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World Mental Health Day: 50 Ways To Relax

By Health, LifeNo Comments
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World Mental Health Day

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. But I was too busy relaxing to post this post.

We all need to relax at times and we all go through spells of finding it difficult to relax. So with this in mind, here are 50 ways to relax:

  1. Talk with friends and family.
  2. Watch a film.
  3. Burn essential oils in an oil burner.
  4. Read a book.
  5. Listen to slow music.
  6. Go for a massage.
  7. Have a reiki treatment.
  8. Have a hot bath.
  1. Have a long shower.
  2. Watch a TV series.
  3. Plan future events to look forward to.
  4. Online shopping.
  5. Drink a cold drink.
  6. Drink a hot drink.
  7. Get an Indian head massage.
  8. Take a nap.
  9. Go for a drive.
  10. Eat something sweet.
  11. Meditate.
  12. Write.
  13. Dance.
  14. Go for a walk.
  15. Take a deep breath or six.
  16. Sit in a place of natural beauty.
  17. Do something fun!
  18. Visualise you somewhere else.
  19. Get your hair cut.
  20. Get a manicure/pedicure.
  21. Take a break.
  22. Burn incense.
  23. Splash your face with some cold water.
  24. Get some essential oils and practice aromatherapy on yourself.
  25. Chill in comfy clothes.
  26. Cuddle your childhood teddy.
  27. Play with desk toys.
  28. Look through photos on your phone.
  29. Get Creative – make something.
  30. Watch some comedy.
  31. Sunbathe.
  32. Go for a meal out.
  33. Sing.
  34. Spend time with pets/animals.
  35. Put on some mood lighting.
  36. Solve a puzzle.
  37. Organise something.
  38. Tidy your environment.
  39. Ride a bus, train or the Metro Link.
  40. Help Others.
  41. Turn your phone off for an hour.
  42. Take a break from social media.

Blog soon,

Antony

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A Meeting, a Massage and a Meal

By Friends & Family, Health, ThinkingNo Comments
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In response to my exposé report, the Head of Quality and Head of PALS (Patient Advice & Liaison Service) from the Northwest Boroughs Healthcare NHS Trust met with me to discuss my concerns around the care I received. I was uneasy about the meeting and anxious, but it went extremely well.

The Northwest Boroughs Healthcare NHS Trust have taken my report seriously and the feedback has been responded to with both top-down and bottom-up approaches.

The meeting couldn’t have gone better and I left feeling very assured that they had not only taken my concerns seriously, but responded to them appropriately. They are due to write a formal response to me in due course.

I followed this with a self-care treat of a 60 minute full body massage. This was relaxing and de-stressing. It was a GroupOn deal, I’ve never used GroupOn before, but it’s great for trying out new experiences or businesses at a reduced price. So check it out.

Yesterday I attended a meal to celebrate what would have been Alex, my younger brother’s 28th birthday.

Words that sum up my last few days: unease, anxiety, bravery, changing things for the better, relaxing, de-stressing, remembrance, celebration.

Blog soon,

Antony

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Mental Health Focus: The Well Of Resilience

By Health, Thinking2 Comments

Resilience or emotional resilience is our ability to deal with adverse events in life that cause pressure or stress. I like to think of resilience as being like water in a well:

The-Well-of-Resilience-by-Antony-Simpson

We only have so much resilience within us, like there is only so much water in a well. Adverse events cause us to use our resilience water by the bucket loads. But there is good news.

We can make it rain to add more resilience water to the well or just top it up a little at any time. We can do this by: Taking a Break, Relaxation, undertaking Hobbies & Interests, Spending Time in Nature, Practicing Meditation or Mindfulness, Spending Time with Family / Friends / Animals and Listening to Music.

How do you top up your well of resilience? Leave a comment below and let me know.

This blog post is part of a series with a Mental Health Focus. Other posts you might like include: Wonderful Websites for Mental Health and Mental Illness, How to support someone with Mental Illness, 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Mental Health, General statistics for Mental Health in the UK, A list of Famous People Who Have Experienced Mental Illness, Treatment and Recovery and A list of Common Conditions.

Take care,

Antony

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Tips to help deal with Worry and Anxiety

By Health, Life6 Comments

I have been filled with worry and anxiety this last week. There were two main sources: my boiler breaking and money.

I managed to get my boiler repaired. But it took all week and almost everything that could go wrong with getting it repaired did. Moneywise, I’m skint. In the last two months I’ve had to find more than £700 for unexpected but essential expenditure.

I’ve been meditating for years. But I was so worried and anxious this week that I have been unable to meditate each of the three times I’ve tried.

Of course recognising that you’re anxious is the first step to addressing it.

worry-words-2017

Here are the signs and symptoms of anxiety according to MIND:

Effects on your body:

  • a churning feeling in your stomach
  • feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • pins and needles
  • feeling restless or unable to sit still
  • headaches, backache or other aches and pains
  • faster breathing
  • a fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat
  • sweating or hot flushes
  • problems sleeping
  • grinding your teeth, especially at night
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • needing the toilet more or less often
  • changes in your sex drive
  • having panic attacks.

Effects on your mind:

  • feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax
  • having a sense of dread, or fearing the worst
  • feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down
  • feeling like other people can see you’re anxious and are looking at you
  • feeling like you can’t stop worrying, or that bad things will happen if you stop worrying
  • worrying about anxiety itself, for example worrying about when panic attacks might happen
  • wanting lots of reassurance from other people or worrying that people are angry or upset with you
  • worrying that you’re losing touch with reality
  • rumination – thinking a lot about bad experiences, or thinking over a situation again and again depersonalisation – feeling disconnected from your mind or body, or like you’re watching someone else (this is a type of dissociation)
  • derealisation – feeling disconnected from the world around you, or like the world isn’t real (this is a type of dissociation)
  • worrying a lot about things that might happen in the future

From: MIND – Anxiety symptoms, Last Accessed: Saturday 21st October 2017.

There’s lots of advice out there about what you can do to deal with worry and anxiety. But what actually helped me deal with my worry and anxiety? Doing these:

  1. Off-load to a supportive friend – This gave a voice to my worries. The simple act of telling someone helped me sort through my worries and realise what was and wasn’t within my control.
  2. Remind yourself what is outside of your control – I was worried about a lot of things outside of my control. It helped to constantly remind myself to try not to worry about things I had no control over. That I should focus on doing things that were within my control.
  3. Double or triple relaxation time – This was something I did to reduce my heightened stress levels because of the worry and anxiety. At first I did feel guilty spending so much of my time relaxing. But each time I felt guilty, I reminded myself that this self-care was essential in order to prevent mental illness.
  4. Distraction – This is something I did repeatedly during my relaxation time. Intruding thoughts and emotions of worry and anxiety would often enter my head and it was my job to ignore those thoughts and distract myself from them.
  5. Write down all worries – It helped to get the worries out out of my head where they were going round and round like a circulating CD stuck on repeat. It also put my worries into perspective, helped me face them and sort through them. This cleared my mind, giving me clarity that allowed me to start planning what needed to be done. Anyone that’s been worried or anxious will know that the emotions make it difficult to think clearly. So this strategy was really helpful.

I’m proud I managed to get through this week. I’m hoping I wont have another week like it for some time.

Take it easy and write soon,

Antony

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I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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