14 May 2015

MHAW15 - WHERE TO FIND HELP & HOW TO HELP YOURSELF

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As you all probably know by now, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week. I have already popped up two posts so far this week; a post talking about general mental health and certain stigmas attached to it and a YouTube video / post on the MHAW theme of Mindfulness. As well as this, I have been featured on Sophia's awesome blog Tattooed Tealady, as one of the contributing bloggers to her MHAW series. You can find the Tuesday post here and stay tuned, as there will be another going up this afternoon, around 5pm UK time I believe.

Today, I thought I would talk a little about where and how to find help as well as ways you can try to help yourself too. Some of the things I talk about may be kind of obvious but I figured I would talk about them anyway :-)

*Before I launch into a list of things, it is really important to say that if you are feeling in a critical state and need help immediately you must act, or get someone to act for/with you, straight away. Mental health charity 'Mind' have a 'I need urgent help' button on their site which you can use and they will get straight back to you. Alternatively you can call the NHS service (UK only) on 111, or, in a life-threatening emergency 999. There are other mental health organisations out there also, but these are just some suggestions.

Other things to think about:

:: Talk (to anyone)
One of the most important things for mental health sufferers is opening up and talking through any problem/thoughts, and I really do mean anything. As people with mental health problems will understand, you can have the most strange thoughts pop into your head sometimes. Trust me, people won't laugh, just say whatever is on your mind. 

:: Seek medical advice
This can be a tough one and you may need to gather some strength as you find the right person for you. Not all doctors are great at dealing with mental health (in my opinion). I partly think this is down to the fact that they are ridiculously pushed for time. If you go to your doctor and he/she cannot help you in the way you felt you needed make another appointment with someone else, keep going. If needs be, take someone with you. It can be hard to articulate your thoughts sometimes, this is where a family member or someone else you trust may be able to help.

:: Help through work
If you have a job, and feel comfortable approaching your personnel department to see if there is a service available to staff, such as counselling, then take advantage of it! It's free and, sometimes, the waiting list is shorter than via the GP. These services should also be available for students in schools and universities, so be sure to check.

:: Keep yourself safe
If you are feeling vulnerable and like you do not want to be alone then make sure you ask someone to come and be with you or, where possible, take yourself to a friend or family member. If you are alone then try to do something that is distracting and uplifting. Put on something totally mindless on Netflix, chuck on a DVD or read a book. Doing things to take your mind off of things really does help.

:: Look after your body
This may sound insignificant when you are feeling in a bad place, but by taking some form of exercise, even a stroll to the local shop for a loaf of bread, can really help lift the mood. Hand in hand with that is feeding your body the right nutrients to ensure it functions the best it can. Good, wholesome nutrition will stabilise blood-sugars too, meaning your mood remains more constant and you don't feel so sluggish.

:: Get outside
If the weather is on your side get out in the garden or any local outdoor space. I know that, for me, if I am in-doors too much my mood can drop dramatically. Stepping outdoors not only warms the bones but lifts the spirit and is a guaranteed pick me up. If pottering about in the garden is not your bag then make a cup of something soothing (camomile or some other kind of herbal tea is always good) and just take 20-30 minutes in the suns rays - clearly, if it is a scorcher of a day then go for some SPF also!

Like I said earlier, these are simple steps but just something to think about really. If you want to chat over anything I have spoken about please leave a comment or email me on fromlucywithlove@outlook.com.
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3 comments

  1. thank you so much for posting this! It's really good that you're helping to raise awareness!

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  2. thank you so much for posting this! It's really great that you're raising awareness!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Harriet. I know these things can be obvious sometimes but hopefully these kinds of posts help some people :-)
      Thank you so much for reading xx

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