6 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health When You’re Physically Sick

Recently I was really sick and I realised it affected my mental health more than it should have. When I thought about it I noticed that my physical health plays a big role in my mental health and when I’m feeling sick physically my mental health also seems to deteriorate. It’s like your brain knows your defences are down and it attacks. Anyway, these are some of the things that help me out with that and I hope they help you too!

  1. Talk to someone- talk to your family members, friends or even a professional if you feel as though your physical illness is seriously effecting your mental health. Talk to someone and tell them how you feel. I can not emphasize enough how important it is to make sure as you recover physically you are feeling good with your mental health too.
  2. Meditation and yoga- if you can’t do a lot of stretchy yoga positions there are still some really easy ones that pretty much consist of lying down or sitting. If you still feel as though you can’t do these try doing some meditation. You don’t even have to move to meditate and it’ll make you feel tons better to just clear your head for a bit and relax.
  3. Check for side effects- A lot of medicines have horrible side effects including things like depression, anxiety and insomnia. If you already suffer from any of these they might make them a lot worse so make sure you know what you’re taking and that it doesn’t have these side effects. Or if you can’t change your meds try taking something along with them to counter the side effects.
  4. Talk to your doctor ahead of time- Talk to your doctor and let him know if you have any mental disorders that you fear may have gotten worse or will get worse because of your physical illness. Be open about it because that’s the only way they’ll know what’s going on with you. And even though it can be terrifying to open up about your mental illness/es it’s important to remember they’re professionals and it’s their job to treat you not judge you.
  5. Take extra care of yourself- Remember that you should be the most important person in your life. Take care of yourself- eat healthy, drink lots of fluids, get lots of rest and just do whatever it takes to make a speedy recovery. Once you feel better physically, you’ll feel better mentally too.
  6. Stay distracted- Read, sleep, play games, start working on your doctorate… whatever, just keep yourself distracted from negative thoughts. I’m usually not one to say distract yourself or bottle up your thoughts but sometimes it’s better than dealing with them when you’re already feeling down. You can deal with them when you get better.

If you feel like your mental health is still not improving please seek medical help as soon as you can.

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How To Ease Your Travel Anxiety

As an international student, travelling has become a part of my life and as much as I actually do love travelling my anxiety does tend to mess with me sometimes. However, over the last few months I have learnt a few things that help ease my anxiety before and during my travels. I really hope it helps you guys too because travelling should be a good experience not an anxiety ridden one.

  1. Be prepared in advance– I usually try to finish all of my packing at least one day in advance so on the actual day I’m travelling I know I’m done with everything and I can relax. This gives you a chance to kind of relax your brain because once it’s all anxious it’s hard to calm it back down. I just have to go through everything and make sure I’m not forgetting anything and I’m done!
  2. Lots of chamomile tea- studies have shown that drinking chamomile tea helps calm you down and reduces stress levels so if you’re packed in advance you have a few minutes to sit down and have a nice cup of chamomile tea to really calm you down. You can also take some along with you or buy them at the nearest coffee shop to help keep you calm during your journey  Chamomile tea doesn’t help everyone but it has helped me so give it a try and see if it works for you!
  3. Meditation and yoga- like I said before if you’re packed in advance you have more time to do relaxing things and it really helps to do some yoga and breathing exercises. There are a lot of special yoga positions and meditations that are specifically for relieving anxiety and stress and I wasn’t a huge believer in either but they really do wonders for you especially if you do them long term! You can also do the breathing exercises while travelling to help you stay calm in anxiety inducing situations.
  4. Your carryon is important– This is crucial to your travel. In my experience what you carry with you on the plane/bus/train is very important to how your journey will go. Firstly, make sure to double check that you have your passport and any other documents you may need during your journey. Secondly, make sure you have a book or headphones or something to distract you in case you do end up getting really anxious or having a panic attack. I also make sure to carry food and drinks with me because I tend to get more anxious when I’m hungry or dehydrated and you can do this too.
  5. Don’t forget to breathe– at the end of the day you have to remind yourself that it’s just travelling and it’s really no big deal. Most of the time when anxiety takes over it’s hard to think rationally but you need to train your mind and make sure it doesn’t control you with irrational thoughts. Keep thinking calming things and just try to relax and enjoy the moment!

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Our Mental Illnesses Are NOT Your Cute Personality Quirks…

This. People need to understand this!

News, Reviews and the Occasional Blues...

Seriously people. The next time that I hear”Oh I must tidy up, I’m so OCD today” or “Oh she’s up one minute and down the next – she’s so bipolar!” I am going to stuff my walking stick right up that person’s asshole and turn them into a fucking lollipop. I swear I am.

Listen up people. Suffering from mental illness is no triviality and neither is it a fucking joke. I have struggles with several mental health issues, OCD and bipolar being two of them, so it really does set my teeth on edge when I hear someone coming out with an off the cuff, totally fucking moronic comment like that.

When we said we wanted mental health disorders to be spoken about more, we didn’t mean for you to appropriate them into your everyday conversations.

Lately (and unfortunately), it is becoming something of the norm that mental health…

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Quotes About Anxiety

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Top 5 Movies That Deal With Dementia (Guest Post)

Movies that deal with real suffering of ordinary individuals are usually those that stick in our minds for years to come. Many older actors who have portrayed people affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia have gone on to win Academy Awards or nominations, and will forever be remembered in the history of cinema. The following is a list of some of the best films on memory loss and how it affects everyone involved.

5.   The Savages (2007)

Starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages is a touching story about two siblings who reunite for the sake of their father who’s suffering from dementia. This tragic comedy yielded some wonderful performances and nominations, including Laura Linney’s Oscar nomination for Best Actress, and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). Tamara Jenkins was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

  1. Aurora Borealis (2006)

An indie movie released without much anticipation, Aurora Borealis is a story about a grandfather, (Donald Sutherland), who suffers from dementia and needs more care than his wife (Louise Fletcher) can provide. They hire a home health aide (Juliette Lewis) to assist, and enlist the help of their grandson (Joshua Jackson) to provide proper care to Sutherland’s character who believes he can see the Northern Lights through his window. Although Aurora Borealis has never received much praise from critics or moviegoers, it is one of those films where Donald Sutherland steals the show for the millionth time.

  1. Age Old Friends (1989)

John Cooper, played by Hume Cronyn, wonderfully portrays an elderly man who chooses to live in a retirement home to preserve his independence and not be a burden on his daughter, played by his real-life daughter, Tandy Cronyn. He becomes friends with Michael (Vincent Gardenia), who is diagnosed with dementia, and is faced with a tough decision when his daughter wants him to come live with her. Should he leave a rigid retirement home and go live with his daughter or should he stay to help out a friend in need?

  1. Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch (2001)

Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch is based on a book by John Bayley and a true story of English author Iris Murdoch’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. This film will forever be remembered by its outstanding cast and its breath-taking performances. Jim Broadbent, who plays Bayley in his later years, won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. Judi Dench and Kate Winslet both landed Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for their portrayals of Murdoch in her older and younger years.

  1. The Notebook (2004)

The Notebook is certainly the most famous of all the movies on this list, and for a good reason. Based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel of the same title, The Notebook might not have received as much praise from the critics as it did from the audiences around the world, but it will forever be adored as one of the most romantic movies of its generation that break down both young and senior dating and everlasting love that knows no boundaries. Featuring Gena Rowlands and James Garner, The Notebook tells a story of a loving elderly husband of Allie who is trying to rekindle her memories destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams play the couple when they were younger and their chemistry is out of this world.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/18286504@N00/1705421249/in/photolist-3AGJjD-98m9Ga-71h7jm-7zL9r4-69Fvsi-9cJ8qi-hVikNa-4dETvV-5UxjFd-4W6PRT-bJpdQe-axX5kB-5R4LiH-9Ax2D7-k6TeEL-7qFxg4-mbUudT-9DvemK-6xzY5V-95pcTj-7Hqirr-bjrXKa-8xtjDn-5SVFLL-6eNTYc-7qcVow-eH2o1q-kQfhn-fEK8Lh-hV3HNp-8ixgR2-8nXK1F-7L1gBp-7v52af-6j7Pti-6FvYY7-7YJqM8-abHHxY-duuHp1-4vwSg-kwdKwB-4r11Zh-dupack-a7ecfV-dMkqo8-TfKJGb-8z3B4A-4kDDvv-7MubvM-4mogBW

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5 Common Mental Disorders Explained

Mental health is a very important issue that has so much incorrect stigma surrounding it. We need to spread awareness so that everyone can get the help they deserve!

lifesfinewhine

Mental disorders/illnesses are a range of mental health conditions that affect your mood, thinking, and behaviour. A mental health concern becomes a mental disorder when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. The following are descriptions of some common mental illnesses/disorders.

Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

This is a severe condition in which two or more distinct identities or personalities are present in- and alternatively take control of- an individual. The individual also experiences extensive memory loss. Usually a primary personality carries the individual’s given name and is passive, dependent and depressed. When in control each personality may have its own distinct history, self-image and identity. The alters’ characteristics including name, reported age and gender, vocabulary and predominant mood usually contrast with those of the primary identity. The various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear…

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Tips On How To Deal With Anxiety Pt 2

I had done the first part of this a while back and since then I have learnt some more things that help me with my anxiety that I wanted to share with you guys! For the first part please click here.

Identify your triggers- Most people have different triggers and knowing what triggers you can help you avoid them. Write them down if you like and try to avoid as many as you can. Or you can try to desensitize yourself one trigger at a time if you can’t avoid them.

Read up on it- Find out as much about your anxiety as you can. The more you can understand it the more ways you can find to deal with it. And research can really make a difference when it comes to finding the best way for you individually to work on your anxiety.

Repression- Repressing your thoughts and emotions is just really unhealthy for you. I’m a serial repressor and I know a lot of my problems stemmed from not being upfront about how I feel and I do try these days to be more open although it’s still really hard for me. So just try to be more honest about how you feel which I know from experience is a lot easier said then done but try it out and make it into a habit and it might just work! And something I’ve noticed is that certain events that have happened in your life may still be in your unconscious and may be the reason for certain other problems you are facing so if there are things that you need to work through please do some as soon as possible.

Learn what helps you individually- The same thing that helped someone else may not work for you so try out a few methods and see what sits well with you.

Cut out toxicity from your life- Some people are just toxic. It’s not anything that you did or said it’s just who they are and people like that need to be out of your life as soon as possible. Try to avoid toxic people or toxic situations as much as you can and you’ll see what a difference it makes.

Seek help– in the end if nothing seems to be working you should seek professional help because it can very difficult to live with anxiety. There are drugs you can take and people you can speak to and this can really be helpful. There is nothing to be ashamed of for seeking professional help because it doesn’t make you weaker than everyone else, it makes you stronger because you know your weakness and you’re ready to fight it. If you need help as a couple because anxiety (or any other mental disorder) is affecting your relationship there are many helpful couples therapists and there a lot of online couples counsellors too that could really make a difference in your life.

For the first part of this post please click here.

For more posts about anxiety click here.

I really hope you enjoyed this post and if you did give it a like, follow, share and comment on what helps with your anxiety or if any of these tips helped.

Ode To Anxiety

It was a struggle at first

But now my old friend visits

Again and again

Leaving me helpless in pain

Food becomes foe

And nights a sweaty drench

Laughter leaves the soul

Eyes are fogged and blank

I learn to laugh again

Feels good

Like emerging from a black hole

Learning to see again

Stronger I am and more confident

It will come again I know

But it’ll never take me back

I know

This is another awesome poem by MistryLand who hadn’t written for a while but I’m so glad she’s writing again! It’s so relatable and descriptive and really captures what having anxiety feels like.

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Tips On How To Deal With Depression

I have dealt with depression for quite a few years. Actually I have had symptoms of depression since I was 11/12. It was really hard at first especially because I didn’t know what was happening- I was just always sad or angry and I really didn’t get much support at the time from my family who I believe just thought I was going through a phase at the time. The worst part of depression for me is that it never really goes away, it’s always there at the back of my mind waiting for the slightest sign of weakness. I still have days when I just feel horrible and feel like life isn’t worth it anymore but I always try to think of all the positive things in my life. If your depression is effecting your day-to-day life in a way that you can’t deal with on your own please seek help immediately. Often your depression can also effect the relationships with the people you love and couples counselling is a great way to get your relationship back on track. Anyway, here are a few things I found very helpful when battling with depression:

Exercise- I know when you’re depressed even just getting out of bed is difficult but exercise really does help and once you start exercising you’ll start feeling a lot healthier and positive, you just need to find the strength to start. I would encourage that you get a trainer or start some kind of exercising routine everyday even if it’s just jogging for a while every day. Believe me it will start to be really fun soon.

Eat healthy- sometimes the types of foods you eat can affect your mood. Eating healthy can really help with depression and make you feel better about your body too. It can increase your self-esteem and really make you feel more positive.

Self-help- if you feel like therapy or drugs aren’t exactly helping you to cope with your depression reading books or sites on self-help can be really helpful. I found this particularly helpful because everyone has different symptoms/types of depression and sometimes reading can help you find the perfect way to deal with it because everyone is different and different things help different people. Online sites can be helpful too because you can read other people’s experiences with depression or write about your own experience. I have found that many people online are very positive and ready to help.

Love- sometimes thinking about things you love can really be fun and can get your mind off more negative things. You can make a list of all the things you are grateful for and put them in a jar so you can pull out one of them every time you feel down. You can also choose to stick the list above your bed so you see them every day. You can always also find people you love and tell them you love them (it’s fun to see their reaction).

Smile- smiling helps make you feel better because it removes chemicals in your brain that make you happy. Try smiling at people, even if you don’t know them that well and just try to pretend to be happy for a while and you’ll soon realize that you stopped pretending and are actually starting to feel happy.

Get a pet- studies have shown that playing with animals can make you happier so if you can maybe try getting a cute little pet (or a creepy one if you’re into those kinds of pets) to hold and cuddle when you feel sad. Plus taking care of them can get your mind off your depression.

Help someone- helping someone can be really rewarding. As humans we have the need to please others and in doing so you please yourself. Maybe you can help out at a homeless shelter by cooking or serving the homeless. If you like animals maybe you can volunteer at the animal shelter. If those don’t sound right maybe you can volunteer at school to tutor other students or help out with events. It may sound kind of boring or lame at first but it can get really fun and you may end up making some new friends. You could always try to join a club too so you can meet some new people to interact with.

Talk- everyone has a story a story to tell and talking to others can really help with depression. Not only do you realize that everyone has problems you also get to see things from other people’s perspective which can really be helpful sometimes. I’m sure your friends would love to talk to you about how you’re feeling and if not you can always join a support group or talk to someone online. Just talking about how you feel can actually be a lot more helpful sometimes than solving you dilemma.

Change you’re thought patterns- I’m not saying that depression is a habit but sometimes thinking negatively or being pessimistic can become a habit. To change this you can try to consciously make an effort to be more positive about things. Soon thinking positively will become a habit and you will realize you’re becoming a more positive person in general.

Be creative- sometimes having a creative output can be really helpful. For example, I started writing my blog because it gave me a way to write about my thoughts and generally things I’m interested in. Writing is a great way to express yourself. So is art, making music, cooking and more. Find something you enjoy doing and do it when you’re feeling kind of down.

Seek help- if nothing seems to be working maybe you need professional help. There is nothing wrong with that and there is nothing to be ashamed of either. Sometimes you need some professional help to sort out some things and it may be incredibly helpful. And remember you will probably not have to see a therapist for the rest of your life and even if you have to there is nothing wrong with that. If you’re not sure how to sign up for therapy or how to find someone who can help you can always check out BetterHelp which will help you find the perfect therapist for you as an individual- someone you can comfortably work with to achieve a better you! 

I hope these helped! They’re not exactly proven or even professional or anything, they are just things I myself have done and still do when I have bouts of depression and I personally find them very helpful so I thought I should share them. I really hope this helps someone!

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Living With Depression

Many people don’t understand what depression feels like and think that people who are depressed are just being sad and pessimistic and they should just try to brighten up. What people don’t realize is that depression isn’t a choice, it’s a disease. It’s sad how psychological illnesses are not taken as seriously as physical ones. Most of the time people just think that people with psychological diseases are just “weak minded” and they should just get over it. No we are not selfish, self-centered or attention seekers. Depression is real and it effects almost 350 million people worldwide.

Being depressed is like trying to swim but having a rock tied to your foot the whole time dragging you down. No matter what you do that cloud just doesn’t lift and it’s sad but after a while you stop trying to fight it and start giving in. It starts small like one day you just wake up a little sadder than usual, then soon you stop going out as much as you used to, you don’t laugh or talk as much anymore either and after a while it takes way too much strength to even get out of bed.

The one thing I’ve noticed about having depression is you really figure out who in your life genuinely cares about you and who doesn’t. Another thing I’ve noticed is that people soon give up on you which honestly just makes it worse because the people you expect to help you and to understand just end up telling you that you’re just being lazy. Sometimes it may actually seem like we’re being lazy or we don’t want to help out but what people don’t understand is that it takes so much strength to even get up that it feels like it’s impossible for us to do anything other than just sleep or sit around. Sometimes it feels like we’re being unfair and that we don’t care about hurting others but we do care- in fact we care too much. Every little comment you make that you may not have even said to hurt us does hurt us. Those little comments about our hair or our clothes will forever be engraved in our minds. We are very sensitive and sometimes you need to keep your opinion to yourself because we have a really hard time accepting ourselves as it is and sometimes you just make it worse.

Depression is a very dark road and the worst part is it never really goes away. It’s always there just around the corner waiting for some sign of weakness so that it can attack again. This can sometimes make people think you’re moody but it’s not true. Sometimes you just want to be alone and sometimes you want to be surrounded by people but we don’t act this way to annoy others because believe me it’s just as annoying to us as it is to you. Sometimes we need to be alone because we can’t take the pressure of socializing or even just having a conversation with someone. Sometimes we need to figure our own thoughts out before we can deal with talking to other people.

I know that people probably tell you all the time that things aren’t as bad as they seem but sometimes they are. So I’m not going to end this by telling you to try to brighten up or change. I will however tell you that there is always help out there for you if you think you need it. There are also lots of people out there who have been through what you have and they’ve survived. There is nothing wrong with you- you aren’t a freak, you aren’t weird and you’re definitely not weak. You are a strong, unique and powerful individual who is going to get through this because things are going to get better and you deserve to be happy. Nothing is ever worth ruining your happiness for and once you learn to love yourself and your life things will look brighter. Whether you’re just currently going through a difficult phase or whether you have clinical depression you just need to remember that you come first- don’t try to please everyone around you, just focus on yourself. Maybe you need a few days off but that’s okay- take a break and relax. Things will get better.

“Maybe you have to know darkness before you can appreciate the light” –Madeline L’Engle

Also please remember that there are always people out there that are trained to help those suffering from mental disorders! If you’re not sure who to talk to or what therapists there are in your area you can always check for therapists near you on BetterHelp!

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