Mental Health Issues in Business & Personal Life
Let’s start off by looking at the stats.
•Women are TWICE as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety as men
•1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year
•“How people cope with mental health problems is getting worse, as self-harm and suicidal thoughts is increasing”
•Only 1 in 8 people are getting the help they need
Everyone will experience or be in close contact with mental health at some point. Whether you yourself suffer, or someone close to you. This can affect both personal lives, or business.
Now, let’s look at my journey.
During my pregnancy with my youngest Dylan, which was almost 7 years ago now, I suffered a lot medically. I won’t go into the details, but after he arrived, I was a changed person. Thyroid issues and Generalised Anxiety Disorder took over me.
Dylan is 6 now. Only in the past two years have I started to feel a lot better. And even now, I have my bad days- like we all do- and I still get anxious. But now I feel like I can share my journey.
I never took anti depressants, although I was offered them. I see nothing wrong with anyone taking these, but I wanted to get to the bottom of why I was feeling the way I was. I REALLY suffered. For years. I somehow got through it, constantly putting new methods and tools in place to help me out.
I hit rock bottom. And then I pushed myself to my limits to get better.
Now anxiety has no cure, but that is why it is so important to seek ways to get better. In fact, most mental health issues require management rather than a magical cure.
If you let anxiety win, it will. But if you fight back, you can overcome the bad days and see that sun shining once again. Regular maintenance and management of these issues will allow there to be more good days than bad, and allow hope back into your life.
So I want to go through a few tools that I have learnt which help keep these issues at bay. And you never know when you, or a loved one will need them.
1. Worry Time
How often are you consumed with worries and stresses? These can be big or small. They can be work related, or personal. But constantly worrying and stressing over matters will only make your mental health suffer, and nothing is resolved by worrying constantly.
Now Worry Time may seem odd- why on earth would you set time aside to worry?
Well worry time is pro-active rather than a waste of time and energy. Throughout your day, each time you worry or stress over a matter, jot it down on your phone or on a piece of paper. Then get back to what you were doing.
Then set aside 10 minutes in the evening to go over your worries. Set the timer. Be strict with yourself.
You then need to get your paper out and have a look at what you have been worrying about and stressing about. You need to split these into two categories. Current practical problems, or hypothetical worries.
A current practical problem is something that you can take action on. Maybe you’re stressing about a particular work project, or worrying about finances or a broken boiler.
A hypothetical worry is something you can’t do anything about. When I was younger, I always worried about there being a fire in the home. A lot of people’s worries revolve around losing a loved one, or something “bad” happening.
A third case actually to mention, is that often a worry you had earlier in the day is no longer a concern. This method has taught me to be patient in some situations, as often what I worried about would resolve itself by the end of the day.
When you have your worries in front of you, you need to then go through them. Any hypothetical worries need acknowledgement. You acknowledge that you’re worried about the situation, however, as there is nothing you can do about it, you are going to let them go. You may find these worries pop up, weekly, or daily. But with time, you will notice them dwindling as you realise your worries are not coming true, or even if they did that you are capable of handling them better than you thought.
Your practical worries, or current problems are situations in which something CAN be done. With these, spend a little time of your 10 mins jotting down some practical steps and goals to deal with these problems. That work project- breaks it down into mini manageable chunks. Finances- set a tight budget, have a clear out and go to a car boot sale.
Brainstorm practical steps to resolve your worry. You will feel 10 times better.
2. It’s The Little Things In Life
Each night, before you go to bed, I want you to write down FOUR good things that have happened to you each day.
In my worst times, I struggled to do this. But over time, this got easier. And through that, I realised that the little things in life meant the most. Life doesn’t need to be extravagant. You don’t need to be a social butterfly, or attend the latest events and live them through your social media. You don’t need to accomplish massive things in your days.
But maybe that chocolate cake you had with a cuppa warmed your heart. Or maybe, Ant and Dec’s Saturday night take away had you crying with laughter. Maybe that bath you ran for yourself let you to relax and breath. Maybe you signed up a new client. Or delivered a fab presentation. Perhaps someone told you something nice. Or maybe, just maybe, your partner washed up the dishes for you.
Have a go yourself. Remember to do this every night for as long as the pad lasts. I bet you will learn a lot about yourself & what truly makes you happy. And once you figure that out- introduce more of those happy moments into your daily life. Often, less is more in life and the simple things are the things that get us through the day.
3. Seek Help
The biggest thing for me was to utter that four lettered word. HELP.
People are there to help you and to listen. I’ve had friends turn their back on me because of my anxiety. And I can count on ONE hand the amount of people who were truly there for me in the darkest days. But what does that mean? It shows more about them than me. This experience has changed me. For the better. I am far more compassionate and kinder now. I want everyone who’s suffering to have that glimmer of hope.
Seek help if you need it.
I have had wonderful family and friends help me through. It showed me who my true friends are. More women need to empower each other. Be kinder yourself, be more compassionate and the world will become that bit brighter.
4. The Final Idea; A Mental Health First Aid Kit
Place some items in a box and put them somewhere accessible. When you are in a low mood, or feeling very anxious. Items such as these can help you in those moments. Jut like we have a physical first aid kit for when emergencies occur, like a cut from chopping the onion, it is just as important to practise self care and create a mental health first aid kit.
Now I could tell you so much more about what I have learnt over the years. Tools and methods that have quite simply saved my life. I have learnt them from books, apps, YouTube, and Steps to Wellbeing. They have formed healthy habits. Now I barely need to practise these any more, but I know what to do if I need to. The most important thing is to never stop learning, and to push yourself. You are stronger than you think.
If you would like to read more about my journey with mental health, check out my personal blog: Me Against Myself.