Last week was mental health awareness week.
Six years ago I would not have understood the term mental health for what it is. I'd have thought about the old movies with people in those white straight jackets. But now, after my own challenging journey with mental health, I do understand and that is a positive I can take from the experience, that is, that I do understand and know what it is like to go through anxiety.
I have mentioned it a couple of times in the past but it's not something I shout about as I do feel a little embarrassed about it still, and that is why I think mental health awareness week is a good thing. To educate people and spread the word that it is ok, not to be ok sometimes, and no we're not wandering around in straight jackets.
So over the last 6 years I have been on medication for a short time and been to therapy sessions and now for the last 6 months I have been free of my medication. This was a goal of mine personally, there is nothing wrong with being on medication can I just add. It helped me a huge amount, but I just felt ready to give it a go without and I did it properly by asking my GP and following their advice. It wasn't easy, there were some side effects, but now I feel happy to have achieved my goal.
I still have off days. But like my life coach told me, I don't unpack my bag and stay there.. I'm covering parts of my journey in my new vlog.
So, as it's mental health awareness week I wanted to share three things that I do that help me to stay positive and focused and keep it together in general.
1. Exercise - Exercise is proven to lift mood. In fact I wrote my university dissertation on this very subject 12 years ago. I exercise 5-6 days a week.
2. I make time for me - I schedule in my diary every week, time for me. Whether that is art class on a Monday night or a bubble bath in the morning. (Yes, I set my alarm earlier to fit in a bath and why not?)
3. Eat Well - Have you ever noticed how lethargic you can feel after eating a take away or processed food? So, as much as I can, I prep my own food, then have the odd cheeky take away night. Although I've really got into cooking my own curries now. I actually prefer my own.
These help me, every one is different and everyone will have their own ways of dealing with anxiety.
I just wanted to share and let you know if you or anyone you know has anxiety that you or they, are not on their own. Slowly we are starting to get more awareness about the subject especially with this years London Marathon charity of the year being Heads Together. Here is a link to their website where there is plenty more info.
Leana "Getting stronger every day" Robinson