Like everyone else, my life has ebbed and flowed, at times I’ve struggled with my mental health, life has felt difficult.
One of the things I often found was, when I was struggling I would feel guilty for it, I felt I had no right to feel this way, many people have it so much worse so I shouldn’t be feeling like this.
I’d beat myself up constantly.
Even after losing my father to cancer within a month, I still didn’t think I had any right to break.
I would think to myself there are people suffering with ill children so I should not be feeling sorry for myself – I was one of the lucky ones.
But putting this pressure on myself was insane, sometimes you cant help how your mind is working, we are human. We get sick, whether that is mentally or physically and it doesn’t mean we are weak or that we don’t appreciate what we do have.
I wanted to write a post for hashtagicare, as I feel the whole movement is such a positive, wonderful thing.
Mental illness of any kind is such a lonely road, unless one has suffered it they never truly understand and you can end up isolating yourself.
There are good, kind, empathic people in this world and if we all come together we can heal.
After losing my father, and then a couple of other life experiences that followed, I found I became more spiritual.
I began meditating more regularly and it honestly helps me so much, I cannot even begin to explain.
If you’re new to meditating it really can feel strange at first, and so I followed the guided ones then went on to listen to meditative music through headphones.
Another complete game changer for me is creativity – anything that you feel you may enjoy….drawing, painting, writing, baking, making music.
I kept getting an urge to paint, so I began painting old furniture or rocks, then I decided to paint my first watercolour of the ocean (trust me it was terrible, but you don’t have to be Van Gogh – its just the process) its so therapeutic.
I also started a blog, and began writing posts and learning how to create them.
It kept my mind busy and was something I could do in my own time, with no pressure and when I felt like it.
I removed any obvious negativity, took the google newsfeed from my phone so I couldn’t see any trauma in the news. Social media platforms like facebook, if its not making you feel good take a break from it.
I stopped feeling a failure if I had a bad day or week.
If I stayed in all day and stared at the wall for most of it, that was ok.
My son was happy, looked after, fed so I celebrated this.
I focused on what I had done, instead of what I hadn’t and eventually realised I am actually much stronger than I gave myself credit for, so if you’re having a bad day and all you’ve done is put a load of washing in that’s a win!
I’m a big believer in gratitude, so rather than beat myself up for feeling unwell I allowed it but practised gratitude at the same time.
Sometimes, you really cant do anything. Like a physical illness can debilitate you, so can a mental one, guilt free rest can be vital. Spend time doing what brings you peace.
The most important thing is to be kind to yourself, struggling with life, your mental health or the way you feel, isn’t your fault and there are people who understand.
We all have a different story, we all have different paths, no one knows what life is like in your shoes.
We grow in the dark, if you keep going you’ll emerge stronger, deeper, kinder and more empathic than you could ever imagine – and the world needs more people like you!