I’ve always felt very different to everyone else. As such an emotional person, the world – especially England – has created a society where we don’t really talk about how we feel.
You can’t control depression, anxiety or many mental health issues. This is something that has annoyed me my whole life. I’ve always wanted a quick fix, a way of not thinking about the negative, dangerous thoughts that have haunted me; but this isn’t a possibility for some of us!
These emotions can come on in waves, sometimes for no reason! We have to not be so hard on ourselves. It sure isn’t an easy fix but working on one thing at a time can make the world of difference.
My parents always said worry is the tax we pay on the inevitable and, yes – this is so crazily true BUT some of us (me!) cannot stop worrying about every single possible negative outcome which isn’t good!
Some ways I can lift my mood and distract myself from the useless worry is by meditating, doing a bit of yoga and stretching. Headspace is a great app which can talk you through it.
When I just can’t quieten my mind I love going on a walk, or spending some time with animals (especially my dog). When you wake up in the morning make a hot drink and take a second to write a few notes for yourself. It can be a couple of questions about what you’re doing or how you’re feeling. I’ve found that some self-reflection is a great way to start the day. I usually follow that with some stretching then a nice big healthy breakfast!! It’s definitely my favourite part of the day.
A really, really great thing to do is called power poses (I don’t actually know if it’s called this but this is my nickname for it!). Try putting your hands on your hips and lifting your chest, keep your head held high and feel the power of the stance! Another is hands and head up! Holding these are a great way to feel stronger and braver.
I think using positive affirmations are incredibly powerful. As a British person (or maybe just as a person) I find it so, so hard to think good things about myself, we are our harshest critics… try saying to yourself “I AM AMAZING” “I AM BEAUTIFUL” because we are all amazing and we are all beautiful. Society leads us to believe that it is only one ‘type’ which we should praise but this is NOT TRUE. Our individuality is beautiful and amazing.
I can’t express how crucial talking to those important people in your life is. Sometimes it’s hard for people to understand what you are going through but just explaining how you feel, exploring and understanding why you might feel that way – this can make a huge difference.
We are all different but so many of us feel such deep emotions that, actually, nearly everyone feels in one way or another. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to have emotions overwhelm you. We are human and we are imperfect and that’s what makes us real and magical. The older I have gotten the more I have realised we all feel a little different, strange and alone. Maybe if people talked even more and were more open about emotions people might feel less lonely!
After suffering with depression, wanting to end my life and having lost a dear friend to suicide, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to find a way to help others who felt that way. I researched charities that deal with mental illnesses and suicide, trying to find something that I felt could really make a difference. I came across PAPYRUS and was inspired, I organised to raise money for them on a 10K run. After a few different fundraisers I reached out to the team – I wanted to do more than fundraise – and they were so incredibly helpful.
I met with them in the London office and I was blown away with everything they were doing. I found myself talking for hours, about how I became so inspired to help with PAPYRUS, about my depression and suicidal moments and also the devastation I felt about my friend’s death – it was still at the forefront of my mind. The office introduced me to the Champions programme, with the potential to do talks and raise awareness directly. They said when I was ready it would be a great way for me to do the voluntary work I wanted.
A few months went by and I did some more fundraising. But all the time, what we had talked about in the office stayed in my mind. I wanted to be a Champion! I organised my ASIST training which was so incredibly insightful. Having been on both sides of the situation, being in a room with so many people who all care about helping people in their dark moments – it was inspiring!