#GetTheInsideOut

So while at work today I have seen the hashtag #GetTheInsideOut flying around. So after looking into this I realised it was to help those suffering with mental health. Straight away I knew I had to be involved as the whole reason I started this blog was to stamp out the stigma which surrounds the illness and this hashtag is working hand in hand with my goal!

Lloyds Bank and Mental Health UK have launched a new TV advertising campaign on Channel 4 to encourage more people to feel comfortable speaking about mental health.

“Too many people living with a mental health problem feel isolated and misunderstood. Yet we all have mental health so the more we talk and listen, the easier it becomes for everyone. This campaign will help get mental health out in the open, where it belongs”

– Brian Dow, Managing Director of Mental Health UK

The adverts feature Lloyds Bank colleagues, members of the public and celebrities – including Professor Green, Jeremy Paxman, Rachel Riley and Alex Brooker – playing a variation of the ‘Who am I?’ sticky-note guessing game, to explore the common misconceptions about living with a non-visible disability using the hashtag #GetTheInsideOut.

There have been a few familiar faces who have taken part already and as a result we can raise the awareness of people suffering with mental health and show this is not something to be ashamed of.  Remember You are not alone!

Lloyds Bank conducted research* with Mental Health UK and found that 67% of people in Britain feel society is more comfortable talking about mental health conditions now compared to 5 years ago. However, 3 in 4 still believe there is a significant stigma attached to people with mental health conditions, and nearly a quarter are still uncomfortable talking about mental health with a friend or family member.


This is something which I do feel very passionate about as I suffered for many years not speaking to anyone as I was ashamed. No one ever understood, I would go to counselling sessions in secret only my closest of friends would know where I have been but I would never really go through the ins and outs. I would just smooth over it like it was nothing.

It wasn’t until February last year when I was taken into hospital that I started to open up to those around me, even then it wasn’t an easy thing to do. It has always been something I have struggled with, people would never understand and even still now this is something which is not understood by lots of people… this is what saddens me, as some don’t even want to be educated and just want to believe that this is someone choosing to be a ‘victim’ this is NOT the case. We all want to be better and don’t want to be known as the girl/boy suffering with mental health!

It took me over 10 years to even speak about my thoughts/mental health and finally I have got the strength to speak aloud and this is all thanks to my mental health nurses at the Radbourne Unit in Derby. The NHS were able to provide me with a lot of support and I couldn’t be more indebted to these women.

Mental health is something which affects most of us at some point in our life and yet we shy away from speaking up. Take some time to speak to someone you care about and open up get those feelings inside out, it is more important than you think! You are not alone and remember that you are important and relevant. I challenge you all to take a selfie with a post it note on your head, with the hashtag #GetTheInsideOut. Then share this on your social media accounts to show your support and help those suffering show that we do care!

If you do take your selfie please tag me, to show how this post has encouraged you to take part!! 

Here is mine!

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I look forward to seeing your pictures!


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5 ways to clear your head

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I think we all struggle from time to time with brain fog, this can be down to work getting too much or maybe down to your mental illness. We all struggle from time to time, but there are a few things which we can all do to clear our minds. I have learnt a few things on my way and thought I would share these will you. You never know they may help you… fingers crossed!

Exercise

I can only imagine that you have heard this one too many times… It is something that I was always being told and I didn’t believe that this would work for me. One I am not a lover of exercise and two my head is 1000 mikes per hour most days and nothing works to slow the thoughts down… so why would exercise?

It all depends on what works for you. I have tried different forms of exercise but I love running in the fresh air, but I haven’t been able to do this for a while due to the horrible icy weather, I don’t want to break an ankle. In the colder months I go the gym and tend to do the cross trainer as I can put my headphones in and forget all of my worries. It really allows me to focus on me and clear my head of those day to day thoughts/stresses.

Exercise is known to balance hormones and support your health in numerous ways. Studies have proven that if you have brain fog the best thing to do is to get up and move; so go for walks regularly, go out in to nature on your bike or just a walk and talk with a friend. You will for sure notice the clarity after exercise.

Write it down

When suffering with a clouded head it might be that there is too much going on in your head. Sometimes it can feel a though there are 100’s of thoughts loitering in your brain. It can become a bit of a burden and make you want to turn your thoughts off.

Clouded head can cause no sleep, struggle with concentrating etc. I would 100% recommend that you write all these feelings down, it allows you to get all those thoughts down on paper and declutter your mind. It can take a few attempts to work but trust me if you persist you can make this work for you.

Never underestimate the power of pen and paper!

Speak to someone

Never feel bad for speaking to someone about the things which are scrambling your head. Talking to someone whether it’s a friend of a family member or even a stranger, they may be able to shed some light on the issues that are causing you destress or just cluttering your head. They can be a listening ear for you.

Speaking to someone else will let you get some clarity on issues with you may have been dealing with for a while now.

Read a book

In order to escape from the thoughts in your head sometimes you need to be able to escape from reality. The perfect way to do this, is to get a good book for 20 minutes or more just escape from reality. Depending on what books you read you may be able to gain something from the book while reading or it could just be a chance to let your mind be free and escape, without having to really move an inch.

I am currently loving All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I tend to read this just before going to bed or in the evening to give me a bit of time to escape before winding down.

Meditation

This might not be for everyone! Meditation is something which can take  little time and practice. However, if you give it time you can really benefit from meditation when having a bad day of brain fog or just in general!

There are lots of different ways you can do meditation. You can use guided meditations, a  really good app is Simple Habit which you can use on your phone or you go visit their website. It provides meditations for all different occasions e.g. lunch breaks at work, sleeping and even for your morning coffee… there is pretty much everything on there. It’s the perfect way to get some time to clear your mind and focus on something  that really matters other than the clutter.

You can also use meditation music to focus on rather than the guided meditations it depends what works for you best. I sometimes use meditation music when on my way to work or just relaxing.

Is there anything which you do to help clear your mind?

*All photos my own


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