Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Reading and mental health.

Hey readers,

I have found reading to be beneficial for me and my mental health. Even though I have some really crappy days I still try to read because I find it helps in a small way, it might not be much but it is powerful. 

So in this post, I am going to get explore some reasons why reading can help with improving your mental health.




1. Escapism.

There is nothing worse than the feeling of not being able to escape your own thoughts that are constantly blasting at you. 

It can be easy to focus on them because they are so loud for attention but sometimes what I find helpful is a distraction and in this case reading. 

Reading for me is escapism from my thoughts because I am focusing on something else therefore not giving my thoughts the attention but focusing on reading can give me a break for a bit. 

 I read psychological thrillers and the escapism from the ‘real world’ is what is appealing. I like to get into the mind of someone else's story, this helps a lot when I am feeling particularly down and need something to give my mind a break from my life stresses.

2.  Reduces stress.

Reading can reduce stress because when you read for fun it is pleasurable and something that you enjoy.

 There is nothing better to read a good book where you can’t put it down and that is real enjoyment that is a positive effect on your mind. 

The story capturing your attention therefore you reduce stress levels by relaxing your tensed muscles, giving yourself that feel good chemicals when pleasure is activated in the brain.

3. Mental stimulation.

Reading can help with giving our brain some stimulation by keeping it working through reading and creating scenarios in our head of the plot of the story. These are great to keep your mind active and functioning and engaging in areas of the mind.

4. Memory.

Reading helps with your memory because for example with a story you need to remember each character what they are like and key events that has happened to make sense of the future story that you are reading. 

Again it comes back to the point about having to focus on something other than your own thoughts. This is refreshing because it gives you that break for the distress which can help reduce mental stress in the long term.

5. Sleep.

Reading before bed is a perfect ritual you should master as it helps increase the quality of your sleep. Reading before sleep allows yourself to relax your body and get it in sleep mode. 

Reading can also help you switch off from your own thoughts allowing quicker time to get to sleep. 

Overall with reading at night focusing on the book reduces the negative thoughts because you’re focusing on the reading meaningless likely to wake up if you are relaxed.

Have you found reading has helped you with your mental health? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below.

Cheers for reading X


Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Sunday, 28 June 2020

8 Things not to say to someone who is dealing with anxiety.

Hey readers,

As an individual who suffers from anxiety for a number of years, I have had my fair share of experiences involving people saying things to me that is not really helpful when you're trying to deal with anxiety.

So here is my 10 popular comments people have said that should not be said to someone who is suffering from anxiety.



1. Trendy.

Social media is a great tool in raising awareness of mental health. The downside is that some people may not be genuine in saying they have a mental health condition. 

They may say they have mental health issues to help with social media engagement or as an excuse for behaviour. Sadly the genuine people who suffer from anxiety get tarnished with the same brush.  

I know people use Google to self-diagnosis and in some cases the may be genuine. It is OK to talk about anxiety because how else are we going to raise awareness.

I think most people who say they suffer from anxiety are genuine suffers but sadly only takes a bad apple to affect a community. I didn't talk about my mental health for a long time to anyone or the odd person who I trusted.

 It takes a lot of courage for people who genuinely suffer from mental health. Trust me I do not see it as trendy. It is an ongoing battle and something if I could wave a magic wand make it disappear.

Sadly I can't make my anxiety vanish away and therefore have to focus on managing it rather than focus on a way of getting rid of it. 

I still get feelings at times of being ashamed if I am honest maybe because of past experiences of people turning a blind eye or not willing to talk about it has had an influence on me.

I am learning like everyone that talking helps and if you do suffer from mental health conditions then do be afraid of speaking up snout how it affects you.

2. Get over it. 

The amount of times I have been told to simply just get over it is unreal. Yeah sure mate I'll just click my fingers and get over it. It takes a lot of hard work to manage anxiety and you don't really know what is going on so don't assume that someone can just get over it!

3. Everything will be fine.

I know when people say this they mean it with good intention. However, anxiety is a devious little bugger and can really make you believe what you are feeling is real. Sometimes just listening to the anxieties helps a lot more helpful to say.

4. Calm down.

There is nothing more infuriating than someone telling you to calm down when you're in the grips of anxiety. 

It almost feels like when someone says calm down like they are not taking your feelings seriously. If anything saying calm down just triggers me and makes me angry which is not good either.

5. It's all in your head.

Of course, it is in my head, anxiety occurs in the mind right? One thing is for sure it is real, though some of the thoughts are maybe questionable in regards to the truth in relation to how the anxiety makes me feel.

6. Your such a weirdo.

There is nothing more encouraging than someone knocking you for suffering from anxiety. Just because it is different from the way you think or act does not make it OK calling someone a weirdo.

7. Have a drink you will feel better.

OK having a drink can be a relaxant however, we all know too much alcohol is a depressant. If drinking alcohol becomes a regular coping mechanism for dealing with anxiety it can actually hinder your mental health. 

Once the effects of feeling relaxed and letting go wear off alcohol tend to cause more anxiety which defeats the point anyway.

8. Other people are suffering much worse conditions then you are. 

This does not really help to compare a person to another person. We are all different and on our own journeys. Comments like this make you feel rubbish and reduce the likelihood of wanting to talk to you again about how you feel.

Have you experienced any of these observations? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below.

Cheers for reading X

Navigating Baby

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

9 ways to wind down

Hey readers,

As a person who struggles to wind down, it is always good to find ways to help me switch off. 

I am quite an anxious person naturally, so therefore, at times I can neglect myself especially when the anxiety is getting to me. 

So here are my top 9 ways that have helped me destress in times of need. 


1. Technology.

Turn off the technology allows you that time to help switch off from all the noise that is going on. 

It gives you time to turn off the thoughts and help get your body naturally tired and not constantly wired.

2. Caffeine.

 Don't drink caffeine an hour before bed as caffeine is a known to stimulate your mind and the chances are you won't want to go to bed. Therefore resulting in reduced sleep which will impact your day. 

3. Temperature.

 Make sure you get the right temperature for your bedroom as this will help you feel more comfortable and ready to settle down for the night.

4. Reading. 

 Reading before bed is a fantastic way to help get you tired but also feel more relaxed.

5. Television.

In the evening before bed, if you are watching TV watch something that is calming. 

Try to avoid programmes which are thought-provoking and not a programme that will make you think or cause an emotional reaction because you don't want racing thoughts as it can prevent you from sleeping. 

This will likely waste timing thinking where you could have been sleeping.

6. Write it down.

 If you have any thoughts that seem to be repeating and stopping you from getting sleep a good technique is to have a notebook by your bed and write down your thoughts. 

If there are written down the thoughts this can help give you a clearer perspective. This will help settle you knowing that you have written down all your thoughts as a posed to keeping them in your head racing around and getting messy.

7. Bedtime routine.

 Having a bedtime routine can help settle you down ready for sleep as it trains your brain. Therefore making your body get in a rhythm so that will time it will naturally go into sleepy mode and wanting bed.

8. Music. 

Put some relaxing music on in your bedroom as this can create a calming environment and get you in the mood to chill out. 

9. Bath. 

 Having a bath is a great way to relax and soak the muscles after a long day.

What ways help you relax before bed? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 19 June 2020

5 life lessons I have learnt

Hey readers,

I thought today I would share with you the five top lessons that I have learnt so far in my life.




  1. Good people.

My first lesson is that there are more good people in the world than bad. I know shock horror I am sure the media would love to differ but then again it wouldn’t sell papers.

 Sometimes we can all get sucked into the doom and the gloom of bad news that we can forget that there are so many good people in this world. I think the below quote is spot on and something that we should all try and remember.

“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”
― Lemony Snicket

2. Sod’s Law.

The second lesson I have learnt is that Sod's Law will always kick your ass every single time. When you think you know what will happen in life then you can guarantee that something will pull that your feet at that moment in time.

 I suppose a classic example would be where is that bus when I am running late when normally it is bang on time!

3. Not all thoughts are true.

As a person who suffers from anxiety, you believe every thought and feel though that may not always be the case. Sometimes, our mind tricks us into thinking stuff even though it is not true.  

But remember that it is important to not always believe these thoughts, yes they seem real but always remember they are just thoughts and it is your choice to choose to believe in them or not.

4. Feelings.

Feelings can be good or they can bad. As I have mentioned before I am a person who suffers from anxiety and depression which can at times take me to dark places. 

It can be scary and feel like you are going to be stuck feeling this way forever. But rest assured as someone who has battled for a long time with mental health conditions feelings pass with time. 

Hold on to that thought when you are in a dark and scary place, you can and will get through this even if it takes time. Life is constantly moving and so will you.

5. A cup of tea.

The final lesson that I have learnt in my life is and one of the best cures for stressful situations is to have a cup of tea and toast like it is the best way to solves problems.  So, if I need time to think this is the one-stop solution to give me a chance to think clearer.

What lessons have you learnt in life? What do you think of mine? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below.


Cheers for reading X

Monday, 8 June 2020

7 ways to be happy everyday.

Hey readers,

Sometimes we can forget to find the joy in the simplest of things and life can drag us down.

 But we can do something about that and gain some control back. I have got seven ways that aren't difficult to help find happiness in ordinary stuff. I hope you find this helpful.




1. Time out.

Take the time out of your day to do something that you love doing, whether it be listening to music, reading whatever it is do it make some time to do it! Even if it is just for ten minutes a day it will be worth it in the long term for your wellbeing because you are doing something for you and giving you some time for self-care.

2. Write it down.

 A good habit to take up is to write down something that you are thankful for each day. It doesn't have too big it could be as simple as hearing the birds. This is a way to train your brain to look at the positives in your life and appreciate the small things in life that you have access too. 

3. Outdoors.

Take yourself outside and connect with nature. Go for a walk and just be, take time to notice the environment that you are, look at the different flowers or trees, look up at the sky because we live in a beautiful world and it has a lot to offer.

4. Laugh.

As the saying goes laughter is the best medicine. Laughing produces chemicals in the brain to make you feel good naturally and laughing is also brilliant at offering healing properties as well.

5. Time out.

Take some time out of your day to be mindful and present. All you need to do is it and be and just stop with the business of the world.

 The world goes by so fast that you may miss out and just sitting and slowing down can really be beneficial to your health.

6. Kindness.

Do something for someone else and spread happiness on. Some suggestions are making a hot drink, taking time to listen to the person and what they are saying.

7. Positives.

Write down your feelings and work out how you can help reduce the negative and increase the positive. This allows you to understand and think about how you feel. 

It also gives you some control because you're acting on how your feeling and finding solutions to some problems if you can. 

Have I missed any techniques to help make you feel happy every day? What do you do that helps you find happiness? Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section down below. 

Cheers for reading X

Friday, 5 June 2020

Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon (book review).

Hey readers,

I love a book that you can lose yourself totally in and can't wait for every opportunity to sit and flick through the pages. 

This book did just that. It is a biography of Bryony Gordon who is a journalist for several years. She writes openly and honestly about her first-hand experience of living with OCD and clinical depression.



As a suffer from both clinical depression and OCD I felt I could really identify with how Bryony expressed her experiences clearly, how out of nowhere something triggered causing the panic and obsession. Almost like someone flicking on a switch.

I feel that this is an honest reflection of OCD. It is also not your typical cleaning OCD but a main focus on the thoughts and how they influence behaviour.

As a mother, I also found the area about motherhood particularly around pregnancy interesting and relatable. 

Especially when it is your first-time pregnancy can be very stressful. The early period of motherhood made me feel very paranoid especially with the debate about whether or not you should or should not take anti-depressants and the effect that it will have on your newborn.

I think it is an interesting observation mentioned in the book about the fact that Bryony comes from a middle-class family that was fairly stable with not a lot of trigger to cause mental illness. It goes to show that money can't pay for everything and that mental health affects all walks of life.  

The only good thinks about being wealthy is getting better care privately. The reason Bryony and her mum chose private over NHS is shockingly poor and a long waiting list to boot. 

Mad Girl: Amazon.co.uk: Gordon, Bryony: 9781472232083: Books

Though she chats openly that it doesn't matter as you still have to work hard to get a good therapist that understands you to help with your recovery.
It is a brilliant account of how OCD can feed off you when you are mentally low such as being in an abusive relationship can trigger OCD behaviour.

Even if you don't suffer from OCD it is a fantastic way to help you understand better about the condition and help increase awareness for mental illness. Also how hard it is to find the right help and that if the Doctors dealt with it sooner then it would possibly be not as bad as the thoughts are not been long lasted for years as a way to cope with life stresses.

The best advice  Bryony concludes is cutting back on alcohol/exercise/eating healthy and just making sure that every area of your life is catered for can help reduce the OCD.

Bryony also reflects on her experience of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and the power of thought. 

 How CBT  worked for her and now accepts that slips happen, OCD thoughts will always be there but accepting them as just that but not taking them as the gospel is the biggest progress to live a better more fulfilled life.

A powerful message is that mental illness is not on the same level of importance of physical health. If you had a broken leg you would get it plastered. But mental health is still a taboo that is not talked about and at times shamed upon with stigma or being blasé with comments about being a bit OCD with putting clothing straight. 

It is much more than complex and intrusive than simply having things in a certain way.

Bryony set up a group called mental health mates where strangers meet up in London to walk and talk about mental illness.

There is no demand to change just a place to not feel so alone and isolated. I think it is a brilliant idea and I wish there were more groups around in the UK.

In my personal opinion, I think this is one of the best books I have read of a first account of living with OCD. It is not pretentious or glamorised,  just trying to get the message out that whatever background shit happens. 

It is great to help get the message about what it is really like to live with OCD. I definitely recommend it.

Cheers for reading X



Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Why social media is good.

Hey readers,

We all get bogged down in the negative side of social media. So lets for today celebrate all the good aspects of social media because I am a firm believer that there is bad and good in everything if you look close enough.



The internet is a good way to express yourself. I know for me I find verbal communication really, really difficult due to being autistic. Therefore, writing things down on my blog has really helped and it is a therapeutic process in getting my thoughts in order. 

There is also a great autistic community on twitter for example where you can openly discuss topics, it is great to get responses back. It can help other people understand you and help get more personal awareness out on specific topics.

As a parent and someone who struggles with mental health, loneliness is a feeling that has occurred over the years. I find the internet fantastic to connect with other similar people, whether it be through blogging, reading other people's experience, tweeting or even discussing worries/feelings in forums.

 Also,the internet can be a useful way to distract yourself from focusing on negativity. It really has helped me get out of that funk.

The internet can be used to speak to people far away or even close which is vital in helping with mental health. An example of this would be the current situation we are dealing with regarding coronavirus and social distancing. Using communicational platforms such as Facebook messenger and WhatsApp helps us connect to people where otherwise it is difficult. Not to mention it is much cheaper compared to phoning someone up. 

The internet is a splendid place if you want to get lost. With so much information out there, it is great to enhance your learning. You can even find scholarly type materials on google or good old YouTube.

The internet is definitely one way to get free entertainment and to do stuff without breaking the bank balance.  There is so many options, some examples are; watching YouTube videos, listening to radio, using social media and evening writing blogs ;)

If we look at recent events from this year especially in politics it demonstrates that the internet has a powerful voice. The cyber-world can influence for the good and make positive changes.

 A example of this would be with the way the internet has evolved politics with such matters of politicians being more transparency, though it is a slow process, it is something that is being taken seriously, especially with the way that majority of people get their information from the internet. 

Gone were the days when it was a two leadership battle, with having the internet it opens doors for more choice. Therefore, politicians have to work harder to get them likes and ultimately the power to change the lives of the ordinary public.

The internet is a great source of information where you can educate on all sorts of stuff. Whether be learning a new skill or finding some information for your child's homework there is a wealth of knowledge on the net that can be beneficial with helping your learn. 

What positives do you find in social media? Love to hear your comments in the comment section below.

Cheers for reading X

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

50 ways to do self care.

Hey readers,

Sometimes life can be stressful and could result in you not looking after yourself like you should.

 A way to help when life gets on top of us is to practice something positive to do for ourselves to help make sure that you as a person being cared for. 

Below I have gathered 50 ways to do self-care, the activities are a mixed bag and some are free some may require some cash. Others don't take long compared to other activities that can take longer. 

Therefore, there is plenty of choices for you to choose from to help you feel good and making sure that you DO self-care on yourself. 

It is important to look after others but ultimately you need to make sure that you as an individual are in tip-top shape. Enjoy!




1. Bath.

2. Read a book.

3. Go for a walk.

4. Talk to someone.

5. Write a blog post.

6. Have a hot cup of tea.

7. Watch something funny.

8. Have a shower.

9. Bake.

10. Paint your nails.

11. Take a photo.

12. Have asleep.

13. Go to bed.

 14. Write a letter to someone.

15. Colouring in.

16. Explore nature.

17. Read inspirational quotes.

18. Write an action plan for a problem.

19. Burn a candle.

20. Have a cuddle.

21. Treat yourself.

22. Learn something new.

23. Stretch your body.

24. Dance.

25. Stroke an animal.

26. Drink a glass of water.

27. Sort out your emails.

28. Sell something on eBay.

28. Clean.

29. Sort out your drawers.

30. Declutter.

 31. Spend an hour alone.

32. Go to a coffee shop.

33. Visit an art gallery.

34. Choose to have a good day.

35. Be spontaneous.

36. Listen to meditation.

38. Forgive yourself.

39. Get a massage.

40. Get a haircut.

41. Make a playlist of your favourite tracks.

42. Look at cat gifs on the internet.

43. Create a mood board.

44. Do nothing.

45. Practice breathing.

46. Binge watch a box set.

47. Watch a film.

48. Browse Pinterest for inspiration.

49. Squeeze a stress ball.

50. Snuggle under a throw.

Cheers for reading X

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

broken

Get up and go,
but what happens
if there is no go
where do I go,
who can help me
when society is broken.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Silly things my mind has told me.

Hey readers,

I have anxiety and depression and one of the problems with these conditions is that I suffer from intrusive thoughts.

Intrusive thoughts are frightening, they are exhausting (for me).




They feel real and can potentially turn into a cycle where the thoughts can come quickly. They may be thoughts that are fear-induced or down to lack of control. Control is a big trigger for me and my anxiety.

So, now I am going to share with you some of the kind of silly things my brain tries to tell me and trick me into believing.

* Husband is going to call social services because I have the TV on therefore I am not a good parent.

* Such and such a teacher is watching my every move I make, see if I am capable. They are taking notes and discussing me in a negative light with their colleagues. 

* They are taking the piss out of me because I stutter, I am shaking and crying. 

*They are watching me and judging me because I am fat, I can't engage.

* They think I am not a good parent and I shouldn't look after my kids.

* My husband is going to die, he is out and won't come back. He hates me and blames me for everything.


* My husband when out shopping with the boys, I get fearful especially for long periods that they have died in the car. I am petrified and shaking. I am having very dark imagery thoughts about how the bodies are dismantled in the car, the process of imagining them dying in the car.

* A parent in the playground is looking at me, talking about how ugly I am. How rubbish parent I am. How socially awkward I am. How retarded my children are.
The examples I have given are just a handful of examples, that have happened in the last couple of days. 

I wanted to share how horrible the thoughts can be and they are so scary. People assume anxiety is something a bit mandy pandy but it is a struggle. It is a battle every day for me. 

Sometimes I have better days, sometimes I have worse days. But the anxiety is always there ready and waiting.

Cheers for reading X