My Self Care

Hello! I thought i’d come back and do a little post on what self care strategies i use to calm down and cope, whether its day to day or every now and again.

I really struggled with self care last year, i felt guilty for taking time to make myself feel better. I almost didn’t think i deserved to feel better, But since seeing my therapist i’ve learnt that you have to look after yourself! We give so much time and energy to making everyone else happy that we neglect ourselves.

First off – Social media break

I take a break from Facebook and instagram for a few weeks every two/three months. I get so consumed by wondering what everyone else is doing and comparing my life to theirs. Instagram isn’t real life. Please always remember that. You only ever see the best bits and we all have those. So yeah, i delete the apps off my phone and have a detox for a week or two!

Reading

This is a huge self care for me. I find it really hard to sit and watch a film, i think i just can’t fully commit to knowing i’ll have to sit down and focus on a film for so long, especially when i already know what’s going to happen. As for reading – I just get lost in a book. Everything else disappears and i can fully engross myself into the story, i love it! I read a few times a day now, Usually i sit somewhere quiet on my lunch break and read and also once i’m home i have a little read and then before i go to sleep. At the end of last year i joined a library, to save money.

Walk/going to the beach

Our beaches are my favourite places to go. There is nothing better for me than breathing in the fresh air, looking out at sea and collecting sea glass and shells. My ultimate favourite!

Skin care

I love a bit of skin care.. It’s especially a good idea to do a face mask before a shower, so you can’t change your mind about showering ! Although i do have Contact Dermatitis so i can’t just use any old face mask or cleanser! I have to use Dermalogica, which is amazing but super expensive. Although i have used a nip + fab face mask and they are amazing. I’m hoping i can switch to that brand and save myself a lot of money!

I do take a lot of pride in my skin and i do not wear make up unless i’m having a drink/it’s an occasion, this is just my personal preference.

Writing down your feelings

I used to really enjoy journalling but i think since i’ve been sharing so much on twitter, i don’t use it as much.

Music

This is a really good idea to take out and about with you though, especially if you’re anxious about going away, then you have your journal with you to write down how you’re feeling, it does help!

For me, music is a huge mood influencer. Even just stick the radio on if you’re feeling your mood begin to change. I’m not saying it’ll cure your moods, I’m just saying that you can’t beat a little bop around whilst listening to your favourite music.

Little people give me hope

Some people think I’m crazy as I work full time whilst battling with my own brain. But the truth is, I couldn’t live without my job.

I work 40 hours a week Monday to Friday in a nursery as a supervisor. I’ve worked full time since I was 17 years old, it’s just the way I’ve been brought up.

I personally have to work full time to cover my rent, bills and life. There is no way I could cut my hours down and because of my title and responsibility at work, this is also not an option.

So, I manage a team of 8 ladies between the age of 18 and 62.. we look after children between the age of 2- preschool, we can take up to 49 children a day.. it’s hard work. It’s also extremely hard to try and control and manage 8 ladies.. it’s bitchy and can be a little like being back in high school.

The one thing I really struggle with most about working full time is getting up in the morning, especially if I’ve had a bad night. But at the same time, my job gives me purpose and seeing all those lil faces in the morning keeps me going.

Unfortunately, my managers aren’t very supportive of my mental health, they know I suffer from bad anxiety but that is all they know. I will keep it this way as it’s easier than trying to explain something that they would not understand.

Day to day, everything is different. I am a completely different person at work to what I am when I leave work. At work I am confident, I am silly, I am ok. But being all those things at work does have an affect on my life at home, as I hold everything in at work and then let it all out at home.

But, as my title says, little people give me hope.

What would you say to your 14 year old self?

I would tell my 14 year old self that your first love will hurt like hell. That it won’t be forever and as painful as it will be when it’s over, It’ll shape you into the person you are today. Don’t focus on that boy, focus on bettering yourself for the future and please please get your head down at school. Don’t follow the wrong crowd just to fit in, do your exams and look for the future.

Mum and Dad will be hard on you and strict, but it’s for the best. They know you more than anyone, they know and want what’s best for you.

Be strong. Be really strong. You will get hurt, get bullied and lose people close to you, you will grieve but everything will be ok. Get through it. Keep going. You are so young, your heart won’t always hurt like it does now.

Eat. Seriously, no restricting and stop lying to Mum & Dad about skipping meals. You don’t need to do this to yourself, you’re fine the way you are.

Don’t try too hard to make friends and be in with certain people, once you leave high school, everything changes. You realise the people you went to school with, your best friends, were only friends because you seen each other everyday. You will feel sad and lonely when you realise this, but there are so many amazing people about to walk into your life.

Just remember, you’re so young and naive, enjoy your teenage years, before you know it you’ll have to think about your future.

Mental Health Meds – my view

Hi guys! If you’re reading this then, thank you!

I thought my next post would be on my views about taking medication for mental illness and my own personal journey with meds.

I started my first course of antidepressants when i was around 17, this was fluoxetine. If i’m completely honest i cannot remember back to the age of 17, but i do know that coming off them by going cold turkey was the worst idea I’ve ever had.

I came off Fluoxetine after about 8 months, as i thought i was well enough to survive without them, mostly because my family and friends didn’t agree with meds and went by the whole “you can’t just put a plaster on it.. you need to actually deal with your issues”

Anyway, i ended up back at the doctors as i was extremely suicidal and low. I was put on Sertraline to help my low moods and PTSD (thats another blog post to come..) Anyway, i went on Sertraline and i began to see a slight improvement, after getting worse for the first few weeks. I continued taking Sertraline until about 4 months after getting into a serious relationship, this also because his views on meds weren’t great, he didn’t really understand. So, cold turkey again! Thought i would of learnt the first time around..

After coming off Sertaline by myself, it was a horrible horrible time of my life. I was having mental breakdowns at least once a week, panic attacks at night time and I just couldn’t get out of bed and i was losing all my friends. This went on for two and a half years.. two and a half fucking years. I tried meditation, journaling, you name it. But i just wasn’t getting any better. It got to the point where i was having mental breakdowns nearly daily and i thought – fuck this! Get me to the doctors ASAP.

I called my workplace and said I was in a bad way and needed to go to the doctors so i wouldn’t be in. I went to the doctors and explained everything that had been happening and he was surprised i’d survived! So i said Hi to sertraline again and took a full week off work to rest and get my body used to it. (i was so spaced out and drowsy!) I fully opened up to my friends about how much i had been struggling and they were all so supportive and still are now.

So here i am now, I have been back on meds for 4 months and i feel so much better. I honestly don’t think i would be alive now, if i hadn’t of gone to the doctors when i did. I am GRATEFUL for medication and i am not ASHAMED or EMBARRASSED to be taking meds to help me enjoy my life more than i did.