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Mental Health strategies for challenging times

If there is something I know well it is that we will all face challenging times during our lives. Whether it is a failed IVF cycle, covid lockdown or just a rough week it can really mess with your mental health especially if you don’t implement some effective strategies.

Over the years I have curated together some strategies that have helped me through some of my most difficult times and today, I want to share them with you as well.

  1. Work on your mindset before everything else. I know that sounds clich√© but the thing that we have the most power over is our thoughts. It’s probably pretty likely that you can’t completely change the situation you are experiencing but you can absolutely change how you are experiencing it. Take some time to quietly contemplate or even journal what is going on in your mind. Are you catastrophising the situation you are in? Worrying about things that might happen but haven’t yet? One of the best strategies for reducing worry and stress is popping those worries to the side (try using an imaginary bubble), if the situation you are dreading actually occurs you can bring them out of the bubble and react to them then but for now how about hitting the pause button.
  2. Take time to rest and recover. Stress takes its toll on us physically, it reduces our energy levels and makes us more tired so make sure that you are allowing yourself time to rest and recover. Whilst it may seem easier to zone out in front of the telly or scroll social media, chances are getting to bed a bit earlier or even taking an afternoon nap would serve you better.
  3. If it feels heavy don’t do it. There may be some things that are non-negotiable (I am talking to you – repetitive blood tests) but if you have a choice as to whether you have to do something or not one of the easier ways to decide is to think about whether it feels heavy or light for you. If it feels heavy chances are it’s not right for you, give yourself the gift of letting it go.
  4. Find your people. We are surrounded by people all day long, even when we are alone thanks to social media. So find the people that bring you joy! If you find yourself constantly feeling stressed or negative when you read someone’s posts you have the option to unfollow them. If the same happens in real life then it’s ok to say no to invitations. You have the power to choose who you spend the majority of your time with, choose wisely.
  5. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you are feeling pressure to do all the things know that this is your life, you can curate it any way you like and this doesn’t just apply to the people in it. It also means what you eat, what you put on your body, where you spend your time, how and where you work. Curate a life that is beautiful to you.

Most of all, know that whatever you are facing it will pass in time, the feelings will lessen or perhaps disappear altogether. It’s important to recognise and acknowledge your feelings but let them go when you are done with them.

Julie x

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