I’ve never had guest posts on my blog before, but Kayleigh Rose will soon be joining me in the profession of mental health nursing, so when she suggested a collaboration I was pretty stoked. You can also find a post I wrote over on her blog. – 💖 Ashley
Unless you have experienced a mental health struggle first-hand it is, in my opinion, impossible to understand fully what someone is going through. That’s OK though- because even people living with a mental illness often find it hard to understand or explain what is going on inside their head. Sometimes it’s clear you need help, but you don’t want to talk about it or simply can’t find the words. So, you bottle it up even though support is the first step to feeling better. It’s a vicious cycle that people can quite easily find themselves slipping into. I truly believe in the saying ‘a problem shared in a problem halved’.
I’ve heard a surprising amount of people say to others, “If you don’t tell me what’s wrong, I can’t help you”. Honestly- I couldn’t disagree more. Sometimes, as humans, we don’t quite know what we want or what we need. We just know that something isn’t quite right & that we’d be a lot better if we didn’t have to face it alone. Simply noticing these early signs & seeking company can be such a helpful distraction.
As a relative or friend of someone who can struggle with their mental health- try to keep an eye on their early warning signs. Perhaps they are usually really social but start to cancel plans unexpectedly? Maybe they have lost their appetite or seem to be comfort eating? Signs like these can be noticed early & you can start to provide the support they need. You could check in on them regularly- even if it is simply a quick phone call or text message.
Sometimes, when in a negative mindset, we can forget about all of the good things. Our positive relationships, our hobbies, the things we have achieved. We may be more inclined to remember if we can enjoy these things with company. One of my favourite things to do when I feel low is to look back over happy memories with the people that are closest to me. I look at photographs & keep a memory box full of souvenirs.
What I think is most important to remember is that when you feel low, it’s not your fault. Although it’s easier said than done- don’t feel guilty, don’t feel embarrassed and don’t feel ashamed. Everyone feels low but this differs in severity depending on circumstances & stages of peoples lives. Take care of yourself in the same way you would care for family & friends because you are just as important. Finally, it’s OK not to explain & it’s OK not to have the words to tell people what is going on- but do accept support. And do accept how great you are.
What is your favourite thing to do to cheer yourself up when you are feeling low?
Until next time,
Love, Kayleigh Rose x
Photo by Kayleigh Rose