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Mental Health Awareness Week - Professional Support

When should you turn to a professional for support? When you first think there may be a problem, or if the symptoms of your mental health change, you should always turn to a medical professional. Diagnosis of mental illness is not a job for your family or your mate - even if they themselves have a mental illness. While it can be useful to discuss what's going on for you with a trusted person, going to see your GP when there's something wrong is absolutely necessary. Once you have a diagnosis, even if you're feeling better due to your prescribed drug regime, professional support is a step most could benefit from. But for many people, the decision is one of budget. In the UK, there is only a l

Mental Health Awareness Week - #SelfLove & Values

OK, let's deal with the elephant in the room first ... #SelfLove sounds a bit yucky, but stick with me please. If you're going to practice being kind to yourself - and I really hope you will - you need to properly appreciate your good qualities. In order to love yourself, you have to truly know yourself first. I asked yesterday that you sit down with pen and paper and write yourself a list of your good stuff - how hard did you find that? Were you able to get beyond just one of two items on your list, whereas you could populate a full page of the negative? In order to help you dig out the good stuff, I thought it was time for some work on values. Let's start first with a definition ... If tha

#SelfCare means Finding Your Tribe

I spoke yesterday about finding your tribe. For those of you wondering what on earth I meant by this, I thought I'd start with an explanation, and Google kindly provided the following words which I thought were a good start ... While I finding your tribe could form part of the education process, there is one other very important aspect to it. In this current period of COVID-19 lock-down, I don't think I need to clarify how much human beings need connection with other human beings. But isolation and loneliness are also a significant modern day cause of depression - so finding your tribe (or tribes) can be an important act of #SelfCare totally independent of the education process. Like homeles

#SelfCare starts with Education

I bang on a lot about the importance of education and whilst that does include school, training for a profession, or to obtain a degree, what I'm most passionate about is getting to know yourself. And no, I don't mean spending hours gazing at your navel ... Neither am I advocating you take out a subscription to the British Medical Journal (unless that's your particular thing), just that you pay attention to your body and your mind. It doesn't require a science degree, just you taking the time to notice and give thought to stuff. For example, if you start an exercise programme, how about you focus on how your body responds to certain repetitive actions, maybe pay attention to how it reacts to

Mental Health Awareness Week

Until a couple of weeks ago, I had great plans for this week. I intended to publish daily posts, here and on social media, about mental health - offering some tools to manage it, information to those who love someone who suffers with it, and education on the whole subject to anyone who might be interested. I may still produce something along those lines, but it'll be rushed, less well-planned and thought-out, more rough round the edges than I'd really like. Why? Well, because it came back. It ...? My depression. I've been managing my depression - pretty successfully - for some time now, enough not to feel a complete impostor when offering guidance to others with this particular struggle. But

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