandemic

Identifying the source of your eating disorder and finding recovery- Anita Ginsburg

Self care activities to do for those who love to be alone- Regina Thomas

Out of Office by Fiona Thomas- book review by Eleanor   

Using yoga to improve productivity at home: Daisy Moss

The difference between a psychiatrist and psychologist- Anita Ginsburg 

Moving to another country- are you escaping your baggage?

10 tips to avoid covid burn out at home and help your mental health

How to help others when you have lived experience of mental health

Coping with menopausal anxiety and panic attacks by LadyCare menopause

Home improvements to help mental health

5 ways a relationship can hurt your mental health- Miranda Davis

Life is Finite

The secret signs of anxiety

Digital detox ideas for mental wellbeing

How can you better your mental health?

Developing a new found confidence in yourself for the festive season

How to plan for your future in difficult times

Depression and what you should know

Planning for the future to ease your mind

and I wrote some personal articles too!



Thank you for continuing to read and for the support for so long, it means everything to me.

Lets keep breaking the stigma!

Love, Eleanor xx

How to help others with their Mental Health when you live with it yourself.

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Dealing with mental health problems is tough, especially when there is a stigma. ”Man up? Why don’t you man up?!” (you don’t need to). However, you get to a point where you strike a balance that lets you lead a healthy and productive lifestyle. You’re on an even keel, which is essential as it stops the intense emotions and feelings.

Still, this isn’t the end of your journey. Once you get to a point where you feel you are on top of things, you might want to help others reach the same summit. After all, there’s no greater sensation than giving back. Here’s what you need to do.

Reach Out

You understand the warning signs better than anybody because you’ve been through the ordeal. You also know that people who are finding life difficult tend to bottle up their emotions and push them deep down. As a result, the likelihood of a fellow sufferer reaching out isn’t realistic. Instead, they’ll suffer in silence. Reaching out can be as basic as asking them if they are okay, or letting them know that they have a shoulder to lean on if they want. And, with the development of tech such as Zoom, you don’t have to be in the same room to eliminate loneliness or anxiety.

Share Your Story

Be honest – did you open up to anyone who asked about your issues? No, because it’s tough when there isn’t a sense of empathy. People who haven’t experienced what it’s like don’t understand, making it hard to relate to the pain. You’re different. Having dealt with it, you are better positioned than anyone to offer advice. Of course, they don’t know that until you share your story. Revealing what you went through will encourage them to trust you, ensuring your advice doesn’t fall on deaf ears.

Make It Your Career

If you love helping others and have a passion for mental health, you should consider turning it into a career. Your experience makes you well placed to get to grips with the complexities of the industry, and the advancements in technology mean it’s easier than ever to become certified. Becoming a counsellor is never a walk in the park, but some features make it simpler to juggle. For example, attending an online course instead of being on-campus. Or, doing it part-time to ensure it doesn’t overwhelm you and get in the way of your routine. You’ve got something to offer, so don’t be afraid to show it!

Be Flexible

Due to your success story, you will want everyone to try the method you used because it has had positive results. That’s perfectly acceptable since people draw on their experiences when helping others. However, no two individuals are the same, which means you must be flexible when providing your opinions. Sure, you can lead with what assisted you, yet it’s essential to keep an open mind and encourage whatever makes them happy. Also, never guarantee anything as there are no sure things with mental health.

It’s a process, an unpredictable one with lots of twists and turns, so you need to be prepared for ups and downs.



This article was written by a freelance writer
.

8 Tips on Managing Your Emotions for better Mental Health.

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Having emotions and expressing them is a part of the human experience. Regardless if they are positive or negative emotions, the most important things about your emotions is how you express them. The response to your emotions can help you in so many other areas of your life, it is important to know how to control your emotions well, to help your mental health.

If you know how to properly work with your emotions you will likely make better decisions, your relationships will flourish, your everyday interactions with people you pass by or coworkers will improve and you will be better equipped to take care of yourself.

If you are tired of being run by your emotions, we have practical tips that can help you manage your emotions no matter what life throws your way.

Understand The Impact Of Your Emotions

Your emotions are important. Intense emotions can remind you that you are alive. It is also common for emotions to overwhelm, whether something good happens or if something terrible happens. That is why it is important to have a strong understanding of the impact your emotions play in your life. Emotions can make life worth living or it can make things unnecessarily difficult.

Take some time to consider how your emotions impact your life. You may have a lot of conflict in your friendships or other relationships. You may have a hard time relating to other people, so you may isolate yourself. Unmanaged emotions can also lead you to have issues in your professional life at work and in your academic life in school. It is very likely that you will have emotional and physical outbursts. Spend some time with yourself and determine how your emotions are affecting your life up to this point. Where has it led you? Once you put a name to your emotions, it will be easier to keep track of your problem areas making it easy to track your progress.

Regulate Not Repress

Managing your emotions does not mean repress or suppress them. You should still be expressing your emotions. Expressing your emotions is healthy and imperative to stable mental health. If your goal is to not feel something, strongly reconsider. Sometimes you may subconsciously do it, not even realizing. Bottling up your emotions may seem like a quick fix, but it causes more problems down the line. Repressed and suppressed emotions can lead to things like anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, muscle tension and pain, stress management issues and substance abuse.

Remember that your goal is to control your emotions, not pretend they do not exist. You cannot shop it out, smoke it out, drink it out. You have to deal with your emotions head-on. That is the best way to take control of your emotions. The goal is balance.

Know What You Are Feeling

It can be difficult to control something you are unfamiliar with. Get familiar with your feelings. Constantly check in with yourself about how you are feeling. When you check in with your moods and feelings, you will be better equipped to respond to any and every emotional trigger you may face throughout the day. It could also stop you from making purely emotional decisions that may not be the best decisions to make.

Throughout your day, ask yourself how you are feeling. If you are feeling good or bad, ask yourself why you feel this way. Maybe you are having an emotional reaction to what someone did to you or for you. Before getting upset with them, consider if the inciting situation has a different explanation aside from the one you are currently telling yourself. Sometimes it is the stories we tell ourselves that are the main cause of our discomfort.

Once you have done all of that, ask yourself what is the best way to get out that emotion. Should you scream? Should you vent? Another question to ask yourself is if there is a better way to cope with your feelings. Sometimes screaming is not the best way to cope. Instead of screaming at your significant other, scream in a pillow at home instead. Maybe taking a few deep breaths is more appropriate.

As long as you are thinking about alternatives to your current situation and your feelings, it will be much easier to control your emotions instead of working off of your knee-jerk reaction.

Be Accepting Of Your Emotions

Avoid downplaying your emotions. Give yourself permission to feel those feelings. Do not feel about feeling those feelings either. Do not invalidate your experiences! If something makes you so happy you could leap into the air, do it! If something makes you feel super sad, express that. Do not tell yourself to “calm down” or “it’s not that serious.” It is serious to you and that is what matters.

Once you become more accepting of your emotions, the good ones and the bad, you will become more comfortable with them. The more comfortable you are with your emotions the less likely you will react to a triggering situation in a way that does not serve you best.

The impulse to judge your emotions is common and everyone struggles with this in different variations of difficulty. Remember that your emotions are not good or bad. They are neutral. They hold useful information that can help you improve, even if the emotion itself may feel unpleasant.

Journal

Before you cringe at the thought of keeping a journal, try it out. Writing down your emotions and the responses you have to those emotions can help you clearly see patterns. Often when something happens that triggers intense emotions, you may have the instinct to run through the situation in your mind over and over again. Take it a step further and put words on paper. Sometimes the act of writing something can help you reflect more deeply on your feelings and your triggers.

Think of journalling as a way to keep track of the things that trigger you. Once you know your triggers, you can catch yourself before falling back into those patterns that no longer serve you. If you want to truly reap all the benefits journaling has to offer, make sure that you stay consistent with it at least once a day. Make note of all your triggers and reactions to those triggers. Use your journal to explore different, more productive ways to express your emotions.

Remember To Breathe

That sounds too good to be true, but remembering to breathe can impact the way you process your emotions. Life happens fast. Sometimes it happens so fast, we barely have time to process. Taking some time to yourself to deeply breath can clear your mind in a moment of rage or it can help you fully enjoy a moment. Taking a deep breath gives you between the moment something triggered an emotion and your reaction to it. In between that breath you can check in with how you are feeling and why. You can ask yourself those questions like what is the alternative explanation that makes sense. All of that can happen in the time it takes for you to complete a few deep breaths.

If breathing deeply is not your thing, do not worry! It can be your thing! All you have to do is try. Get in a comfortable position and try deep breathing exercises before you start your day. When you take a few deep breaths, remember to breathe from your diaphragm as all deep breaths come from there. Once you have breathed in so much that your belly is rising, hold it in for three counts and release slowly. You can take it a step further and add a mantra that you say to yourself while doing your breathing exercises.

Understand That There Is A Time And A Place

Expressing your emotions is imperative to being able to control them, but you must understand that there is a proper time and place to express those emotions. There are some situations in which an emotional outburst is acceptable. Maybe you lost a loved one and are stricken with sadness and anger. Crying into your pillow, punching your mattress or screaming is a great way to express emotions.

The challenge comes when there is no space for you to do these things. You then have to determine if expressing your emotions in this way is the time and place. You cannot yell at your boss and expect to keep your job. You cannot slap the cash register because your card got declined otherwise you will go to jail. You have to be mindful of your surroundings and what the situation calls for. This can help you determine if this is the right time and place to express your emotions in this way.

Give Yourself Space To Process

Sometimes triggering emotions happen so fast, it can be overwhelming to process. That is why giving yourself space to process is so important. When you create a mental distance between yourself and your emotions by taking a walk, watching something that makes you laugh, talking to someone you love and spending a few minutes with your pet, you are better able to process those difficult emotions.

Stuck in Self-Isolation? Here Are Some Simple But Useful Home DIY Projects: Guest blog by Brandon Smith

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(image : Paper Mart Blog)

With the world in turmoil right now and lots of cities across the world closed, many of us are stuck in self-isolation at home. Why not start a DIY project?

With the sun coming out quite a lot over the last few weeks across many parts of the UK, and government guidelines only allowing limited travel, now is the time to make use of being at home.

Not all B&Q, Homebase and other hardware outlets are open across the country, but most companies offer online delivery of any product you would need to buy for a project. 

Why not also involve some of the people who live with you? If you have small children and you’ve decided to spruce up the garden, then why not place a table outside so they can paint their garden while you work on yours?

Here are some simple home DIY projects you can do while at home under lockdown:

 

Make a Sharpie Mug

This is a quick and easy one for the children. Buy a handful of plain mugs from your local supermarket, along with a few Sharpie permanent markers (choose different colours if you like). Then, draw or write your design on the mug and pop in the oven at 175oC for 30 minutes. Once cooled, your self-made mug is yours to use and keep!

 

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(image: Pinterest)

Paint the Garden Fences

It’s usually a job left until the Summer, but getting outside in the Sun is good for vitamin D levels and being in the sunlight helps to boost our mood and immune system. Painting the garden fences is a simple DIY project, but once you’ve completed it the satisfaction looking at a job well done and ticking off another box on your list of Summer jobs is sure to make you feel better about being indoors.

 Simple Custom Shelves

You don’t need a fancy kit when it comes to building some shelves indoors. All you need is some wood, brackets, a saw and a cordless drill/driver. This is a one or two-person job, and it won’t take you all day, but putting up some shelves will help with storage (whether in the kitchen, living room or bathroom). Be sure to use the right tools for your project! If you’re unsure about saws and drilling, there are many resources such as hints, tips and full guides available online.

Mosaic CD Mirror

Want to add a bit of a wow factor to a mirror in your hallway? Take an old mirror or order a cheap one online (eBay or Facebook marketplace usually have some) and put a frame around it that has a good 3 to 4 inches space. Then, cut up a bunch of old CDs (preferably ones that don’t have lots of scratches on them) with some plastic scissors or toughened kitchen ones, cover the pieces with glue (like Copydex you used in school) and stick them to the frame. Once it’s done, you’ll see an abundance of colour and reflections when it’s on the wall.

Firefly Night Lanterns

The is super simple, and the kids will love them. You should order the following from your favourite online retailer:

  • Glow sticks (one for each jar)
  • Glitter
  • Large jam or marmalade jars (or use some of the empty ones in the cupboard)

Take a glow stick, cut the top off and empty the contents into the jar, then sprinkle in some glitter. Attach the lid and seal. Shake the jar so that all of the materials are distributed. Then, either close all of the curtains in your front room or wait until it goes dark outside, and you’ve got a night lantern with fireflies in. The children will love them.

Window Shutter Mail Holder

We don’t tend to use window shutters all that much in the UK, but they are common in the rest of Europe. You’d think that means they are hard to get a hold of, but used ones can be found on marketplaces like eBay. Once you have one, take the shutter and sand it down. Then, paint with whatever colour you want and allow to dry. Depending on the shutter, paint colour and type of paint used, you might need more than one or two coats.

Then, drill some holes in the wall and fix the shutter to the wall with raw plugs and screws. All of your mail that the postman brings can be put into the slots, and everyone can see who each letter is addressed to – a great way to show the children where mail can go when it comes in the post.

 

Body Pillow

If you have children, then you’ll be spending a lot of time doing fun things while at home. And, for many families, this involves some relaxing in the front room.

When shopping in one of the larger supermarkets, pick up some cheap pillowcases and stuffing, Or you can buy some pillows. If buying pillows, you’ll need four pillowcases and the filling from two pillowcases for one body pillow.

When you get home, lay out the pillowcases as you would if you were using them to sleep on: placing them next to each other on the floor to create a caterpillar. Fill the pillowcases with the stuffing or pillow material and stitch up the sides. Then, sew the pillowcases together to create your body pillow.

 

Being stuck at home all day doesn’t mean you need to sit there doing nothing or watching multiple episodes on Netflix while also feeling bored and drained. It’s important to take control of your mental health and well-being and keep yourself busy with activities that bring comfort and joy. Try some of the DIY projects above and let me know how you get on.

 

Brandon Smith is an Editor at TheSawGuy.com – a woodworking & DIY resource for everything from comparing the best table saws and miter saws, down to home and garden project