Advice for better mental health from the UK blogging community

Today I am collaborating with over 50 UK bloggers! Yes, 50! I reached out to a UK blogging network about my idea for this post and very kindly, lots of bloggers wanted to help out and give their advice! Mental health is so important and it is great that people are speaking up. I have struggled with mental health in the past and I didn’t always have the support network and help that I do now. It is important to know that you are not alone in your struggles and that you can get better.

It took me a few years to accept that how i used to feel wasn’t normal and that i needed to ask for help. The thing is, when you struggle with mental health for a prolonged period of time, it becomes a new “normal”. However, now I am on the other side of it I know that it isn’t normal to feel how i did.

When I confronted my illness, I got better. When I accepted that I deserved a better quality of life and true happiness, I got better. It has been nearly two years since I had a depressive episode and I haven’t had a serious panic attack for even longer. Id say I am pretty much fully recovered, but we all have wobbly days. Talking is so important and that is what inspired me to create this post. With the help of the UK blogging community, I have put together over 50 pieces of advice from a bunch of kick-ass people.

Thank you so much to every one from the UK bloggers network who got involved with todays post, it means the world to me. Here are some ways to better your mental health if you are struggling. Please check out the incredible blogs of the lovely contributors below!

The Advice From The UK blogging Network

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Fight it

 

  • Louise Sharp: “My advice is to fight it. Think of how you’d like your life to be. Envisage it. And work towards it. Find your passion, follow your dreams. You control your mental health, it doesn’t control you.”
  • Hannah Masterman: “Take time to breath, do something new, talk to your nearest & dearest, give it time, you’ll soon overcome that negative moment in your life.”
  • Kate Mai-Lyn: “Force yourself to make a little time each week to do something you enjoy just for the fun of it. Fun for fun’s sake is good for the soul.”
  • Emma Lambert: “Make sure you put yourself first. If you are feeling unwell, you need to get yourself better. It’s not as simple as waiting for a cold to go or taking something for a headache. It takes time, understanding and you need to really focus on making yourself better!”
  • Katie Brinkworth: “Mindfulness is a really good way to support mental health. And CBT works well too if needed.”
  • Alison Bentley Campbell: “My piece of advice is to try and practice mindfulness, being in the present moment for me always let’s me focus and keep my energy on something worthwhile.”
  • Samantha Smith: “I’ve struggled really bad with stress and by being in a theatre group and doing something I enjoy it helps to relieve that pain. I get to express myself through acting and clear my head! If you’ve ever wanted to join a group definitely give it a go”

Exercise is really helpful

  • Jack Ryan: “Having experience of this through my family, I would say…Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. Don’t carry this burden alone.”
  • Alice Rose Blecker Loyallaleon “My advice is that the aim is to get to a place where you get to do all the things you love and not have to sacrifice things due to your mental health. Just be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do on a particular day and that it’s a road not a race. Always put yourself and your mental health first and have the right people around you , who will support you fully both on the days you are doing amazing and the days in which you are not.”
  • Kel J Davies: “Just like physical health, mental health needs upkeep and exercise is really helpful. My favourite mental health exercises are breathing exercises, grounding and exposure to things that make me anxious.”
  • Vicky Standage: “I’ve found that keeping a log of one positive thing that has happened each day has really helped me. It has helped me to change my mindset by looking for the positive things in my life instead of focusing on the negative. It’s also nice to look back on and see all the positive things that have happened, even if it may be something small that you wouldn’t remember otherwise.”

Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help

  • Kelly Leanne Jones:Never be afraid to ask for help because despite what your mind may be telling you there are lots of people who love and care about you and trained professional help isn’t as scary as it seems at first doctors are lovely and if you need medication or therapy embrace it with open arms it could be the thing that makes a huge difference in your life but most of all be kind to yourself!”
  • Becky Jarratt: “Carve some time out for yourself. Find something that you love that isn’t family, isn’t work, and do it. Team sports have changed my life – endorphins from the exercise, and friendship from the team.”
  • Haydy Squibb: “Take time out to do you. Sometimes we feel the need to please everyone else which can do damage to our own mental health so don’t be afraid to say no and put the time in to keep yourself happy; paint that picture, write that blog post, take those photos, bake those cakes. Be thankful for it.”
  • Erica Knight: “Your illness doesn’t define you.”

Practice Mindfulness

  • Daisy Belle Craydon: “Practicing Mindfulness helped me through many different stages of my life. Life is a challenge and at times that challenge can get too much. Taking some “me” time and being mindful can help you overcome those difficult life challenges, and result in you coming out stronger and happier.”
  • Shannon Clark: “My mental health really plummeted when I went to university. I went from having a really active, outdoors led lifestyle to the stereotypical lazy student one. The key to me getting back on track was carving out some time in each day to get back outside – the fresh air and exercise did wonders for my physical AND my mental health! So my top tip is to never underestimate the power of your hobbies and a bit of fresh air as they can both do wonders for your health!”
  • Jack Ashton: “Talk to people around you. My wife and family help me a lot when I start getting low and catastrophising. They help me put things into perspective.”
  • Leigh Travers: “Don’t be afraid to reach out if you feel like you need to. Although it can be daunting to ask for help, sometimes it can be the best thing to help you overcome the struggle.”
  • Katie Skelton:Ask for help and try to talk about it”
  • Emma Dowey: “Turn your ‘what if’s’ around. Instead of what if something awful happens – say what if XYZ DOESN’T happen 🙂 always helps ease my mind.”

We don’t always have control over them,but they don’t have to control us.

  • Nicola Bromley: “Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. All those feel good hormones will keep your mind clear and above all…healthy.”
  • Karen Scott: “Outside circumstances affect us, understandably and we don’t always have control over them but they don’t have to control us. No matter how bad things are, or even if they are good, and you don’t know why you feel down. You can change the way you feel. It may take a lot of time, and many failures but commit to doing everything in your power to get better and work on it, every single day. Connect with people who have overcome similar illness, watch motivational videos, read inspiring books, don’t stop learning. Understanding your own body really is key. Always, ask for help. I’ve worked with a nutritional therapist, and I gained so much understanding from her, that would have taken me years to figure out alone. Invest in your body and mind, it will be the best thing you’ve ever done. Never be ashamed, or embarrassed, be proud to be you, that you are fighting to be the best you, you can be. Lastly, focus on joy, and gratitude. Some days that is hard but think simple, a warm bed, good meal, a warm sunny day. Anything that changes your emotional state. Hold your head up high, and know that you can do this.”
  • Becky Heeley: “I blog about mental health and ecotherapy, my advice is to try and get outdoors. Go for a walk , look for the birds, the butterflies etc focus on nature. Being out in nature helps to calm the mind and boost your mood.”
  • Becci Nicholls: “My advice: Don’t stay silent”

Focus On You

  • Shelley Busby: “My piece of advice is to focus on you! Take time out to help yourself. Don’t worry about being left behind or being a burden. Everyone needs mental health days full of self care! It’s okay to have down days. keep going & look after yourself.”
  • Saskia Cameron: “Make sure you take regular time out to focus on yourself. Life can get pretty hectic (especially when you have kids!), so it’s important that you put some time in your schedule to do something for you. Whether that’s taking a class, doing some exercise, or simply taking a relaxing bath, try doing something that takes your mind off the daily stresses of life and helps you unwind.”

Write it down

  • Amanda Louise McWhirter:Bullet journaling. Write down things you are grateful for and things you’ve achieved each day.”
  • Rachel Stanley: “I have an older sister with intrusive OCD and Asperger syndrome and for her it’s incredibly hard for her to see past her illness, it mentally consumes her bit by bit and leaves her feeling incredibly alone. So my advice would be, to surround yourself with family and love and those who genuinely care about you. And know that no matter how hard it may seem from day to day, you’re never alone.”
  • Laurie McAllister: “I have depression and anxiety and my advice would be (for the bad days) – choose one thing you can do for yourself today to care for yourself. Whether that is brushing your teeth, eating a meal (rather than snacking on biscuits) or stepping out of the house for a walk. Don’t pressure yourself into instagrammable ‘self care’, take the time for you and appreciate even the tiniest bit of effort will help.”
  • Samantha Mayers: “Take everything one step at a time and don’t pressure yourself into doing things because you think it’s what other people want or need. You need to be a little bit selfish sometimes and just focus on yourself and what you need.”
  • Adele Kaunhoven: “Small things make a difference. Have a shower, get dressed, put shoes on, look up physically and the mental aspect will follow.”

Don’t be afraid to take your depression seriously as an illness

  • Sammy Allan: “Everyone’s advice above has been really spot on. I had severe depression for a couple of years that pretty much put a hold on my life. My biggest piece of advice is to don’t be afraid to take your depression seriously as an illness. If you had a broken leg you wouldn’t expect to go running on it and complete normal day to day life, so don’t expect yourself to be able to do everything when you’re mentally ill!
    Also, in case it might help anyone, I really didn’t want to take antidepressants but I needed something. I tried 5HTP 100mg from Higher Nature and it literally turned my depression around.
    Once I was feeling a bit better (still had depression but I was able to take part in life again) I decluttered my home and have been trying to be more minimalist, which oddly has made an incredible difference to my mental health in a positive way, so that might be worth trying as well!”
  • Anita Burr: “Find someone you can trust and talk to. Don’t bottle it up as there is always someone who can help you.”

Practice Gratitude

  • Jo Romero: “Practicing gratitude was the thing that has changed the way I think and feel every day. I suffered with depression and anxiety for many years, and once I started to think of things I was grateful for, it replaced those negative thoughts. It gets easier with practice, too.”
  • Jenna Barton: “Limit caffeine consumption where you can to avoid additional anxiety symptoms/jitters. Although lower than coffee many teas, including green tea, still have a caffeine content. Also try not to overdo high sugar foods that can destabilise blood sugar levels and lead to Hangry episodes and fatigue.”
  • Hannah Louise Gilroy: “Treat yourself like a plant – are you fed? Have you had enough water? been in the sunlight/outside? said kind words to yourself? These little things can make a big difference when your mental health is suffering.”
  • Tina Russell: “Keep a journal. Writing is therapy so it will help reduce mind-clutter. You will also be able to see how far you come”
  • Sarah Jayne: “My advice is: Don’t compare yourself to others. You may see what everyone else is doing and compare it to your own development, don’t do that. We are all unique and created to be different, the world would be a boring place if we were all the same.”

Process And Reflect

  • Luisa-Christie Walton-Stoev “Give yourself time to process and reflect. You don’t have to be busy every hour of every day and there’s no guilt in spending an evening alone doing something that makes you happy, whether it’s having a binge on your fave series, or rewatching the Disney film you can’t help but sing along to, for the umpteenth time. Self care is important.”
  • Sarah Trademark “Take time for yourself, whether you want to go for a walk or have a relaxing bath, it is important to have “me” time”
  • Dan Copping: “When people know you’re considering treatment, be prepared to listen to some strong views from them on what that treatment should be. Then do what feels right for you.”
  • Holly Rachael Homan:I cope and don’t cope on and off with anxiety, clinical depression and a few other things. Admitting you have a problem makes such a difference. I try so hard not to admit it and leave it too far. If you’re relapsing, get help as soon as possible before the grey cloud takes hold! Say no to the things that make you anxious, stay at home if that’s where you feel safe, eat what makes you happy (within reason) and snuggle with blankets always helps soothe me when the world is too much! “

It’s not a weakness

  • Haley Ryan: “I suffer with anxiety, depression and chronic pain which can exacerbate my mental health issues at times and the best piece of advice I could give is not to think of it as a weakness – realising that mental health issues make you a warrior because there is nothing worse than battling with yourself makes things a lot easier because you are able to open up and ask for help without constantly feeling ashamed.”
  • Melanie Edjourian: “You see many talking about their own mental health but I haven’t really seen much about children’s. With child suicides on the up it’s something that needs to be publicised more. I try to make sure that my children have a range of activities to help keep stress levels low such as playdates, fun activities to do at home from arts and crafts to baking. I let them have down time where they get to read, watch tv and play on ipads.”
  • Sass Wyatt: “Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but think positively of everything you have achieved, not what your illness may be holding you back from doing.”
  • Jeannette Cripps: “2 children with autism here and I have depression/anxiety. We have a “can do” not “can’t” approach here. Making time for whatever relaxes you- mine is crochet and music- just having a few minutes really helps and not “sweating the small stuff””

Don’t Suffer In Silence

  • Courtney Melville: “My advice is: Don’t suffer in silence. A problem shared is a problem halved and you might be surprised by the support your receive from friends and family. People care about you a lot more than you may think.. Just remember, if you feel like you’re at rock bottom, the only way to go is up!”
  • Carol Cameleon: “Recognise your own ‘triggers’ and act on them straight away. Get outside and be active as much as possible. Also look at your diet. You are what you eat… Meditation, yoga and reiki work wonders for me.”
  • Fran Atkins: “My tip would be to focus on something you enjoy at the same time as giving yourself the space you need to feel better. Don’t put pressure on yourself to meet anyone else’s deadline as everyone is different.”
  • Sally Allso: “I would say my biggest tip is to spend time with people and to make sure they are the right people!”
  • Sarah Bailey: “Make sure you talk to someone, sometimes it might be someone you know well, but sometimes it might be someone you don’t know well but knows what you are going through. The blogging community is amazing. There is always someone willing to spend time talking to you when things are bad.”
  • Susan Elliott: “Fresh air, even if it’s just a short walk round the block. The more I’m outside the better I feel.”

 

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UK blogger based in Buckinghamshire.
Hi! My name is Elizabeth and I am the owner and author behind elstavo.com. I blog and vlog (Youtube-Elizabeth Reilly) about all things, Beauty, Lifestyle, Skincare, Travel and of course, Veganism. I hope you enjoy my site! Check out my Instagram @el_stavo for cute pictures and cats!

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8 Comments

  1. March 18, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    Lots of excellent advice here, thank you for letting me be a part of this post! It’s not always easy following advice (even your own!) but I will definitely make it my goal to try at least one of the things on this list. Thank you for bringing attention to an important topic x

    • elstavo
      Author
      March 18, 2018 / 10:41 pm

      Thanks for taking part! Glad you liked it xx

  2. March 21, 2018 / 7:44 am

    It’s great that mental health issues are less “taboo” than they were 20 years ago. And the more we open up about them, the more we empower others who are suffering to find help. Great post – thank you!

    • elstavo
      Author
      March 21, 2018 / 7:50 am

      Thank you so much!

  3. March 21, 2018 / 8:31 am

    This is really good, thank you for letting me take part xxx

    • elstavo
      Author
      March 21, 2018 / 8:32 am

      Thank you for taking part! Glad you liked it xx

  4. March 21, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    What a lovely idea to join everyone together in this way. A powerful message of support and courage , standing up to mental health and fighting the stigma together. Thank you for including me .

    • elstavo
      Author
      March 21, 2018 / 7:43 pm

      Thank you for your kind words and for taking part! Xxx

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