Today is World Mental Health Day and little did I know this time last year that I have my own issues with mental health.
I feel like I’m heading in the right direction and people have asked what things have helped me so here are some of them:
- Seek help
The biggest thing was realising that I had a problem/problems and seeking help. I was afraid to tell my doctor and my family, mainly because I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
Talking to people though has been the most helpful thing that I’ve done. The moment I started speaking about depression and anxiety I realised that I wasn’t alone and that most people are very understanding.
Try to get a good nights sleep – yes I would have rolled my eyes at this one too. I was on sleeping tablets at the beginning and whilst I wouldn’t recommend them I really couldn’t have coped with many more sleepless nights. I’ve also tried herbal drops, sleepy tea and most other things I can think of. I do fall asleep but I wake up at around 3am thinking of various conversations I’ve had over the last 40 years and how many people I’ve offended. There is always the temptation to read, look at my phone etc. So I’ve stopped doing that now and try to concentrate on my breathing which usually helps me fall back to sleep. If you can’t sleep at night try to rest during the day, I know easier said than done.
4. Eat healthily
Another eye rolling one but it really does help me. I find if I eat shite I will feel shite and although I did go through a ‘beige food phase’ I’m trying to eat healthily most of the time…cake is healthy right? 😉
5. Get some fresh air
I know, I’m sure your eyes have now rolled so far back in your head you’ll never see daylight again! I’m not going to say go for a walk because honestly I would probably have decked the next person who told me that!
Not everything has to be done this minute. If you aren’t feeling the best put off whatever you can until another day and just do the important things. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either, people are only too happy to help. If queues are a problem (and they were for me) I used to ‘forget’ something when I got to the till so that I could go and get it and not have to queue – sounds daft but it works.
7. Do something you love
Is there a hobby or activity you’ve always loved? Why not give it a try? Getting back into the photography really helped me. I’m also finding that exercise is helping too – it certainly makes me feel better. Driving with my music loud is another one for me and also exploring new places.
8. Treat yourself
If you want cake have a cake and enjoy it….this one definitely applies to me!
9. Meet friends
It’s great to have a cuppa and a catch up. Perhaps give the caffeine a break for a while as it certainly made me feel more anxious.
This one was a massive help for me. I carried a notebook everywhere with me and whenever I felt anxious or down I would write. There were poems, ramblings, rants, you name it I wrote it.
You might feel like this dark cloud will never lift, it will though. Every minute, every hour, every day you get through is bringing you nearer to recovery. There is always hope and you are not alone. You might even end up happier than you were before and you’ll certainly end up more understanding.
If you live in Sligo and would like to meet up we are having a ‘Havin’ a Laugh’ Coffee Morning in The Blind Tiger on October 23rd. The Blind Tiger was the venue I wanted to hold these mornings because from an anxiety point of view it’s perfect. You can look into the windows before you go in, there are two doors so if you need to leave it’s easy to do, there is plenty of room there so you won’t feel trapped. When I was in the depths of anxiety The Blind Tiger was one of the few places I could relax in.
The Havin’ a Laugh Charity promotes Life enhancing activities for positive mental health. Enjoy this monthly social occasion for your own sense of wellbeing and every few months there will be a raffle and fundraiser for the Havin’ a Laugh Charity.