As mental health awareness week starts tomorrow, I thought that now would be a good time to post a wee catch up post.
The project is now about 9 weeks old and the response has been varied and overwhelming. Before I start rambling on, thank you again to each and every woman who came forward and shared her story.
You never know who you may have helped.
We have heard stories of weight battles, body image issues, post natal depression and relationships on social media to name just a few and the dialogue has certainly opened my eyes to the unique challenges people face behind closed doors.
Tomorrow marks the start of ‘Mental Health Awareness week’. Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, who are constantly providing new and progressive research into the mental health, the week of awareness this year will be focussing mainly on stress. Stress in adulthood is at the root of many cases of depression and anxiety and research suggests it is at the root of a lot of self-harm and ultimately suicide too.
I will be looking into stress this week as the days go on and hope to learn a lot through my project but also the information which will come from other organisations and individuals throughout the awareness week.
I am going to compile some of my own research from you guys in the next few days to delve a little deeper into the causes and manifestations of stress because it is so diverse in how it shows itself.
What do you find causes stress? And what are your coping mechanisms? Or are you not even aware you are stressed until it’s too late?
Because stress can be damaging to both your physical AND mental health, it’s important to try and implement small things into your daily and weekly routine which will help to alleviate symptoms before they get out of control
This would be my number one top tip with regards to stress management. There is research for days to demonstrate that elevating the heart rate via some exercise, is an excellent way to release endorphins into the brain and ultimately, combat stress. Exercise also provides a sense of achievement which is a real mood booster as performing exercise means you are taking time to work on yourself in a positive way.
Coming from my point of view, this one goes without saying.
I am a huge fan of feeding my body the correct quantities of each nutrient source depending on my goal at any given time. But I’d like to offer this tip much more generally than that. Simply eat well to fuel and be kind to your body. You don’t have to prep every meal and eat out of tubs! Just opt for natural food which grows from the ground which will nourish your brain and body to helo reduce stress.
This is not a tip I’ve had much success with personally as I find switching off very challenging but I am trying to add a little bit of mindfulness to each day as a habit. By this I mean that for at least 5-10 minutes per day, I will sit in a quiet space and just focus in on my breathing. It is a very basic and stripped back exercise but by just focussing on only your breathing, I guarantee you will find a certain amount of new awareness and it really does bring you right back to the present moment which alleviates all the external stressors such as what’s happening tomorrow or what went on in the past.
If you’ve anything to add, please do let us know!
Let us know.