Mental Health Doesn’t Pick Sides.

Once again the UK is divided (where’s the head-in-hands emoji?), this time it’s about the viability of covid-19 lockdowns, and the battlefield, once again, is the media and social media.

I’m all for people expressing views, but I still can’t get my head around the way people behave and talk to others, especially on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.  It’s what I call ‘The Kindergarten Wars’ (which is unfair on kids in Kindergarten because they’re probably more well behaved than most adults) because the arguments descend into a slagging match, where if you don’t agree with someone they simply tell you you’re stupid or start name calling.

I sometimes wonder what the country would be like if all the ‘armchair’ politicians actually got off their arses and did something?  We now have an army of armchair covid-19 experts, who seem to have all the answers.  A lot of fingers get pointed, and blame allocated, but how many people actually take physical action to change things for the better?

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Looking for the Positives in the Storm.

It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a rather unique year.  You don’t need me to re-cap everything and I’m certainly not going to dwell on the negative stuff, instead I want to try and start the new year with a degree of optimism.

I know some of you may not feel very optimistic and have good reason to struggle to see any light at the end of the tunnel.  Trust me, it has taken a lot for me to get writing again, let alone write an ‘optimistic’ blog, considering my experiences of the last 5 months, but I hope this story may help.

Back in August we got a call from our lettings agent, telling us that our Landlord was selling the house and therefore terminating the tenancy.

My initial reaction was rather spectacular, I basically fell apart.

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Going Out? Make Sure to Monitor Your Anxiety Levels.

With the re-opening of shops and parts of the hospitality industry, we are entering a new phase of the Coronavirus pandemic, which will have further implications for our mental health.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to do things, not to go to the pub, or go shopping, because it would come from a very biased view, one that is very much based on my own fears and anxieties (which are sky high at the moment).

What I would like to say is to make sure that if you are going out, that you become even more aware of your anxiety levels, as well as the levels of those you are with. 

“pace yourself, be kind to yourself and to others; you wouldn’t expect your body to be able to sprint a marathon, so don’t ask your mind to do it.”

Everyone’s mental health has taken a bit of a battering recently, and now is just another stage that we have to try and adapt to, and this can be really challenging for the brain. Read more

Mental Health Awareness Week: Kindness & Self-Compassion.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme is kindness.  While a lot of the focus will probably be aimed at being kind to other people, I would like to focus on Self-kindness and the positive effects it can have on our physical and mental wellbeing.

In my last blog, Why Now May be a Good Time to Start Meditating, I highlighted how dangerous negative thoughts and emotions, such as anxiety, can be for our health. 

The further we traverse into the uncharted territories that this pandemic is presenting to the world then the more important actions such as kindness are.  As people become more afraid and stress increases, words such as kindness, love and care seem to get forgotten, replaced by anger, frustration and an urge to find someone to blame.

Numerous studies have shown that emotions such as anger and hatred can be a significant cause of premature death.  Dr Redford Williams at Duke University, and Dr Robert Sapolsky at Stanford University have conducted studies that showed how anger, rage and hostility are particularly damaging to the cardiovascular system.  Read more

Strange Days….. Dealing With Self Isolation, Fear & Panic.

“Panic is a sudden desertion of us, and going over to the enemy of our imagination.” – Christian Nestell Bovee

The current situation with Coronavirus has probably given a lot of people an insight into panic, and how our brain and body reacts to situations of immense stress and fear.

The well used phrase ‘panic buying’ sums it up perfectly.  As soon as we are confronted with fear, we go into fight or flight; this is our primeval reaction that has been hardwired into our brains during prehistoric times (Understanding Anxiety, Panic & Depression: Part 1 – Anxiety).  This is just another example of where this built-in response isn’t really suited to the modern world.  It is natural to want to protect ourselves and our loved ones, hence why some people have turned to stockpiling food, but this has a negative effect on the communities that we live in. Read more