The Ultimate Mental Health Handbook

And so, here is the end with my podcast journey. (If you didn’t know, I’ve been podcasting all about mental health for 10 days!) Quite frankly, I never want to touch social media again after being on it so much for 10 days! I may just have to take a bit of a break! I want to say, yet again, a massive thank you to everyone that got involved with this project (and yet to get involved, as yes, there will still be a few more things uploaded in the coming days!) You have all made me so proud, and not only that, but from what I have seen and heard in the last ten days, and everything that I’ve seen in social media, I have every hope and belief that the good fight will be won one day. I love you, forgive you, and understand all of your quirks and irrational moments. There is no love like self-love, but the love I’ve felt and the love being spread in the past 10 days has left me speechless and getting all emotional. Everyone that has got involved is an absolute force. I’d like to also thank my sick podcasters that chatted to me all week long for hours all about mental health to get the discussion going. Even if this helps one person, this will all have been worth every single moment. Stay tuned as the whole podcast is up for review on iTunes to make listening a little easier. And finally, here are some really useful links!:
FIRSTLY: IF YOU’D LIKE TO DONATE, DONATE: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wordsonawhim
Check out my blog for more bits n bobs: https://wordpress.com/view/wordsonwhim.wordpress.com
Supporting and understanding/volunteering:
Men and Mental Health:
#dontbottleitup
Narcotics and Mental Health (for addiction help and education):
https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline (addiction in combination with mental health hotline)
Someone To Talk To:
https://www.7cups.com/ (online counsellors)
Koko App for iOS – I worked with Koko when they began to develop the app, and it is still one of the best ways to keep on track of your mental health. It’s an anonymous, super positive advice app where it trains you to be positive about situations as well as providing positive ‘there is always a way’ advice to your own situations.
https://www.relate.org.uk/ (more online counsellors, I have specifically used Relate in the past and they really helped with some of my darker moments.)
http://www.turning-point.co.uk/mental-health/services-for-you/talking-therapies.aspx (I was also a turning point CBT user earlier this year, and believe it was an aid in getting back onto the right path!)
Even if it’s just saying it out loud to yourself, writing it down, telling a friend, a cuddly toy, or a family member – saying it out loud is the first step into admitting something isn’t right, which brings you closer to being diagnosed and seeking help.
If you are a University student, you should have a wellbeing leader for the faculty, or for the uni, disability support ALSO deal with mental health issues, please do not forget this! They will check up on you, and see fit that the right support is in place so that your journey can continue.
Mindfulness:
Forest App for iOS (if you didn’t see me rave about this where were you?! blocks all social media for a while and grows a tree for charity)
Headspace (online and app) – These guys were my godsend. Absolutely could not recommend this enough.
The Book of Happiness – Something I made whilst in my 2nd year of uni, a book where I write down the positive parts of my day, even if I’ve had a crap day, to try and pull out the best bits is all worth it to make you realise things are ok. Next time you feel a bit crap, give it a look through.
Hobbies are vital. Hence the ukulele, writing, reading, belly dancing, baking and constant obsession with exploring all kinds of music. Take the things you love doing, and do more of it, and double that! When you feel a bit crap, resort to something that is connected to making you feel happy.
Exercise is proven to help, even just a walk somewhere or to refrain from taking public transport unless you have to.
Things to make you feel better about yourself and your surroundings:
Surround yourself by positive people, and things that make you happy (and purge the people who make you feel bad in yourself, or judge the things that make you happy. Those are friends not worth having.)
Tell a friend. I know it’s a habit to think you’re a burden or get on people’s nerves, but honestly, I’d rather a friend came to me and told me if they felt they really needed someone there in that moment, or if you are concerned for your wellbeing or are having dark thoughts than to never know.
The Love Yourself List – something off the blog which will get recalled, when feeling especially self-conscious in yourself, write down a list of all the things you don’t like about yourself. Then try as best as you can to write down the positives to each of those things.
Allow yourself the odd indulgence. I have a treat fund in my bank account (just don’t go overboard!)
To keep track:
Write down when you have panic attacks/bad spells/episodes. Helps diagnosis.
Keep a sleep tracker to monitor when you wake up, what state your body is in during being asleep, how deep your sleep is. Helps diagnosis. Also good for tracking progress with medication and therapy, and whatever coping mechanisms you fancy trialling out and seeing what works for you.
Keep a note of when you have your medication. Use a medication reminder if you have to. Especially for when you plan on weening yourself off the medication or to monitor if the medication is actually working for you in case you need to trial another one.
When you just don’t quite know what to do anymore, or understand what is going on with your mind:
https://www.samaritans.org/ (dark thoughts helpline and emergency contact)
There is ALWAYS another option. I hope I’ve helped. Time to take a break from social media for a while, phew! Happy World Mental Health Day everybody, stay smiling. X
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