Modern Day Girl

All About Mental Health Inspiration For Women

Month: May 2016

Fascinating Fancies #9

Can you actually believe it is the end of May already?! I can’t. But you know what that means!

Another Fascinating Fancies! I’m going to share with you all of the fascinating things I’ve discovered over the past few weeks. Hopefully you find it interesting!

Remember – if you are a blogger and wanted to share your own, feel free to get in contact! You can email me at getintouch@moderndaygirlblog.com if you think you have something worth sharing 🙂

Lets dig in!

Some of the best bits from across the web

I thought I’d share a friend’s blog today as it has quite a humerous first post! Nor’as blog Oh My Tragic Life shares a funny family story. Who wouldn’t want to read those!

If there are any anime fans out there (in the UK), Studio Gibli are showing their films across cinemas! I absolutely love and am actually going soon to see Spirited Away. If you wanted to check it out, you can visit the site here.

For any of those bloggers reading this, Bethany Ashley lists 40 sites to join to earn money online. It’s a fantastic list so go check it out!

I know I could always use extra and better sleep. Go check out this blog Diary of a New Mommy to read what it is that’s causing you to sleep less/have a bad nights sleep. There are some useful tips on how to solve it too. Great stuff!

The Millennial Budget shares some useful information on achieving your saving goals. I know that this is something we should be doing considering we have a wedding to plan but hey ho! Useful all the same.

Party Trail shares their best tips on travelling to Indonesia. This is good for those thinking of taking the plunge! There are also some great pictures to check out too.

Oh my god. This post doesn’t help me as I’m starving and waiting for a takeaway to arrive (yes I am allowed a treat now and then). Watch What U Eat shares a delicious Salmon Zucchini burger. The photos clearly give it justice! Go have a look.

Medication Vs Natural – Guide to Which is the Best Remedy for Mental Health

 

Those suffering with a mental health issue have no doubt considered these options. Sometimes we need a bit more information to consider the best route to go down.

Today I’m going to address some of the pros and cons for both sides. Please bear in mind that these options are there to give you a balanced view.

I am not a doctor and you should always consult them first. After all, they know best!

For some reason that phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” This might come in handy a bit later… Anyway back on track.

But at the same time, sometimes having a normal person like me around can help.

By the way – this post is for those who may already be on medication or going down the natural route. This is just here for you if you are considering other options.

WARNING: Contains a little bit of scientific speak. It is just there to allow me to explain the medical side of things a little better!

DOUBLE WARNING: I am honest about my medication and how I manage my anxiety. If you aren’t ready for this then please do come back at a later date! 🙂

Anyway. Let’s talk about it a bit more.

Should you go for medication, or go the natural way? Let's talk about it

I’m going to start of by discussing the medication route. Personally – this is the route I went. However it isn’t for everyone and ultimately is something you have to decide.

In addition to this, my doctor when down the natural route with my first to see if it helped. Unfortunately it didn’t but more on that later.

The point of your doctor is to work out what you want and how you want to do it. Remember that you don’t have to always go for their option. Doing a bit of your own research can help you make the right choice.

So let’s go into a bit more detail about whether medication is the right choice for you.

Going for medication

First and foremost you need to know that there are numerous different types of medication out there. Sometimes it can take months and even years to find the one that suits you.

As you know we are all very different. What works for me might not work for you. you are as unique as a thumb print.

Medication to ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression are there for additional support.

You may or may not know that when suffering from these illnesses, it is very much physical. It is NOT all in your head. Don’t let anyone tell you such. Your body responds to the additional adrenaline in your blood. It’s like you are preparing to fight or run.

The more well known saying is ‘fight or flight mode’. This was more relevant in primitive times when we would go out looking for prey. Unfortunately we don’t need this in modern life.

High levels of stress cause this as the most inconvenient times (as you may well know!)

Medication is there to help these symptoms.

For example, anxiety makes your heart beat faster. It makes you short of breath. It makes you shaky and on edge. Unfortunately for us sufferers  – we cannot control this. Medication helps to ease this for you.

So what types of medication are out there?

Antidepressants are usually prescribed to help with a mental health disorder. There are different types of antidepressants available. The most popular type is called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

They basically work by allowing more serotonin to flow around your blood stream (very simplistic way of explaining it). As mentioned in other posts, some of generally have less serotonin in our blood stream and it’s just down to chemical imbalances. SSRIs help with this.

Here are five of the most widely used at the moment:

  • Fluoxetine
  • Citalopram (that’s the one I’m on)
  • Sertraline
  • Paroxetine
  • Escitalopram

Each of these different medications have their own different ways of helping. It can never hurt doing a bit of research on the internet and read about each of them.

I’m not going to go into detail here though as I may end up bore you!

But always speak to your doctor to get at idea of which one would be best to start on. If you’re finding the one you’re currently isn’t working, speak to your doctor about switching. They can give you the advice that you need.

medication or the natural way, which is the best way for anxiety or mental health

It can play a key role in treatment

Most doctors will prescribe you medication if you want it. This is due to the known benefits that come with antidepressants. There have been numerous studies documenting the benefits that medication has with mental health issues.

It’s not a quick fix

Getting the right treatment via medication can take months to years to resolve. Even then, you might be using a combination of treatment to ease your symptoms.

It is definitely NOT a quick fix. As I’ve mentioned above, it certainly can help with dealing with the physical side effects of anxiety and other mental illnesses. Getting the right one though can take some time.

Be willing to put the time and effort into treating your illness. Don’t think that having to take a pill will solve all of your problems because it won’t. 🙂

Remember this when you don’t see results straight away.

From my own personal experience, I didn’t feel that light bulb moment. I didn’t wake up one day feeling no anxiety.

It took about three to 4 months before I felt fewer symptoms of my anxiety. They gradually became less and less. I also had my dosage increased which I think helped.

It doesn’t do anything to the underlying cause of your mental health issue

There are moments in life when we feel more anxious and stressed. Medication can help with the side effects of this if you have been diagnosed, but won’t take away the issue.

Medication can relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety, but it doesn’t cure the underlying problem and it’s usually not a long-term solution (helpguide.org).

what are the best remedies for anxiety? Talk about medication or the natural way

 

Don’t feel ashamed for taking antidepressants.

You aren’t obliged to tell anyone you on are medication. You don’t even need to tell your employer. They shouldn’t ask and you certainly don’t need to respond to those questions.

 There is nothing wrong with having medication for your mental illness. It is not your fault that you were born with naturally less serotonin in your blood stream. It is purely natural.

Having medication to help with this is like having an inhaler for asthma. It’s exactly the same and you shouldn’t feel bad for having to use it.

Curing anxiety and mental health issues the natural way

Medication is not the only route when treating anxiety or any other mental health issues. Doctors recommend a combination of both medication and natural remedies together.

There are a number of different changes in lifestyle we can all make to help our brain out. These are all tried and tested by me so I want to give you as much information as possible. Let’s have a look at them now.

Exercise

You’ve probably heard this before if you’ve been considering treating your mental health issue the natural way. I even wrote a post on the benefits of exercise.

So how can exercise help you deal with anxiety or anything else?

Exercise releases endorphins into the blood stream which is the body’s natural happy hormone. Doing just 30 minutes a day extra helps it flow around your body and will improve your mood. It is also great for stress relief and a quick walk can bring down those stress levels.

As well as this it also gives you a bit of time on your own. Sometimes we need a little bit of space from our family and/or friends to process our thoughts.

Don’t be alarmed by what I’m about to say but a 2 mile run takes me about 45 minutes. That’s how unfit I am. Plus I spend most of the time walking!

But those 45 minutes away from the house, the stuff in it and being out into the open really picks up my mood. You can choose to think about anything, or nothing. Most of the time whilst running I just think about how unfit I am! But it keeps me going.

When you’re feeling low/stressed/anxious, just a quick walk will do you all the good. I know how hard it is sometimes getting your body out the house but even 5 minutes is better than no minutes!

Including and cutting out certain foods

Diet plays such a massive part in our mental health. But we don’t always know about it. There are a few little changes you can make which will really help improve your mood and without breaking the bank.

Avoiding alcohol and fatty/sugary foods

Now I’m never going to tell you or anything to quit alcohol. Especially as I love the taste of cocktails, wine, and various other alcoholic drinks. But it is a depressant and unfortunately doesn’t help your mental health.

It can actually make things worse when drinking to excess, and even more so if you take medication.

Keeping your intake low or reducing how much you drink will help with this.
Is medication or the natural route the best way to treat anxiety

As well as alcohol, fatty and sugary foods aren’t great for the brain. Sugary foods lead to peaks and troughs of energy, and can be addictive. With energy levels fluctuating like this it can really affect your mood.

Again, anything in moderation! I will also be the last person to tell you to stop eating cake – we all need cake after all! Plus, you might be interested to read below why chocolate is good for the mood…

Including blueberries, seaweed, nuts (almonds) in your diet

I know that not all of us are into healthy foods. I don’t like blueberries! But they are great for the body and brain. This also includes nuts such as almonds.

So who likes chocolate here! ME. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that chocolate actually has some positive benefits to the body! If you aren’t convinced, The Calm clinic quite rightly stated that chocolate boosts the mood. It also has magnesium which has been found to have a noticeable impact on anxiety. Read the full article here.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

What is CBT? That would probably be the first thing to consider:

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems (NHS website)

So it’s a bit like seeing a therapist. However there are differences between CBT and talking therapy. CBT focuses on your issues at hand and it helps you work out what it is that is bothering you.

You can probably relate to the cycle of worry those with a mental health issue can go through. They start small, but get bigger and bigger until you are worrying about things completely out of your control. This is what CBT works on.

It teaches you different ways of processing situations to be better equipped with your thoughts as they happen.

From my own point of view I have an appointment for this in a few months. If you are thinking this might be something that would help you, speak to your doctor. They will be able to recommend a local CBT therapist in your area.

In the UK you are able to self refer yourself if it might help you.

Talk therapy

Talk therapy is usually where you see a counselor to talk about issues you may be experiencing at the moment. A lot of us who have anxiety find it difficult to talk about any issues we have. We don’t want to burden others with our issues.

Having a neutral person on hand to discuss your problems with can actually be quite liberating. They won’t judge you and won’t react in the way you might think. Although it didn’t really work for me, it might work for you.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been around for hundreds of years, even though it seems to be gaining momentum recently. It’s something that you can do any time of the day and wherever you are.

The point of mindfulness is to bring you back to the present. This is great for when you find yourself particularly anxious or worried about the future. All you need to do is focus on something that is in front of you. Anything.

Think about the sounds and smells around you. Also think how they make you feel. It helps you focus on the present when you need it most. If you want to read a bit more you can read a wrote a post on it here.

How to talk about your mental health issue. Have the courage. Remember that it doesn't define you

Positivity

I’ve written a number of posts around the benefits of positivity. It can really help you when you’re feeling anxious or on edge. We are prone to negative thoughts a lot of the time and sometimes we need reminding.

After all, we are surrounded by reminders of what we should look like and how we should behave.

This is where bringing those positive thoughts can help. The thing is we can grow up thinking negatively and can be quite a task changing it. If you want to read a bit more, I wrote this post for you here.

But you can make little changes. Rather than thinking about how someone may think about you, remember that their opinion doesn’t matter. It’s about self love and self esteem. You don’t need anyone else’s confirmation that you are amazing.

This post has been really enjoyable writing. I’ve covered some of aspects of medication and the natural routes. Unfortunately I couldn’t go into a huge amount of detail otherwise this would be pages long!

Do you want access to my Ultimate Wellbeing Resource? Just enter your email below for the link.

 

What are the ways you treat your mental health issue? What have you found does and doesn’t work for you?

 

How Loving Yourself Can Change the World

This is a guest post by Dr. Debra Reble. I hope you enjoy it!

A manifesto of Love! Order your copy of #BeingLove by Dr. Debra Reble today and receive over 45 personal and spiritual development gifts--for a LIMITED TIME! www.BeingLoveBook.com

By loving yourself wholeheartedly, you can change the world. You become a conduit for love when you fully embrace and express your true nature—which is, and has always been, love. The more you love yourself, the more you eliminate negativity, connect compassionately with others, and become ambassadors of love in the world.

Like dropping a pebble into a pond, loving yourself creates an energetic vibration that radiates outward from your heart center and shifts everyone and everything in its path. When you emanate the highest frequency of love, you not only receive the benefits of the high vibration, but also raise the vibration of others around you. People emitting lower frequencies will rise to the occasion when in your presence by matching that higher frequency.

When you sustain self-love and compassion by being kind, nonjudgmental, and nonreactive—especially when you struggle, make mistakes, or feel unworthy—you are more likely to behave this way toward others. Such positive behavior generates universal love, inner peace, and spiritual attunement with everyone and everything.

This ripple of love begins by accepting all parts of yourself without reservation, no matter how you feel about them. If you are unwilling to do this for yourself, you cannot expect others to do it for you, and you certainly cannot do it for others.

You can wake up in the morning loving yourself, even when faced with the most challenging situations or when you feel tired or uninspired. Focus on the aspects of yourself you love rather than on those you dislike. Just imagine how one moment of self-compassion can change your entire day, and now consider how such moments, repeated over and over, could change your life and the lives of others.

Another way to foster self-love and change our world is by eliminating all of the violent thoughts, words, and actions we inflict upon ourselves. Many of us move through our days berating, shaming, and terrorizing ourselves with our thoughts in ways we would never express to anyone we love. Self-love must be the source from which all our thoughts, words, and choices come from and flow into the world.

Whether it’s a sunny day or a cloudy day, it’s essential you sustain positive thoughts, words, and energy flow. You can pause frequently as you move through any challenging situation so that you remain consciously aware of yourself, your environment, and any reactions that may arise. In this way, you not only soothe your own anger and anxiety, but refrain from doing harm to others through your reaction. In fact, simply by practicing self-love, you can leave whatever space you’re in charged with more positive energy than it contained when you arrived.

We must constantly release anyone or anything that impedes the flow of love within us, and restore peace and harmony in all aspects of our lives. When we harbor resentment, worry excessively, become angry, or feel stressed, we block the flow of energy in our bodies, especially our heart centers, and diminish our ability to express self-love to transform the world.

Begin your day by initiating self-love. Close your eyes, place a hand on the center of your chest, and focus your attention on your heart. Radiate love in the form of gratitude or compassion to yourself and then direct it out from toward others.

If as many of us as possible harnessed the energy of self-love and shifted our negative thoughts and emotions to positive ones, we would have the greatest transformational power our world ever created. Our hearts emanate a harmonic electromagnetic energy field that  positively impacts all living beings and our environment. It is possible to do this simply through radiating love to ourselves and then out from our hearts, one love beam at a time. Such love beams can shift the energy of all negativity and bring about the highest and best good for all.

When you choose to love, respect, and preciously care for yourself, you set the tone for others to do the same. Practicing at least one act of kindness toward yourself every day can sustain happiness, well-being, and self-love, while giving you more energy to serve others.

When we emanate self-love, we transcend to our highest level of soul potential. We perform better at work, are more creative, are healthier, and impact our world in a positive way. It is time we realize that we are change agents of love. To transform our planet, we must elevate our vibration and seed the environment with droplets of love. By loving ourselves, we can live in harmony with nature, conserve our earth and its inhabitants, and create a universal consciousness of love.

Dr. Debra Reble is the author of Being Love: How Loving Yourself Creates Ripples of Transformation in Your Relationships and the World now available.  For a limited time, you’ll receive over 50 transformational gifts when you purchase a copy of Being Love. http://www.BeingLoveBook.com

Consciously merging her practical tools as a psychologist with her intuitive and spiritual gifts, Dr. Debra L. Reble empowers women to connect with their hearts and live authentically through her transformational Soul-Hearted LivingTM program. Debra is the author of Soul-Hearted Partnership: The Ultimate Experience of Love, Passion, and Intimacy, which garnered four book awards including the Eric Hoffer award. A frequent guest contributor to Aspire Magazine and other high-profile blogs, her words of wisdom are embraced by readers around the world. Her popular inspirational podcast, Soul-Hearted Living, airs on iTunes and other platforms and is dedicated to reconnecting women with their hearts.

This Lil Mind of Mine – A Reminder That You Aren’t alone

We’ve had 5 glorious weeks of fellow bloggers and non-bloggers alike who have shared their story on mental health. The aim of this was to get people talking. It’s for those of you who struggle on your own with no one to talk to. It’s a reminder that there are people out there who care, and are willing to listen.

Sometimes we need to take that chance on someone and talk. This is the hardest part about mental health. I hope, if you struggle to talk about it, that you aren’t alone (VERY far from it).

I thought it would be a good idea to finish off the series with a roundup of all of those shared.

Thank you to all who have been open to sharing their stories. Honestly it’s been great having you all on here and meeting you.

For those that might have missed them, this is for you. You can click on the images to go directly to the posts themselves.

Lets open discussion on mental health. anxiety and positivityThis is the first post detailing how and why I would be opening discussions around mental health.

I explain about how difficult it was for me to talk about my anxiety and the aims of the series.

Little did I know what great people I would meet along the way 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Lets talk about mental health. read the best and most useful adviceMeet Erin. She shares her story on mental health and how it affects her. Read how she dealt with panic attacks and her advice for other sufferers.

Visit her blog Content for Coaches here.

 

 

 

 

 

Lets talk about mental health. advice and the best tips to dealing with anxiety.Meet Mandi. Mandi approached me following me asking for volunteers to share their story. She explains how it used to affect her life and how she now deals with it.

You can visit her blog Nosh and Nurture here.

 

 

 

 

 

Lets talk about mental health. the best advice, tips and tricks.Meet Jessie. She has a truly poetic way of writing and this makes for a great read. She shares her story and how mental health affected her.

She also gives some great advice!

You can visit her blog Paper Coffee Store here.

 

 

 

 

Let's discuss mental health. the best advice from sufferers themselves.Read an anonymous submission about mental health. They go into detail about how they deal with mental health. Also makes a good read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally,Lets talk about mental health. read other stories about how it affects them read about Joce’s story on mental health. She gives some good insights and advice on how to cope with anxiety and mental health in general.

You can read her blog by clicking at Oh Dear, Deer!

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all who have participated. It’s been great honestly!

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How I Got Published in The Huffington Post + What I’ve Learned

It’s every bloggers dream isn’t it? Getting published on The Huffington Post. I know it was mine. So how do you do it? How did I manage to do it after three months blogging? Me. That newbie blogger trying to swim in a sea of bloggers.

The Huffington Post is like buckle on your ever expanding belt of achievements as a blogger. The one thing we strive for. It seems as though we are all going for our goals these days and that makes me happy.

I thought it would be good to share my success with you all and how I did it myself. It kinda adds a bit of credibility to the writing you are churning out. I can certainly agree with this. But it’s free. You don’t get paid to do it. I think this is important to raise.

P.s. Here is the article itself if you missed it!

What I did to get published in the Huffington Post and what I learned

I emailed Arianna Huffington Directly.

I took a chance one day and decided I wanted to be featured on there. I have so much to say on mental health that I thought, “why not?!” It’s more exposure on an area very close to my heart. I feel like everyone should know about it and definitely shouldn’t be ignoring it.

I did question myself though. Why would she want to hear from me?

The thing is, we have to take chances. I would normally be the last one to NOT take chances. But since starting this blog my confidence has really grown. I feel like my writing is getting better, and this in itself has given me the push to want more now.

I’ve learnt that emailing people is forward. It’s a bold move. But it’s not that scary. If you feel like you are at this stage – do it.

After all, you have nothing to lose, do you?

Imagine if you were meeting Arianna in person. Now that would be scary (for me anyway)! Sitting behind a computer screen kind of gives you a little barrier between yourself and the outside world. Remember that!

The relief I felt after pressing the send button was amazing. Now it was in the hands of Arianna and I no longer had to think about it. Phew!

What did I say in my email?

If you are reading this you are probably also a blogger. Or you might just be a reader. Hello either way!

If you are a perfectionist like I am then you’ll be going over and over what to say on your email. Making sure that the right meaning is given, but without sounding too earnest.

All I’d say is keep is short and sweet.

The email submitted had the whole blog post first on it. I think this is a good idea as it shows her what your writing will be like. I attached it to the email and also pasted the words once I’d finished the email itself. This allows her to be able to read it easily and without too much effort. After all, she’s probably a very busy lady (or her PA is at least)!

Honestly I’d thought of everything before sending!

Then I wrote a brief description about the post and why mental health means so much to me. That was it.

Within a few hours I’d had an email from her, and then an email from one of the editors with log in details.

So what did I actually write about?

I struggled to keep my word count down to be honest. I had so much to write, but only 1000 words to do it in. Like I said I could go on and on about mental health.

Hopefully you’ve read it by now so you know what I actually put in it haha. But this is what I was aiming for:

I wrote about mental health. I wrote about how passionate I am about it.

I told EVERYONE that I suffer from anxiety. My life is now very much online and I thought that there was no point in hiding this. I wrote about the stigma attached to it. I included some of the most common words I hear uttered out of people’s mouths around mental health.

I showed my passion. My enthusiasm. I showed how much effort and how much I wanted his.

I finished off the post by advising you that I will bang on about mental health until the cows come home. You know, a little bit of humour.

Because I will. My words will make this happen.

I want to help you get to the point at which you are happy with your illness.

Where you can say you’ve overcome it or are at least managing it. Even if you feel like you can’t be happy about it, at least you can bear it.

My final thoughts

This is going to open up doors (I hope!). I can now freely write on the blogger section of The Huffington post just by logging in. I’ve decided I’ll be posting on there every month now.

pLus do remember though that you don’t get paid to write there. You are doing this willingly, for nothing. But you are gaining valuable experience as a new blogger and this is what I wanted.

But I’m not going to stop there, oh no.

I’ve got much more to share. Follow me on this journey not only I am following, but you too. Let’s grow together. Let’s spur each other on by winning and growing together.

Have you read my post yet? What were your thoughts? What thoughts do you have on mental health?

P.S. do you want access to my Ultimate Resource? Just enter your email below to get your email!

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