Tag Archives: depressed

World Mental Health Day 2015

As the heading says, it’s World Mental Health Day!!!! In my opinion, EVERY day should be W.M.H.D.

If we want to break the stigma once and for all, there should be a LOT more campaigns to raise awareness on a much more regular basis. There are some amazing charities out there (Pieta House, Samaritans, Cycle Against Suicide etc.) who put so much time and effort into campaigning & regularly helping vulnerable people, but when they’re up to their eyes and low on funds, what more can we do?

There are so many charity events running throughout the year – cycles, walks, mini-marathons, full marathons, 10Ks etc. – all prime opportunities for you to contact one of the mental health charities for a sponsor pack. By wearing their t-shirt with pride and raising much needed funds for them, you’re not only a walking/running/hobbling advertisement for the charity but you’re aiding them financially too. It’s so easy for us to take their services for granted, but what we must remember is that without financial contributions they just couldn’t afford to exist.

On a more personal level, we should all try to reach out to those who we suspect might be going through a tough time. They might not be ‘obviously’ depressed, or want to admit it, but just having a chat with them and showing genuine concern might just lead to an admission. Just letting them air their ‘woes’ and confide in you could be all it takes for them to feel a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. Acknowledging their mood is low could be the first steps they need in order to gain the confidence to approach their GP for professional advice. Small, caring gestures have the potential to save lives, or at least improve the quality of lives.  Don’t you want to be involved?

I remember the first time I told someone other than immediate family & friends that I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression; I almost whispered it because I was too embarrassed to say it out loud, and even though the lady was lovely, I couldn’t help but think that she was going to judge me. Looking back to that day makes me cringe a little, because I wish I’d stood there and said “you know what, I’ve been diagnosed with Depression and finally it all makes sense. I’m glad I’m getting the proper treatment now.”

I understand entirely that every individual case of Depression is unique. No two people will cope the same, or suffer at the same level – that’s only natural as we all live separate lives. I also understand that some people have had extremely terrible experiences in their lives that have either ‘brought on’ depression, or have triggered it at various stages and some people have it ‘under control’ without medication but require some help every once in a while. There are so many variations that have one common denominator – they have the same illness.

Please, please, reach out today & every day if you can. If there’s someone acting ‘out of character’, ring them or arrange to meet up. A friendly smile & a listening ear (and of course a good strong cuppa) could be just what they need right now.

If you’re one of those people who’s feeling ‘blue’, and doesn’t know who to turn to, just call someone you trust. Tell them as much as you feel comfortable telling them and see how that makes you feel. Letting it all fester inside you isn’t good for your emotional wellbeing and there are people who want to help you. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to family or friends just yet then make an appointment with your GP and he or she will provide you with the care you need.

Remember too, I may be a stranger but I can try my best to help you too. I’m not qualified on paper, but I’ve been dealing with my own struggles for long enough & will try to offer the best advice I can.

Big hugs to anyone who could really do with one today….. xoxoxoxoxoxox

Do Your Best; Baby Steps Is All It Takes…

Ok, so it’s been a very long time since I was able to run for any more than a few minutes at a time. I think I was 11, in all honesty. I was really good at it too, until my hormones found my weak spot (junk food) and that was the end of that. In P.E. classes I’d make excuses not to get involved in anything too physical, which, considering the main gist of the class was to BE physical, meant I was ‘on my period’ or ‘not feeling great’ pretty much every other week. I did like dance & aerobics though, so I wasn’t a total lazy moo! 😀

Fast forward approximately 18 years. Today, I discovered that I’m not as fit as I was in May/June of this year. Back then, there’s no way you’d call me fit, but I was able to walk 10km for charity in just under 1 hour 45 minutes! I’ve been walking regularly all this time and don’t usually have a problem with distance walking, so I figured it was time to push myself to what I consider the next level – ‘Couch to 5K’. I got my feet, legs & knees assessed on this fancy gait measuring machine on Tuesday (I’m pretty sure it has an official technical name) then bought great running shoes that are the correct fit for my feet (Asics GT2000 if you’re curious to know) 😀 They feel AMAZING! Now, I have a little bit of healing to do as I have fallen arches and I’ve done some damage by wearing completely flat shoes all the time, but once the foot is properly healed there’ll be no stopping me!

Anyway, back on topic – earlier I got myself all ready for my first ‘Couch to 5K’. I was motivated and ready to get started. The app on my phone told me to begin with a 5 minute warm up walk. That was perfect. Beautiful weather & no other humans around so I felt a little bit more confident. Then the app told me to run for 1.5 minutes. Wellllllllll, I did about 10-15 seconds of that run and I realised I was fooling myself. I also realised I needed some added support in that area where women generally need extra support… I had set out with every intention of running for 1.5 minutes and walking for 1 minute, repeatedly for 15 minutes, but realised within those opening seconds that I had my priorities all wrong and I’d set my standards too high, too soon. Everything was burning – throat, calf muscles, knees, the foot that’s meant to be healing… So I hobbled home with my proverbial ‘tail between my legs’ and re-evaluated the situation.

I mentioned that I’m not as fit as I was earlier in the year – I’d say I’m approximately 8-10 pounds heavier than I was then. What I need to do (for myself – everyone tackles this issue differently) is focus solely on my nutrition and wellbeing for the next few weeks. Of course I’ll continue with my brisk walks with the dog, but all AT MY OWN PACE! Once I’ve got my diet sorted (healthy, low GI where possible – NOT FAD!), I’ll feel better in myself knowing that I’m being good to my body. Hopefully I will lose the weight I have gained and then when I’m lighter I’ll rethink my ‘Couch to 5K’ goals. There’s no point in me pushing myself beyond what my body & mind can cope with. I want to do this to help myself not only physically, but mentally & emotionally too. By setting standards beyond my reach, and seeking perfection, I won’t last long and will end up adopting all the unhealthy habits that got me here in the first place.

I’ve also been learning, since seeing my CBT therapist, that low moods affect my eating issues – so when I’m not feeling anxious or depressed, I’m more mindful of my food choices. This past few weeks have been difficult for me regarding anxiety, so needless to say,  I’m a textbook case of an emotional over-eater. It’s amazing the things you learn about yourself when you’re in a room with a qualified professional. It seems so obvious now, but when you’re stuck in your own little bubble and don’t know how to cope, it’s refreshing to get their slant on it and suddenly it all makes sense!

If anyone would like some advice about where to start with seeking help, please don’t be afraid to contact me. Remember – “Excellence is not being the best; it is doing your best”

Lotsa Love