Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mental Health Awareness Week: A Message From Me To You

The 16th to 20th May is Mental Health Awareness week, so it seemed like an opportune time to write a post about something that has been on my mind for a while. While just as important as physical health, mental health is something which is often left overlooked. Generally, it's reasonably easy to keep ourselves in good physical working order. We can ensure we're eating the right things and enjoying a well-balanced diet, that we exercise regularly, drink enough water or take the right vitamins, for example. What we aren't always so in control of, however, is our mental and emotional well being.

As an individual who has had their own struggles with mental health over the years, this post is a bit of a personal one for me. I've wrestled with my own anxiety, with obsessive compulsive thoughts. I've experienced stress and depression - first hand, as well as watching those closest to me battle through it too. I've also suffered panic attacks. Panic attacks can arise like a bolt of the blue for some people when experiencing extremely high levels of anxiety. If you have never experienced one, I have to say, you're extremely fortunate. I have never felt so entirely out of control as I have when I've been in the throes of an attack. It is all encompassing; the feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach, the inability to catch your breath as you start to hyperventilate, your heart pounding in your chest as tears start rushing down your cheeks because you feel absolutely helpless. I'm pleased to say that it's a long time since I have felt that way and these days I feel much more in control. My experiences have taught me some valuable lessons. Just because our mental health isn't a visual or tangible item, it's still significant and and it still needs to be nurtured.

I believe that we now live in an environment which is unequivocally 'busy', we are part of a society of multi-taskers, where everything is a bit of a juggling act - and that can get very stressful. In my life, I'm trying to balance my demanding full time day job (complete with lengthy commute) with my evening, weekend and every-time-in-between job - my blog. In between all of this, I'm also trying to factor in some exercise 3 or 4 times a week, spend time with my boyfriend, see family, friends and generally maintain some semblance of a social life. And it can be tough.

These days, I have to remember not to be so hard on myself when I don't get the balance quite right. There is no point in working yourself into the ground and then finding yourself getting completely overwhelmed, stressed or exhausted. My message to you, which is the message I am forever telling myself, is that it ok to take your foot off the throttle and look after you for a little bit. So take that break, take that little bit of time just for you when you can disregard the demands of your every day life and most importantly, take care.

Photo taken from Kayla Itsines (Instagram)

1 comment

  1. Such a positive post. It's hard to deal with but you're never alone! I am forever telling friends even if you have just got up today that's an achievement in itself.

    Hana | ♥