Tag Archives: emotions

World Mental Health Day 2018 – it’s ok not to be ok….

 

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Research shows that 1 in 4 of us will experience some form of mental health issue in our lives.
That’s quite a scary statistic.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), health is defined as follows–
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
WHO define mental health as –
“A state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution or his or her community.”
Sometimes the stresses and strains of 21st Century life take its toll on our general mental well-being.
So, how is mental well-being viewed?
I checked the NHS website and found the following explanation-

“Sarah Stewart-Brown, professor of public health at the University of Warwick and a wellbeing expert, says: “Feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it’s far from the whole.
“Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and self-confidence are, too.
“So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. And so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you.
“Of course, good mental wellbeing does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult,” says Professor Stewart-Brown. “But it does mean that you feel you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual.”
It can help to think about “being well” as something you do, rather than something you are. The more you put in, the more you are likely to get out.
“No-one can give wellbeing to you. It’s you who has to take action,” says Professor Stewart-Brown.”

Perhaps, if you’ve experienced a time when it’s been difficult to cope, you’ve described yourself as being “stressed.” I’m sure most of us have said it and experienced it at some level.
So, where does stress fit into the jigsaw of mental health and well-being?
According to http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk stress is described as follows-
“At the most basic level, stress is our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event. What contributes to stress can vary hugely from person to person and differs according to our social and economic circumstances, the environment we live in and our genetic makeup. Some common features of things that can make us feel stress include experiencing something new or unexpected, something that threatens your feeling of self, or feeling you have little control over a situation.
When we encounter stress, our body is stimulated to produce stress hormones that trigger a ‘flight or fight’ response and activate our immune system 2. This response helps us to respond quickly to dangerous situations.
Sometimes, this stress response can be an appropriate, or even beneficial reaction. The resulting feeling of ‘pressure’ can help us to push through situations that can be nerve-wracking or intense, like running a marathon, or giving a speech to a large crowd. We can quickly return to a resting state without any negative effects on our health if what is stressing us is short-lived 3, and many people are able to deal with a certain level of stress without any lasting effects.
However, there can be times when stress becomes excessive and too much to deal with. If our stress response is activated repeatedly, or it persists over time, the effects can result in wear and tear on the body and can cause us to feel permanently in a state of ‘fight or flight’. Rather than helping us push through, this pressure can make us feel overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Feeling this overwhelming stress for a long period of time is often called chronic, or long-term stress, and it can impact on both physical and mental health.
Stress is a response to a threat in a situation, whereas anxiety is a reaction to the stress.”
Allow me to be open and honest for a few moments here.

I’ve written before about being stressed and the effects it had on me so I am not about to repeat myself. However, I’m human (no, I am, honestly!) and, despite my best endeavours at looking after both my physical health and mental well-being, there have been times lately that have left me in a state of “fight or flight”.
I’ve no intention of revealing the details of the various factors that contributed to these feelings. This isn’t that kind of blog….at least that’s not my intention. Suffice to say, I could see the cracks beginning to open up. I began to recognise the signs and the emotions surrounding them. These were threatening not just to overwhelm me but to swallow me whole.
Like everything that’s put under enormous pressure or strain, I had a bit of a meltdown.

I imploded.

It didn’t last long, a few hours probably, although at the time it felt like forever. Those few hours were at a point in the day when I had to paint on the “Disney smile” and keep going, while inside I was in bits. (To the friends who helped pick up the pieces that afternoon, thank you. To the one friend that I broke down in front of…. sorry, but thank you for being there at the right time and place.)
As I drove home that day feeling miserable and defeated, I reflected on the events of the day and the previous few weeks and months. I dug deep and retrieved my “pot” of resilience and, to echo my friend’s philosophy, thought, “Fuck it, life’s too short. Life’s too short to take all this shit so seriously. It’s not worth letting it have such an effect on me.”Fortunately, the “pot” of resilience wasn’t empty.
I  banished “flight” and reconnected with “fight” (not literally, you’ll be relieved to hear. I’m not a violent person.)
But how to subtly show the world that life was too short to take things so seriously? How to carry a reminder with me not to let things impact me to my physical and mental detriment? The answer was simple…….

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So, if you happened to see me that day or meet me on some future day when I need a reminder, I’ve not lost the plot. In fact, I’ll have actually found it again.

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And relax…… after a whirlwind few days

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I swithered about posting a “blog” this week as, technically, I’ve posted twice already.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind few days after the release of Book Baby 4 aka Ellen. I have been totally overwhelmed with the love and support that people have shown me. Sales have been ok. Already, Ellen has earned seven 5* reviews on Amazon.co.uk and  two 5* reviews on GoodReads. There has been a great write up in the local newspaper. ( http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/news/16684385.gourock-mum-swaps-life-in-bank-for-rock-band-fantasy/?ref=fbshr )  I’ve almost stopped blushing about that…almost!  There have been numerous lovely congratulatory messages, one of them very special indeed.  Thank you.

So, the ideal way to take stock and relax after all this? ….. well, it had to be a beach walk, didn’t it?

Normal blog service will resume next week….well, whatever passes for normal!

 

Huge thanks again to everyone who has bought a copy of Ellen. If haven’t and feel the urge, the Amazon links are below:

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 Amazon.co.uk link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

 

 

Colours of Emotion

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Its been a long time since I’ve delved into my two small poetry journals. It’s been a long time since I wrote any poetry. As I was reading through my collection I stumbled across this one and thought I’d share it with you.

Colours of Emotion

 

Hate- so strong an emotion

So small a word.

Spoken filled with red fury.

Each letter’s edge sharpened like steel

Words hard to retract.

 

Respect –  steady and calm

Blue like a still deep lagoon

It takes time to reach its depths

Once earned its easy to let slip away

 

Trust – fragile and thread like.

Silvery shimmer. A dew soaked web.

Each fibre strong but break one

And it all comes tumbling down.

 

Love – white and creamy.

Reminiscent of fresh milk.

Warm at first. Pure.

Easily curdles through time

And mistreatment.

 

Red, blue, silver and white

The emotional colours of my tarnished life.

 

 

14/01/12

The Inner Emotions of the Festive Season and Mother Nature

And breathe. And relax. Let go of all the stresses and emotions that surround the festive season.

Easier said than done!

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas but every year, for various reasons that rattle round and round in my head, another little bit of the magic dies. Maybe it’s to do with the kids growing up and the fact that there’s no more cookies and milk being left out for Santa, with a carrot on the side for Rudolph. More likely it’s to do with more complex relationships. Who knows!

For the last few years, regardless of the weather, I’ve taken time out on Christmas Eve to go for a walk along the beach. For those few brief moments, I can relax and attempt to put my “emotional” house in order before returning home to “do” Christmas.

This year was no different.

Camera in hand I set off for a chilly, bracing walk that was cut short by a torrential shower of icy rain. Suitably refreshed – well, blown away and soaked- I returned home.

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On Christmas Day, the Big Green Gummi Bear and I found ourselves with an hour or so to spare before the rest of the family arrived. In a vain attempt to prevent us from eating too many nibbles, we went for a walk back towards the beach. Again, as ever, my camera was to hand.

What a difference a day makes! It was gloriously peaceful as the sun went down.

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It struck me, as I uploaded the photos from both walks onto the laptop that Mother Nature had mirrored my own emotional state.

Christmas Eve in complete emotional turmoil; Christmas Day calm and considerably more relaxed.

On 27 December, Saturday, I wandered off in the direction of the beach for the third time in four days.

I stood on the sand and watched the sun set on another festive season with a sigh of relief and a smile on my lips.

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