Helping yourself when you feel sad, depressed or anxious

Mental Well Being Blog

My self help guide

sad to happyIf I find myself falling into any sort of sadness, depression or prolonged period of anxiety I have a set plan in place for what I do, I don’t always do all of the stages as some work on their own. This is dependent upon my mood. I hope that my plan can be of some help to you.

~ Create goals

Step 1)

Draw yourself a table and insert two columns (I’ll insert some templates underneath). The first of which should be titled ‘past goals’ Now goals that you have already achieved can be absolutely anything, as long as they made you or others around you feel like you achieved something. When my mental health was at it’s worst my achievements could have simply been getting up and making food. So please don’t feel like any achievement is too small.

Step 2)

In the second column include your future goals. Think about where you want to be in a days time, weeks time, months time and a years time and so on and so forth.  Please try and make your goals as specific as possible, and always use positive connotations, positivity is key in this method.

Step 3)

Now explain to yourself why you want what you have wrote. So if you said that you wanted to pass your driving test, figure out why? How is it going to improve your life, perhaps it will give you more freedom?

Side note: After making this once it tends to be something you can just come back to or even add to as you go along. 


“You deserve to heal”


Step 4)

This step is all about channeling your energy (and you might be thinking when your feeling anxious, depressed or sad that you don’t have any energy- I get that). But if you have any sort of energy do something that you can start and complete that you take joy out of. Whether that is crafts, drawing, taking a walk, baking or reading a book.

Here’s my favorite chocolate cake recipe that I make when I’m feeling down:

choc cake

https://www.errenskitchen.com/devils-food-cake/

Why does setting goals help with my low mood? Well for me it was the realisation that what you need to do is entirely dependent upon where you want to get (step 2). So if I wanted to get petrol, driving to the pet shop would be pretty pointless for that goal right? But before I could believe that I could achieve a goal when I’m feeling low I needed to prove to myself that I have achieved goals in the past (step 1).  This is because when I am in this mood I have very negative thoughts and I tend to catastrophize situations. By setting goals I’m attempting to look beyond the feelings and very real emotions that I’m experiencing, I’m envisioning the future without these feelings. Explaining why I want to do something (step 3) tends to make me want to do it more. Completing something like a cake (step 4) gives me a finished product that I can look at and think even when I’m feeling this low I am capable of creating and achieving something (and I get a slice of cake also).

~ Meditate

meditate

Step 1) Find a quiet space, inside or out and get comfortable, whether that is sitting, standing or lying down.

Step 2) Breathe in, breathe out then pause.

Step 3) Breathe in and breathe out.

Step 4) You just completed your first meditation.

Okay so yes that was a very short and sweet meditation but it is exactly where I started. My mother loves to meditate, she finds it like her own little sanctuary but I never could concentrate enough. But I saw the benefits it had on my mum. So I broke it down and I started with a 10 second meditation whenever I felt I needed it. Then 1 minute, 10, 20, 30 until I just meditated for however long my body wanted.

~ Tasks that tackle your negative thoughts

glass.jpg

Do you believe in superstition? 

  1. If I break a mirror do I receive 7 years bad luck? 
  2. If I were to put a pair of new shoes on a table will I have bad luck?
  3. If I pull a funny face when the wind changes will my face really stay like that?

Stay with me with this I know it seems very unrelated. 

So if your thinking no way does your face change because of the wind and anyone who believes that is absolutely crazy. When I feel low in mood my thoughts always seem absolute. So if my head is telling me that I am never going to get better or that I am not worthy of love or friends or my anxiety comes out whilst I’m in a restaurant and I feel like everyone is watching me. When these thoughts occur I believe that they are truthful, rational and valid. What I’m trying to explain is that it never occurs to our thoughts that perhaps thinking that every person in a restaurant is looking at you is irrational and unhelpful?

Next time your experiencing a negative thought, try and stop and think does this help me, is it rational?

sheep

  1. Think about a white sheep
  2. Now stop thinking about a white sheep
  3. Think of anything but a white sheep

Difficult?

This theory highlights how difficult it is for our brains to stop a thought! If you can’t stop something negative surely the only thing is to try and change it? If I’m thinking about how my anxiety is never going to improve, I don’t try to stop this thought. I try to apply the previous theory and think is this rational, and does it help me? It doesn’t help me and it definitely isn’t rational so I change it. Instead of I’m always going to have anxiety I state that I’m currently experiencing anxiety but my future goal is that I won’t. I’ve achieved goals in the past why can’t I achieve this goal? The answer is I can and I will.

I know that this task seems hard work and like it takes a lot of energy that you might not be feeling pretty full of. But just try one step at a time, see if it helps? This won’t be the way for everybody but it helps me and I wanted to share that with others. 

~ Take care of yourself

I cannot express enough how important it is for me to look after my body. When I feel good on the outside it has a large impact upon my mental well-being. Now I’m not saying that in order to be happy you must look beautiful all the time. However, when your feeling low doing things that actively make you feel better on the outside reflect on the inside.

Have a bubbly bath, or a hot sit down shower, paint your nails, or plait your hair, put a face mask on, do your make-up. Any one of these help me, so I hope they help you to.

bubbly bath.jpg

~ Talk

The most important way of dealing with how you may feel when you are low, anxious or depressed is talking. Please find someone to talk to! It is the main reason I feel on the road to recovery because I was finally ready to talk it all out. Emotion is okay, feeling sad is okay, you’re not broken and no-one is going to judge you and if they do send them to me (haha). Whether it is your mum or dad, a teacher, colleague, friend, family member just talk.

You can contact me through this page and I promise to try get back to you as soon as physically possible.

If your not comfortable talking to anyone you know I have attached the NHS website that has numerous helplines. Here you can talk to someone you don’t know and get further help if you need it.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

 

The best book I ever found that helped me and that contributed to a lot of my self help plan was ‘The CBT Good Habit Journal’ by Christine Wilding and Gill Hasson. It is definitely worth a buy. Below is a link to the book.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/147365789X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=147365789X&linkCode=as2&tag=elle1133-21&linkId=85b95bb6f147264f013f8b7fc170f98f


This is just my self help guide it is in no way going to be perfect for you, anxiety and depression requires help from professionals so please seek that. This is just to hopefully give you some ideas and coping methods.


Past Goals

Future Goals

~ Completed GCSE’S & ALevels

~ Learnt to drive

~ Bought my own car

~ Tidied my room

~ Raised money for charity

~ Travel

~ Complete Degree

~ Buy my first house

~ Get a Blue Staffy

~ Go for a walk

~ Eat healthily

Your mess is beautiful

Make-up, Messy people

Mess, beautiful? Yes!

On a weekly basis I am used to being moaned at for my mess, whether it is leaving a mess around the house (SORRY MUM) or “forgetting” to tidy my bedroom before my grandparents come round. What is perhaps only a weekly basis after 19 years starts to feel like I’m moaned at every day, every hour and every minute for being the ‘messiest one in the house’ of a family of five and two dogs!

So here’s why mess is beautiful:

Reason number 1: The ‘messy’ bun vs The ‘neat’ bun

First up: The ‘messy’ bun
messy bun (2)

Above is our generations beloved ‘messy’ bun the effortless way to chuck your hair up, literally some times chuck and still look like you made some sort of effort when leaving the house. This look takes mere moments to prepare for, whether you’re sporting freshly washed hair, or you skipped the shower that morning (for the last 2 days) it’ll work. It requires perhaps a bobble and a few slides.

Rate: 10/10 for its lack of prep and equipment and for the sheer easiness of the whole style.

VS: The ‘neat and tidy’ bun

neat bun (2)

It is undeniable that the second style is somewhat pretty but if we were to try and be metaphorical it would remind us of ourselves at those family parties you really just don’t want to be at: Forced and unhappy. It is the style that would most definitely compliment resting b*itch face. This scraped back look leaves no room for error as a simple hair out of place could cause disastrous consequences. Any sign of grease would be given away immediately due to the perfectness. The preparation therefore would take much longer and the equipment needed would be extensive, whether you use donuts or scrunchies, bobbles, nets, the options truly are endless…

Rate: 6/10 for the fact that less lazy people look beautiful with this perfect style.

Reason number 2: The book shelf

First up: The cluttered book storage

messiness is beautiful tooOkay, so truth be told I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm so hence the reason this comes into our messy vs tidy debate. The way I would always have 2,3 or even 4 books on the go always seemed so perfectly imperfect. Delving into different fantasies whenever I chose, the stories always seemed to be messy, the timeline would jump around from chapter to chapter and in some the narrators would change. So if our stories are messy why shouldn’t our storage of them be a little cluttered?

VS: The neat and sometimes even colour coordinated book storage

14359491_532189953655087_2116274289_nPhoto Credit- My mum.

Now okay it is safe to say that my mother’s colour-coordinated shelf of fiction and non-fiction is a work of art. My love of books was most certainly inherited by her.

Side note:  You should see our dining room now, it is a full libary of books!

So I think  I lost this fight, colour coordinated books look pretty special, and she now has them catorgorised by author and genre. But who has time for that…

Reason number 3: Make-up

The only way: Making one hell of a mess

messy make uoIn the age where we all seem to have become self professed MUA’s, I have most certainly followed this trend. I LOVE make-up, I’m always on the quest to find designer dupes from the high street for financial and investigative reasons, I’ll include some of my fave’s down below. If you were to say that your make-up process is neat and tidy you would be telling a great massive lie, creativity breeds from mess. That beautiful smokey eye your going for took 4 palettes, tape, 2 different concealers and a whole pack of wet wipes.

 

To conclude, whether your a neat or a messy person, it is okay! Neither means your better or worse than someone else, there is beauty in both. But if you’re like me and you’re creatively messy then just remember that if the ‘mess starts to clutter your brain, that’s when it’s gone too far’!

The Journey Begins

My first post

Thanks for joining me at the beginning of my journey!

I’m just a 19 year old girl trying to find where she’s meant to be in the world. Trying being the operative word. I suppose that is what led me to try out a blog. Ready to tackle my Psychology degree at Northumbria University starting in September 2018 after taking a gap year. I hope to somehow be able to help others whilst I embark on my constant journey of life. My mother always has a habit of sending me inspirational quotes so maybe I should share some of them here. Here’s to our first step…

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step”

-Lao Tzu11820477_1455701628070660_208701037_n(1)