Hello, my name is Anna, a trained Mental Health Activist and BPD diagnosed patient.
After years of being stable, I recently had a bad medical experience that got me on a waiting list for ten months regarding my Mental Health. I was lost, tired of waiting, not given any solution and as a result: not stable at all.
I believe we all need to fight for a much better NHS Mental Health service, but while that happens, I want to share some techniques that helped (and they probably forever will) when I feel more low and/or burn out:
I went back to therapy.
Speaking to someone who knows about the subject and feeling, meaning we can be ourselves in a safe space, makes a huge difference. Don’t be afraid to talk. If you can’t afford therapy, reach out to someone you trust, or you can always text free helplines
. It’s much better than keep it all for you and bottle it up.
I started working on myself mentally and physically.
You can walk, dance
, join the gym
, search for free exercise on YouTube, lift weights at home, do Yoga
Ask someone you know to do it with you if you don’t want to do it alone! Just get those endorphins going. I also started to eat healthy most of the time, but allowing myself some treats every now and again.
I have discovered mindfulness, and my breathing has changed, especially when I get nervous or agitated. Start small, like five minutes a day. I personally like it before sleep where I also like to count my blessings and good moments from the day, but you can do it anytime and anywhere you need it! Just breathe and believe this too shall pass.
In therapy, I’ve learned coping mechanisms for when I feel anxious:
Counting one thing that I can see, smell, touch, hear, taste. To distract my brain from negative thoughts.
Journaling: Writing how I feel helps me lots. It’s a chance to vent my feelings in my own way.
Singing: I have done it all my life and this might be more personal, so find your passions and develop them.
I am learning to practice more self care.
The way I used to speak to myself was not how I would speak to someone I love when they feel low and come for help. So I have started to speak to myself with more love and kindness and try to listen to what my body and mind need more. Maybe a bubble bath? Or just resting with Netflix and pizza? A catch up with friends? Start to listen to yourself more and prioritise it. The rest can wait for now.
As a Body Positivity Advocate, I’m part of a huge community, but sometimes it’s much easier to be kinder to others. Your body will change with time and there’s nothing wrong about that. See it as your temple and think about how many different things it does for you every day.
It’s a long term process and it won’t happen overnight, but basically I am learning to be my own best friend. Even though sometimes it’s still very hard, I know I am getting better – even if sometimes I cant see it.
I’m learning that I’m not alone in this and I don’t have the obligation to feel perfect or be productive 24/7. That I am human and I can also feel low, and cry, and feel upset and many more emotions that we sometimes hide.
Just let yourself be no matter what, I swear it feels much better!
If you’re enjoying the content on the HATW site, please consider picking up some merch with a message! It helps us keep doing what we do, and can be a great way to start conversations about mental health.
S H O P T H E S T O R E