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?

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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.

The Benefits of a Sober Living Home- Recovery from Alcohol or Substance Abuse.

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The journey to recovery from alcohol or substance abuse is a long one and is never a straight line. While rehab and detox are the essential first step in sobriety, they’re just the beginning of the journey that can last for a very long time. Going straight back to your previous life and surroundings can be triggering and jeopardise your progress, leading to relapse. 

This is where a sober living home can be the perfect next step on your journey to recovery. These are interim, transitional steps that give you independence based on structure and support. They are designed to help you rebuild your life skills and relationships away from the temptations of drugs and alcohol. 

  1. Additional Time To Recover

The more time and energy you can devote to your recovery, the more successful you will be in maintaining it for the long term. In a sober living home, you will be in an environment where there are no drugs or alcohol to tempt you and find a support network of staff and other residents with which to share the experience. Giving yourself this additional time to recover could be the difference between success and failure.

  1. 24/7 Support

Most sober homes, including Bridgeway Sober Living, have specialist managers on-site 24/7 to give your support and encouragement during your recovery. They are there to help with issues such as feeling depressed right the way through to helping you find a job. 

A lot of the support staff in the sober living home have personal experience with addiction either through their own experience or that of a friend or loved one. 

  1. Meaningful Relationships

A sober living home can let your form bonds with others that aren’t rooted in alcohol. You’ll have lots of things in common and a shared sense of purpose. Your road to recovery will be anything but lonely. 

  1. Rebuilding Life & Social Skills

The basics of everyday life can be difficult for someone in the grip of addiction. Even dressing, washing, and taking out the trash can be beyond some people. Sober living homes allow you to put a structure back into your everyday life that can rebuild your life skills. You’ll relearn how to look after yourself and your surroundings. 

  1. Regain Your Independence

In rehab, your movements and activity are controlled tightly until you’re discharged. Often, going straight back to your former life can be overwhelming. Sober living homes give you the opportunity to start claiming your independence back gradually. You’ll be expected to go out and find your own job, attend social gatherings and look after yourself, all within the safe space of the sober living home. 

Final thoughts

Sober living homes are becoming a viable choice for many recovering addicts. You can find them in all major cities and highly populated areas. They are very well designed, as far away from the stereotype as you could imagine. As part of a successful recovery, they can be the transitional step you need to complete your recovery. 

This post 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

Sending Self Care Packages: A Guide to Sending Gifts

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When our friends and family are struggling with their mental health, it can be lovely to cheer them up with a self care gift.. Sending a gift through the mail can truly brighten someones day. Thankfully, online services and postal offices are generally very helpful when it comes to sending something. The gift could be treats for them to spoil themselves with such as bath bombs, sheet masks, hand and body creams, some inspirational quotes or books or even something soft to cuddle!


Remember that there will be delays during festive seasons

If you’re trying to send a gift during a festive season such as Christmas then remember that the postal system is probably overloaded with packages and there will be delays. Don’t expect things to arrive on time and always plan ahead.

Think about the delivery date

If its for a birthday or you want to get them their self care package quickly, its always possible it may not arrive on time. Always plan for the worst and make sure you ship the item/s early so that it at least arrives to them. Think of lovely ideas to cheer your friend or family member up!

Buy it online and send it directly

If you have any concerns or problems with sending a self care gift yourself then the easiest way to handle this is to buy the item online and send it directly to someone. For example, you could send flowers through a store instead of buying them at a florist, attempting to keep them safe in a box, and then sending it. A self care idea is to send bright flowers like sunflowers- which are happy and hopeful or others such as roses!

Do: Always package it properly

If your item is fragile then you’re going to need some serious packaging if you want it to arrive in one piece. For ultimate protection, use a very sturdy box with plenty of protective materials inside. To add an extra layer of protection, consider putting the item into a box within another box, if you are packaging it yourself! If online, you wont need to worry.

Make sure its from a reputable company, with good packaging

Make sure any self care gift is packaged correctly and with good, strong materials. It’s great that you’re thinking of reusing some old cardboard boxes for your packaging and padding, but you need to make sure that it’s going to withstand some damage during the shipping process and protects the items within. If from a good trusted company, their packaging should be sturdy enough.

Put a Smile on their face!

Be thoughtful and think of things they will love. I always find that inspirational quote cards, some beautiful flowers or chocolates, bubble bath or something humourous will always cheer people up who are going through a hard time!

How to Cope with Challenging Life Events: Top 4

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Life is filled with many extraordinary moments that can fill your heart with joy and warmth – there is so much to look forward to and hope for. Throughout life, you will experience many of these life changing events; such as falling in love, landing the job you’ve worked tirelessly for, getting that breakthrough you needed in order to make a success of something – but, sometimes something will happen that is less joyous and more painful; these are challenging times and are a real pain to experience in one’s life.

It is a sad but inevitable part of life. Like a rollercoaster going up and down, making loops and causing your heart to soar with glee, every once in a while, the rollercoaster will tip over the highest point on its way to rush down and, for a brief moment, you’ll maybe feel as if you’re going to die. This is what grief and loss feel like – a pain that is so all-encompassing and overwhelming, you feel as if your body can literally not stand it. But, every single time the rollercoaster has flung you from one side to the other, it stops at the drop off point and lets you off to continue with your life.

The key, therefore, is being able to hold on until the rollercoaster, which is your challenging life event, lets you off the hook. That said, here are four challenging life events that may occur somewhere in your life, as well as tips on how to cope with them and not let it get the better of you.

Losing a job

Something almost every single person in the world will experience somewhere in their life. Losing a job can feel like the end of the world. Before you’ve even left the office, you already start picturing yourself living out of a cardboard box; this is you, being dramatic (and rightfully so) because your mind is trying to process what’s happening and exploring all avenues of options. The mind is a pretty theatrical thing, and with his best friend (your heart), the two of them together are what create the doomsday feeling inside you. Granted, losing a job sucks. But, before you start waddling in a puddle of self-pity, try and ask yourself a few quick questions;

How many times a week did you complain about your job? Was it the job you worked your butt off for, or was it only a means to keep your finances going while you worked on what you really wanted to do for a living? Did you even like your job? Asking these questions may help to shed some light on the situation and the actual severity of it. Yes, you don’t have a job now – can you try and get a new one? How about tackling that thing you’ve always wanted to do but were too scared to or didn’t have the time to do because you had your job that is now gone? Instead of seeing the loss of your job as the end, try imagining it as the start of a whole new chapter in your life. You can do pretty much anything you want – to go out there and do it! In the end, you’ll surprise yourself and not look back for a single second at the job you once had. 

Moving to a new location

They say that moving somewhere new has the same traumatic effect on one’s mind as it does when you lose a loved one. This may be true – seeing as by moving to a new location, you’re leaving everything you once knew behind in pursuit of the unknown, which is what most people are scared of. One can start to miss the minor things that you may not even have noticed while living there, like the cup of coffee you used to get at that cafe near your home. Your brain makes the grass on the other side look much greener, which is something we all do from time to time when reliving memories. Whatever reason you’re moving to a new location, whether it be a new job, or going to college, try thinking about all the new places you’ll see, all the new people you’ll meet, as well as the new things you’ll get attached to just as you did the last time. 

Losing a loved one

One of the worst things that could ever happen to you is when you lose a loved one – that’s the “I think I might die from this pain” type of feeling, and you start to deal with grief. Grief is an intense emotion accompanied by a few others, like shock, disbelief, anger, and nostalgia. Losing someone may sometimes feel like the end of the world; after all, you’re never going to see that person is again, and that’s the one thing that makes it so hard to move on. When losing someone, the important thing to do first is to allow yourself to feel every emotion that your body needs to feel – your mind needs to go through all the steps of Coping with grief and loss in order for you to really deal with it in a healthy way. Yes, burying it deep down and hustling through it may feel like the way to go at first, but ultimately, you’re just delaying the inevitable, which is facing the events that took place head-on. Surround yourself with your closest family and friends in this time, they are there for all the good and bad things that happen in your life, and you will definitely appreciate the support even if, at first, it may feel like you want to be left alone. 

Going through a divorce or breakup 

One of the hardest things to accept in life is when you were wrong about someone. Never let anyone tell you your divorce or break up isn’t that bad or that things could be worse – you are allowed to feel whatever you need to feel in order to come to terms with your relationship with someone ending. It’s hard to put into words the amount of time, energy, and love you invest throughout the course of a relationship and watching it end may feel like it was all for nothing. You may even start to feel like if things didn’t work out with that specific person, then it won’t work with anyone, but it’s not the truth. Even when it’s over now, your relationship was not all for nothing – it taught you many lessons, made you the person you are today, and made you the strong, independent individual you are today.

Remember that time spent loving someone is never time wasted. Odds are, there is someone out there right now, hoping to cross paths with someone just like you. And, if you could love the wrong person that much, just imagine the kind of love that will be shared between you and the right one. Take some time alone, enjoy living life on your own, get happy by yourself, and then when you’re ready, be open to meeting a person that will love you no matter what.

One key trait is crucial to deal with and get through all of these challenging life events: resilience. Your resilience is what will get you through in the end – that, and the unshaken belief that you deserve nothing less than the best.

This article was written by a freelance writer

Self Care Ideas for Positive Change in 2021.

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As we move deeper into April, your new year’s resolutions may feel like a distant dream. This is because we often set ourselves large-scale goals that are hard to maintain for long periods instead of introducing small changes that will have a significant impact further down the line. 

As a result, you must understand that sometimes the smallest alterations can have the biggest impact on your life and are often the most effective when it comes to making changes. You also don’t need to wait for the start of a new year to enact them – you can get started whenever you feel ready to do so.

With that in mind, here are some easy ways in which you can put your best foot forward for the rest of 2021 – bringing around positive change in the process. 

Get to grips with your finances.

According to a recent study, around half of the adult population in the UK worry about money on a weekly basis. Therefore, one of the ways in which you can enact positive change in your life is by taking some time to get to grips with your finances – finding new ways to make the most of your money, meaning you can make penny count. This could include: 

  • Setting yourself a budget. 
  • Opening a savings account and putting a small amount of money into it each month.

(image: Feeh Costa on Unsplash)

Take some time for yourself. Sometimes, the biggest changes occur when we start focusing on self-love and development. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can do that, such as: 

  • Focusing on being introspective, trying to understand why you may act or behave in a certain way and how you can alter your perspective of yourself and your current situations. 
  • Spending time doing something you love – whether that means exploring nature or re-reading your favourite book. 
  • Challenging yourself to try something new once a week. Whether that means you introduce a new colour into your wardrobe or pick up a new hobby. 

Participating in a digital detox

Tackle problems and worries head-on.

Nobody likes dealing with issues. We often try to push them aside in the hopes that they will come to a natural resolution on their own. However, this is often not the case – and many problems will intensify the longer we chose to ignore them. Therefore, by tackling them head-on – or at least starting to address them, you can continue to put your best foot forward.

For example, if you spend a lot of time worrying about events that will happen far in the future – think of everything that will happen in your life between now and then. This can help put your anxiety into perspective and teach you that you have nothing to worry about. However, it can also help you plan for the future and ease your mind.  

Make your mental health a priority and get support if needed too from a trusted GP or therapist.

This blog was written by a freelance writer

Body Shop, Confidence and Mental Health: ‘I can’t do what you can do.’


As many of you know, last year I began working as a consultant (and now manager) for the Body Shop at Home. This was after leaving a job due to severe panic attacks that left me not able to attend work or leave the house daily (related to past trauma) . I eventually lost that job, as I had to leave so many ‘normal’ workplaces that weren’t able to accommodate me.

My confidence was on the floor. I lost my job, we lost the flat we were going to buy and then in March, we went into lockdown.

I have had to face many dark times throughout my life, as I am sure you have. However, in the darkest of times I have learnt one important thing- resilience. Resilience is something that helps me when I am on the floor, sobbing my eyes out from a panic attack (or in the past when I felt low and suicidal). Resilience got me through my GCSES, A levels and University. Resilience (and medication) somehow got me through being sectioned in 2014 for my bipolar and having to recover to live again.

I am not perfect but I know what it is like to have no confidence, no self esteem, to be highly anxious or severely depressed and for each day to be a struggle. To feel like you are wading through treacle or for every fibre of your being to be stressed with anxiety.

When I talk to people about my Body Shop journey and the opportunities that it has brought me and my manager Sarah (who also lives with mental illness), people not only can’t believe it but they also tell me:

I can’t do what you do, you have so many supportive friends.’

‘I can’t do what you do, I feel really low in confidence and low on time’.

While it is true I do have wonderful friends and a good network, I still had to build my group, build my business and build my team from nothing. From scratch. I had to familiarise myself with the products, learn what they do and their ingredients. I had to make contact with new people and find new customers via my network. I had to sell to friends and family….which I was petrified of doing.

I thought I couldn’t sell a product as I had never worked in retail. My anxiety and confidence was really low and it took a lot to go live and share the products, play games like bingo and go live in the group.

But people got behind me and because they did, my confidence began to grow. I realised I loved what I was doing. I was good at it. I could help others and work from home with flexible hours. I could rebuild again.

But what I want to ask you is:

Why can’t you do what I do, if you want to do it?

Why can’t you say yes to an exciting opportunity- and have support from me and a great team?

Why can’t you devote an hour in your day to your Body Shop business?

All it takes is a yes, a leap of faith and slowly building confidence. There is no pressure, coming from a background of mental illness, I want to empower and support others (not count sick days). I want to uplift and help, in the spirit of my manager Sarah who is wonderful too.

If you want to change your life and start on a new journey, drop me a message and reach out.

Digital Detox Ideas for Mental Wellbeing.

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It’s no surprise that our mental health is affected by the culture around us and our technology-based lifestyles. Every day we are bombarded with stimuli and information that influences our mental and emotional states and alters our opinions and worldviews. This is happening all the time, every day.

Today, we spend so much time online that it has become second nature, and we are losing important social skills and mental abilities that were once considered essential for a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to remember the impact technology has on us and adapt our lifestyles to include more nourishing practices. You can do this with a digital detox, read on to discover more. 

Spend time offline 

Depression comes in many forms and is very common. You can be mildly depressed due to a situation eg something that happened in work, or clinically depressed meaning you have a low mood that doesn’t seem to go away and only medication seems to help. Any state of depression can be exacerbated by using the Internet. 

Those who overuse the Internet are prone to depression, researchers have found. This may be due to the lifestyle of heavy Internet usage that limits social contact and encourages a stay at home mentality, but it could also be caused by mental feedback loops when feeling of depression and low mood are reinforced through Internet behaviour. 

Naturally, there are several solutions to the issue. If you experience low mood coupled with high Internet usage, consider switching off for a period or limiting your usage in the week. Instead of Internet usage, try a different activity such as talking to friends and family or taking a nature walk. 

Limit SmartPhone Usage 

Smartphones are a wonderful invention, as are mobile phones for seniors; they are portable computers and communication tools, essentially. But there are some underlying issues associated with them, especially with regards to mental well being. It’s thought, for instance, that high smartphone usage can increase anxiety and feelings of unease and restlessness. It’s no wonder with so much of our lives dependent on them. 

Smartphones can increase anxiety due to our attachments to using them. We not only store important everyday information on them; we also communicate through them, socially and for work. In some ways, our smartphones have become our gateway to the world, and it’s difficult to put them down sometimes or go a few minutes without checking them for updates. 

Although it’s challenging a successful digital detox will involve a reduction of smartphone usage. You can limit your usage by making certain rules for yourself. The phone is not allowed in the bedroom, for instance, or you are only allowed a certain percentage of screen time per day. Train yourself to use the smartphone less and create discipline by opening up other avenues of communication.  

Log Off Social Media

The Internet is useful for many things, but no one knows what it’s main purpose is; that said if it’s meant for anything, it’s meant for communication. Social media is an online phenomenon that has emerged or evolved throughout the age of the Internet, from chat rooms in the early days, to MySpace and then Facebook and others. There are now 2.7 billion Facebook users worldwide. 

Although this platform is an excellent way to communicate with friends and relatives globally, to start businesses, sell things, and market services, there are some hidden dangers that can lead to anxiety and depression in people, some of whom are unable to escape from their online habits. 

Everyone on Facebook presents the best possible image of themselves, which leads to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem when some people start comparing and contrasting. The reality is that many people experience issues in their lives, and no one is as perfect as how they like to be perceived. Logging off social media for a time can greatly benefit your mental wellbeing. 

Social Media Dangers 

The dangers of social media extend beyond low self-esteem based on comparisons. Facebook and Instagram may be the catalyst for such conditions, but the conditions can then manifest in various ways and cause long term mental and physical health issues. Disorders such as anorexia and addiction can worsen from heavy usage.

A phenomenon that affects mainly women is an increase in body awareness and adaptive behaviour based on the effects of social media. Since so much of social media feeds are occupied with perfect images, some women feel pressured into conforming and changing their body shape to achieve positive attention. This encourages eating disorders like anorexia or body dysmorphia. 

This all points to a reduction in social media usage for improved mental wellbeing. It should also highlight the consequences of comparing ourselves to others. You can limit your social media usage by deleting your apps for a period, perhaps a week or a month. It doesn’t mean you have to leave the website, but train yourself to develop healthier online habits. 

Improve your Sleep

Researchers have found that the average person requires eight hours of sleep per night to go through their full sleep cycles. What’s more, your sleep should happen through the night due to your circadian rhythms – these help keep the chemicals in your brain properly balanced so that you regulate and maintain optimal mental wellbeing. 

Technology can influence and disturb your sleep patterns and cause insomnia in extreme cases. Harford researchers discovered that the blue light from laptops phones and devices was sufficient to reduce the levels of melatonin in your system. Melatonin is the chemical responsible for putting you to sleep. So using your screen every night in bed might cause you to fall asleep later and feel more drained in the morning. 

A digital detox is recommended if you find your sleep pattern is disturbed for some unknown reason.

Make your bedroom and technology-free zone. Leave all your devices elsewhere in the house and take a book to bed instead. Reading a book does not have a digital glow and should help you fall asleep faster. You might also delay your technology usage in the morning shortly after waking. 

Above all, look after your mental wellbeing and detox when you need to.

This article was written by a freelance writer

The Secret Signs of Anxiety.


(image: Unsplash)

We all think we know what anxiety looks like. It looks like hyperventilating, sweating, and a worried look on someone’s face. But the truth is anxiety looks like a lot of different things to different people, and there are some secret signs of anxiety too. 

While you can’t mask all of the physical signs like hair loss, increased or decreased appetite; a lot of anxiety is dealt with in secret. 

Even if you don’t personally have anxiety, it is important that you can spot the signs of anxiety in your loved ones. It will help you to help them. 

There are some common, yet not totally obvious signs that someone (or yourself) is suffering. It is important that you let them know that there are options for support. Sometimes a good conversation and regular therapy can help. Other times medication and rehabilitation like The Banyans might be the answer.

Headaches

Some headaches are caused by dehydration, and others are caused by stress. A stress headache usually happens because someone is holding their jaw clenched tightly, which causes tension in the neck, shoulders and up to the head. The clenched jaw may last through the night, and this will cause headaches. 

Eczema

Note that stress and anxiety cause an inflammation reaction in the body. This, in turn, will cause eczema to flare up. Another issue is that when people are anxious or worried, they tend to sweat more. The sweat will act as an irritant and increase the impact that eczema is having on the body. 

Sweating

As mentioned above, extra sweating can be a sign of anxiety. This is due to the adrenaline that is running through our bodies. The adrenaline is involved in the fight-or-flight reaction, and that ‘state’ is a high alert state. It causes sweating. 

Bad sleep

If you, or someone you care about, are often talking about how poorly they are sleeping, there is a good chance there is something deeper going on. Most often mental health fluctuations will cause a person to sleep more than usual or not at all. Insomnia, nightmares, sleepwalking, disturbed sleep are all common signs of anxiety and stress. 

Illnesses

Coughs, colds, aches, pains, and generally feeling run down are signs of anxiety too. Stress has an awful impact on your immune system. It promotes and overproduction of the hormones that regulate your immune system. This affects the ability of your body to produce white blood cells to fight infection. The weakened immune system means you are more susceptible to illness. 

Stress and anxiety will also impact your mood. It will make it more difficult for you to regulate your emotions. People who are feeling stress are usually irritable and can have mood swings too. Difficulty concentrating can also be a symptom as well as an issue caused by stress and anxiety. Decision making and memory are impacted too. 

If any of these things sound familiar to your then it is time to take steps to reduce your stress and anxiety levels or have a chat with a friend who is exhibiting signs. 

Make sure you look after yourself and speak to a doctor if you are concerned about your health.



This article was written by a freelance writer.