Saturday, 31 January 2015

Last day of January

AGH, how is it February already? How has it been 4 weeks since Christmas? Why is my life flying by so quickly?

I think it's time to reflect on my Janaury:

- It obviously didn't get off to the best of starts as I crumbled under the pressure at Christmas

- I started keeping a Memory Jar. There are like, 3 things in it from this month (I think, checking would be cheating). But I really do miss writing in my Daily Book of Gratitude.

- Work has been going well.

- My dog welcomed me home with the hyper-ness of a child who gets to play in snow for the first time last week. She also licked my hand in return for me petting her. That always gives me the feels.   
- I've signed up for 10 weeks of Zumba classes.

But I've had a really good last week of the month. I've been socialising, and dining, and I'm learning to do things for myself. And for my last day of January I have a nice to-do list to finish off the month:

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Self Care: Step One

You read my post Down. You know things have been tough for me. So what's next?
Well for me, Self Care is the first step to getting my mental health back on track.

So this is an update on my Self Care regime since the New Year (not just since I pressed 'publish' on that post):

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Impact since my last post

It’s been a strange few days. Putting something I had bottled away for weeks out into the public domain was scary. I found it difficult to press the ‘publish’ button.

But ever since I did the outpouring of support has been immense. 

I feel more relaxed, happier even, like a weight has been lifted off of my back.
Because it's out there, I'm not preoccupied with hiding it anymore; with consciously lying every time I was asked 'How are you?'

Saturday, 17 January 2015


In my Christmas post I mentioned the post Christmas period blues; the difficulty I have often had of relocating myself back to Dublin after two weeks at home.
This year was a somewhat different experience for me.

While it is very common for people to experience periods of lows and changes in mood during the winter, it's never happened to me over the 'festive' period before. But this year it did. And I didn't know how to deal with it or what was wrong with me. Despite having gone through battles like this before, I couldn't quite recognise the signs in myself until they had been going on for over a week. And the best way that I know how to deal with it is to write. So here's what happened:

Friday, 16 January 2015

Feelgood Friday

I got this beautiful note card set for Christmas from my little sister.

Last weekend I decided to finally put it to use and wrote a card to my sister, detailing what I've been up to since I've last been home.
I talked about my new addiction to Netflix, seeing Dublin city from the mountains, how much I missed my pets.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The Problem with Current Mental Illness Terminology

I wanted to share with you this article from The University Times I read this morning. This may be a student newspaper, but it's one of the best articles on mental health I have ever read. It's called 'The Problem with Current Mental Illness Terminology' by Se├ín Healy and he takes a really interesting stance on the terms we use around mental health, and in-particular to illnesses and disorders.
"A diagnosed mental illness is rarely just a state of mind, but a very real inability to accurately perceive reality, keep emotional balance or maintain good cognitive function..."
I don't usually talk about the 'science' behind mental illness, mainly because I just don't understand it. I know Depression occurs with a chemical imbalance. I've heard of dopamine and serotonin, and I can only guess that an increase or decrease in their levels can be triggered by experiences, events etc.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

A Good Mental Health Week

Too often we reflect on the negative. Consumed by our fears, our sadness, the darkness.

But, I have had a good week. It may have been the first week back to work, and the first week in January, but the January Blues haven't hit me.
Instead, I've been happier than I have in weeks. I didn't notice until half way through the week. I was watching TV and it was funny and I started to laugh. Out loud. And that's not like me. Most of my feelings, the majority of the time, are kept locked up inside myself. I don't express, and I certainly don't do so by accident.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

I'm Not Sad All The Time

SE Smith in The Guardian:

"When I’m having a depressive episode, I’m not walking around in tattered black clothes, weeping and wailing. I go out with friends and I crack jokes (especially sardonic ones)."

This piece was published in The Guardian newspaper at the weekend. Through wonderfully descriptive personal stories and examples, Smith shows us that Depression doesn't make you sad all the time. Nor does it mean you act a certain way.

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year, New Goals

Okay, so I have a Memories Jar to remind me of the best bits of my year. But in 2015 I also want to try settings goals; things I want to achieve in the year.
I've read a lot about Goal-Setting as a great tool when it comes to Mental Health with its motivational benefits, having targets and a clearer sense of focus, and ease of measuring achievements (not to mention the actual feelings of achievement.)
I started this goals list back in September - 23 things I want to try before I'm 23. (I found it on Pinterest, but no creater was linked to it so I'm sorry I haven't credited them!)

23 things I want to try before I'm 23
I've decided that out of sheer laziness this will also suffice as my New Year Goals list.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Christmas Break

I've been back to the family home for the Christmas period. It's been a lovely break from Dublin, work, and also Twitter.

I am a Twitter fiend. I am constantly sharing, and oversharing - everything from the mundane to the slightly more interesting.

Retweeting interesting tweets, funny tweets, tweets I agree with utterly and tweets I disagree with completely.

Basically I am always on Twitter.

That Christmas-y Feeling

This is what Christmas was to me in a couple of pictures:

Spiced Apple tea by an open fire that tastes like mulled wine 

Pumpkin Spice Candle