5 OF THE BEST BOOKS FOR YOUR MENTAL HELP

Mental health illnesses can be very isolating, whether you have depression, anxious, bipolar, OCD or an eating disorder. Disordered come in all shapes and sizes, however, they all have a way of making you feel claustrophobic and reclusive. One of the main things which helped me through my darkest time was finding books which

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

subtle

As someone who suffers from anxiety, I often care too much about what people think – I give too many fu*ks about people’s opinion of me and it can leave me feeling sick and overwhelmed!

I was recommended this book by one of the girls I use to work with and I’m SO glad she did. As the book says, there are only so many things we can give a fu*k about.

And because there are only so many things we can give a f*ck about we need to figure out which ones really matter! I really connected with this book, it highlighted to me that while money is nice and obviously has its importance, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

Reasons To Stay Alive 

reasons

I have so many things I could say about this book, the prerogative title caught my eye – in my darkest moments having something to relate to and give me a little bit of light is comforting. This book was honestly the first thing that made me realise I wasn’t crazy – I wasn’t alone and it was so freeing. There is a point in the book where Matt Haig says in his darkest moment he didn’t want to be alive – he didn’t want to kill himself, but he just didn’t want to be alive. When I read those words I burst into tears – I’m been feeling that way on and off for years, and to know someone else felt that way too was heartbreaking, it is also felt like I could breathe again for the first time in a long time – it was a release and relieving – I’m really interested in reading more of Matt’s work, it’s really rare that some-ones story mirrors your own and makes you feel less alone.

We’re Going to Need More Wine

GU.jpg This might seen like an usual choice, but I really enjoyed Gabrielle’s book – it was raw, honest, funny and incredibly touching. Fortunately there are experiences in Gabrielle’s life which I cannot and will not fully understand – but as a woman who has been in a dark place, I can empathise and sympathise with her. I think it’s so brave and moving when people open us and share their experience and tell their stories with others – it breaks down barrier and reaches out a hand to those who may be suffering. Throughout, she compels me to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds me of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.

 

You Do You

ydy.jpg This book is written by the same author who brought us The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuckand Get Your Shit Together. Sarah Knight’s no-holds-barred method to helping you do you to the best and truest of your ability. Sarah Knight’s writing confronts the idea that “being yourself” is nowhere near as simple as it sounds, especially in an age of sky-high expectations fuelled partly by the growing influence of social media in 21st century culture. Here she builds people’s confidence to ditch perfect and rip up the rulebook that would tell us how to live our lives by sharing her own mistakes and embarrassments. You Do You is the proof you were looking for that, actually, we all mess up, and it’s fine. So stop beating yourself up.

 

The Mindfulness Colouring Book

MC

Finally, something a little light hearted – a mindfulness colouring book! The hobby is used as a calming relaxation tool with nostalgic undertones, people use them as a way to express creativity and unplug from the digital and screen heavy modern world.

 

 

So… it’s been a little while

So, it’s been a little while and I haven’t written a blog post in months and to be honest I’ve not really had the motivation. I’ve not had anything to say, and I’ve not had the time or energy to sit down and write.

As I’ve mentioned on my blog before I suffer from anxiety and depression and sometimes that can knock me off my feet completely! In the run-up to Christmas I was starting to run on empty mentally and my main goal was to keep head above water and enjoy the Christmas break, it was amazing and I relaxed with family and friends. During the break I promised myself that 2018 was going to be my year, I was going to conquer the next 12 months and improve every aspect of my life! Unfortunately, it been a tougher start to the year than I imagined and 2018 hasn’t kicked off with the force I wanted it to – my anxiety has come back in a dark and nasty way, leaving me powerless and a little bit of a mess – as I get older I find it more difficult to talk about my anxiety as I know some people will never understand and I know it will never go away. I’m not ashamed I have a mental illness, but from time to time I do feel a little pathetic and down on myself.

Firstly, I’m writing this post as a little bit of therapy, to admit to myself how I’ve been feeling and to stop brushing it under the rug as January blues or a couple of down days. Secondly, to hold myself accountable i’ve let things fall by the waste side, like seeing my family, posting on my blog and generally being positive. Thirdly, I want to be honest with my readers (if I have any left) because I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.

I am determined to turn this year around and not let January be the preview of 2018, so one of my goals is to keep my blog up and running! Not for the views, or the comments (although they do mean a lot), but instead, because I love writing for I was so proud of my blog last year. This year won’t be perfect and I’ll doubt I’ll be positive 24/7 but I really want to try to improve it. I’m working on some amazing blogs for this year and I can’t wait to share them with you and to make this year one to never forget.

If anyone reading this is struggling, please remember you’re not alone, people out there do understand where you’re coming from and are willing to listen. It’s OK not to be OK but it’s not OK to give up on yourself – just give yourself some time to heal and take care of yourself.

 

Sarah

x

WHY IS SELF-CARE IMPORTANT?

The definition of Self Care is:

The actions that individuals take for themselves, on behalf of and with others in order to develop, protect, maintain and improve their health, wellbeing or wellness.

Why is self-care important?

Whether you’re some-one who suffers with an illness (physical or mental) or not self care is really important. All of us are constantly on the go with our social lives, work, families and other commitments and from time to time it can all become a bit much. As some-one with a full-time job, a blog, a social life, a boyfriend and family who like to see me (for some strange reason), and a mental health issue I think it’s really important that I give myself a break from time-to-time. I know the above paragraph makes it seem like i’m throwing myself a pity party but i’m definitely not! I know there are people out there who have 10x the amount on their shoulder that I do and it so important to recognise this and check out for a moment or two.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 21.59.31

There are a number of things which I really enjoy doing when I need some self-care, firstly, I love going for a run or a really long walk – nothing makes me happier than plugging in my music and just losing myself for an hour or two – i’m really lucky that my parents live in an area which is close to the countryside! I believe getting out into nature with fresh air and time away from your phone and laptop is really important – it give you time to think, re-evaluate and get a little bit of light exercise which help the endorphins to start pumping.

The second I do when I need some time out is a digital detox! I believe all social media apps from my phone (if I still need to have my phone on me), I close my laptop and forget about the world online. I know this might sound strange or drastic but comparing yourself to the lives on people you see through a filter (mostly Valencia or Ludwig) is not healthy and it’s easy to forget that everything you see has been brighten, tighten and whatever else you can do with editing app these days. So turn off your phone, unplug you computer and give yourself a breather – then you’ll realise that you’re probably smashing it!

Another tip which I find really effective is to mix up your routine once in a while, this doesn’t have to be finding a new job or moving country – it can be really small but  something which will re-stimulate your mind, it can be simple like finding a new way to work, buying a new outfit or going out for some food or a drink afterwork if you normally rush home! As they say variety is the spice of life.

Last, but definitely not least is pampering – it’s important to take pride in your appearance, not for vanity reasons but to re-establish your self worth and how f*cking amazing you are (pardon my language). I love to take long hot baths with essential oils, bubble bath, bath salts and all that fun stuff. Recently I’ve been struggle with my self-worth and I’ve seen a few red flags of my anxiety and depression, so the lovely team at Baylis & Harding sent me a little care kit which included a linen rose and cotton bath and shower creme, linen rose and cotton bath salts (actually incredible), a exfoliating mit, three gorgeous luxury bath soaks, one of which has grapefruit in it and it’s actually heavenly! To top it all off they came in this gorgeous basket which I can store all of my products in! I used some of the products tonight after a run and I literally could feel my stresses melting away, therefore, I thought it would work perfectly for this post. It’s little simple things like this which can make you feel so much better! I find soaking off a long hard week really therapeutic.

IMG_3178

FullSizeRender 5

When Depression Hits

At the age of 19 I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression – my depression materialised in a number of ways – eating too much, eating not enough, not sleeping, sleeping until noon, crying uncontrollable and emotionally checking out and so on, I was all over the spectrum and from then I’ve had my highs and lows with depression.

This week, well on Friday my depression decided to make an unwelcome appearance once again. When I say make an appearance I don’t mean that my depression come and goes at will, but a large amount of the time my depression doesn’t overly affect me, it’s like a light humming in the back of my mind which I can ignore and work on to silence it. However, there are times when that light humming becomes an intense screaming alarm which clouds my mind and makes everything harder. So, like I said on Friday my depression hit me like a tonne of bricks and it was a massive shock to the system as this hasn’t happen in a very long time. On Friday night I got home from work at around 5:30pm and sat in my bed and then fell asleep with some waking up in between until 9am the next day – I was meant to go out with my family for food and drinks but I just couldn’t do it, my mind and body wouldn’t connect and the thought of getting up and ready was too much for me to handle – so I stayed in bed and protected myself from everything. I appreciate to this might sound a bit pathetic to some-one who doesn’t suffer and can’t understand but this isn’t laziness, it’s your body going into defence mode and putting up the shutters to anything which might trigger it more. So Saturday rolls around and I have all these plans in my head to get up, go out shopping, call up some friends for a drink etc! It’s a beautiful Saturday so why not hey? Yet none of these things happened, I didn’t really leave my room if I’m honest and it sounds so pathetic to admit this but it’s true – I locked myself away with some films, some food and some H2O and spent my Saturday on my own dealing with my emotions.

Personally, I find depression incredibly isolating even though I have people around who love me and try to understand what I’m going through, but I know they don’t understand and they will probably never truly get it. I remember sobbing to my mum about how I didn’t want to be this way and I wanted to get better but I just couldn’t seem to work out how and being so frustrated that there wasn’t a permanent solution to my problem – just bandaids which help me cope from time to time. I’ve been on anti-depressants and in counselling for my depression which have both helped and I would recommend looking into all options for some one who is struggling but I think we can admit it’s a big thing to overcome that this is something that will also be apart of us.

So, now it’s Sunday and i’m two days into my low and I’ve showered and left my flat to pick up some things and do a little bit of shopping – so we are moving in the right direction, I’m still avoiding phone calls (not important one) just off some friends and family who are just checking up on me, but they know how I shut down slightly when this happens. My depression makes me feel hopeless and pointless and so unmotivated – I don’t means this in a way that it makes me want to end my life, just in a very ‘what is the point’ kind of way. I don’t know how long I’ll be in this phase – previously I’ve been here for a month, 2 weeks, a couple of days it really depends and there isn’t a rhyme or reason. Seeing how this is something I’ve been dealing with for almost 5 years I believe I am getting better with how I deal with it and how I react to the situation – I use to so angry and I would snap at everyone for saying the simplest of things, I use to shout at my mum so often and always have to go and apologise once I had realised how nasty I had been, but now I feel that I deal with it in a healthy way.

I thought it would be interesting to talk about my depression when I’m in the eye of the storm so to speak and honestly this has been very therapeutic – I hope anyone suffering with depression seeks the help they need and I hope they realise it will pass. Please let me know your thoughts and if you find this helpful/interesting!

Sarah

x