Mental Health Awareness: Look after YOU

As it’s Mental Health Awareness week in Ireland, I’ve decided to write an important piece amongst my light, fun October posts. I truly hope what I say impacts each one of you positively.

Some would say that your physical health is vital, it should be looked after. I disagree, I believe that your mental health should come first. Because without your mental health, are you going to have the motivation to look after your physical health? Are you going to wake up at 7am to go to the gym like you’ve promised yourself over and over? Are you going to pre make a healthy dinner, to save money and avoid the costs of eating out? I doubt it. When you hit a low peak in your life, it’s really easy to fall into negative habits. We feast our eyes on unhealthy snacks, we sit on our phones for hours feeling sorry for ourselves. We forget who we are. I’d be lying if I told you that I’m happy every single day. I’d be lying if I told you I don’t have moments of doubt. You know, sometimes I even question my purpose on this planet. And that’s okay. It’s okay not to feel okay. But as human beings, we need to stop beating ourselves up when we feel bad. We have to seek help and look to those who support and love us. Instead of hating ourselves, or in some cases blaming everyone around us for how we feel, we need to reflect on what’s truly getting us down. It’s easy to blame the people you care about. It’s easy to blame someone who hurt you three years ago. At the end of the day, only YOU have the control to make yourself feel better. Everyone handles these matters differently. But at the end of the day, you have the power to change how you feel. Don’t be afraid to seek help.

To every single one of you reading this, take a minute to look at all of the positive outlooks in your life. Forget about what’s mentally draining you. Don’t worry about past mistakes and problems. Look at your life right now, think about what makes you feel happy. Forget about the negative remarks people have made. Ignore your deepest insecurities. Take a moment to remember the last time you were truly happy. Maybe you can’t remember the last time. Maybe you can. One way or another, what makes you feel better when you’re down? Is it going for a walk? Is it meeting a friend? Is it spending time with your family? Is it cuddling up by the fire with your partner? Every single person has their own version of happiness. Sometimes we fall into a patch of loneliness and we forget about what once made us happy. We forget about the positive impacts that made us who we are today. We forget that if we did not have different experiences, we wouldn’t be the person we are today. I think that’s something to be proud of. If you’re going through a terrible rut, you’re feeling lost and have forgotten who you really are, remember that you were strong enough to get here, so you will be strong enough to move passed it.

Every single one of you have your own version of happiness. I believe that in order to be happy, speaking out is massively important!

On a more positive note, after a lot of rambling, I’ve gathered together a few “to do’s” to put you into a positive mind frame, and lead you to live a positive lifestyle! My tips are below.

Live for You.

Life is short, so don’t waste it. Stop worrying about what other people think, what other people say, or how someone else’s opinion may impact your decisions. Sometimes we have the tendency to judge others and their choices, but never feel like you shouldn’t do something because someone else disagrees with it. Sometimes we take someone else’s opinion and turn it in to our own. We forget how to create our own opinions.

Take up something you love.

Do what the lenten’s do. Take up something new. Be it taking up playing the piano, starting a blog or engaging in sports. Do something for you that no one else can disregard, for you to live for all by yourself. Sometimes we need a little self love to be happy.

Self Love.

Speaking of self love, love you for you. Stop comparing yourself to everyone around you. Stop seeking for greatness, and greatness will find you. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, you’ll forget how to love yourself. Take a day for yourself once a week where you look after your mind and body. Go for a walk, turn off your phone for an hour, do yourself the world of good and forget about everyone else. You are what matters.

Be Realistic, But Stop Thinking Negatively.

We as humans have a tendency to fall into a negative cycle when things aren’t going as planned. Life is not perfect, and how you live your life will impact how you see the world we live in. If you think that every friendship and relationship will be effortless and flawless, you are greatly mistaken. If you think that you are going to be settled and financially secure by 30, think again. Live life realistically and stop worrying about what’s to come. Stop fearing the worst. Avoid shutting out those who care about you because things aren’t going as planned. If you’re feeling low and overwhelmed, take a minute to realise all that you have and all that could be. If you are reading this blog, you are lucky enough to be able to hold a phone or laptop in hand to be able to see this. Remember that life could be a lot worse, so remember that life comes with flaws and negativity. Just try not to focus on these, when things could be a lot worse.

Stop Letting Social Media Break You Down.

Social media influencing is greatly impacting young people, I see it every day. I’ve watched my friends, refreshing their Instagram feed’s, waiting in hope for a new Instagram like. Remember that social media did not always exist. Our parents and grandparents did not depend on social media to reassure them who had interest, who liked them. Social media means nothing at the end of the day. Just because someone likes your content does not make them a positive entity in your life. I’ve seen people deleting photos because no one has given it a thumbs up. This attitude has been derived over the last ten years as social media has developed. Take a second and ask yourself, are these people my friends? Are they just interested in my photography skills? Would they bother asking me to meet for a coffee, do they have a positive impact on my life? Sure, some of us are lucky and have hundreds of friends. Some of us have two friends but hundreds of followers. But what really matters? Give that some thought.

I hope each one of you takes everything I’ve said with a grain of salt. Everyone has their own version of being happy, all I can do is give you advice. Everyone has their own means to life, everyone has a different purpose on this planet. Don’t for a second believe that you aren’t worth it. Don’t ever feel that you cannot do something because someone else feels differently. Be independent and self nurture. We only have one life, don’t waste it.

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it!” – Robin Williams.

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