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A Mental Health Journey: Part Three

The Bike ride but with a helping hand.

This journey of writing down my fight with mental illness has been fearful, digging up old thoughts and feelings. I must admit it was a massive struggle to even push the send button at times, I was overwhelmed with whether I doing the right thing, will it help and do I need to do this is it ok? I have struggled to reply to the emails I received during this journey and have finally built the courage to start replying as again I was shocked by the amount of commendation for this act. I didn’t see it as bravery, I have only saw it as a chance to help others.

I still think it is a way to help and I hope it has helped you in some small way and really allowed people to take solace in a very confusing time, as we now enter another point of this journey with lockdown measures being eased and people finding things confusing, I wanted to add in some things that have helped me when feeling anxious, fearful, angry or simply distracted.

The last few days with the new government rules and statements have left me feeling many different emotions and found myself on a heightened level of alertness that leaves me exhausted and always expecting the worst to happen or something is just round the corner. It was discovered recently that I always am alert anyway and can read people quickly due to what happened when I was younger, I am always alert for something to go wrong and to be ready to fight or flight. It’s tough to live like this and I hope the following ideas can help.

(These are only suggestions and means of potentially supporting yourself, if you need help please always contact the correct people)

  • If thoughts are getting you down, write them on a piece of paper and scrunch them up and throw them away or burn them. Writing them down and getting rid of them is you throwing them away, they don’t control me.
  • Build some Lego if you have access, distract yourself, allow your mind to focus on the moment not the before or after.
  • Use a block app to block all the news and info coming in, so you are not bombarded the whole time.
  • Create a happy feelings book, that when you’re down you can go back and remember all the positive things you have done.
  • Listen to comedy, get yourself laughing and make the endorphins shine.
  • Do the household chores or read or gardening allow yourself to be distracted to calm down.
  • Put up post it notes around the house to remind yourself of what you are good at (mine are: be positive, don’t give in, I will fight the darkness etc etc)
  • If meditation helps find something on you tube, I use a program called leaves on a stream, you allow your feelings and thoughts to float on by, they don’t control you but you acknowledge they are there.
  • Exercise when and where you can, even if it’s just a video game to switch off your mind.
  • Build a daily schedule so that you know when and what you are doing so you have stability.
  • Talk to others get those feelings off your chest.

The list continues but for me it’s do things that distract you and allow you to bring your mind away from what bothers you. These are some of the things I use but in no means could they be good for you, find your own ways to fight off the bad times and remember to look after yourself.

To end, we are in a difficult time in our lives and I am no means an expert in this, by recounting what helps me and what has happened, it has allowed me to put away some of the bad memories and move on. So maybe write down your experiences, share them with others, hide them away just don’t allow them to control you, be the person you want to be and look to the bright future that is yours.

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