The Mental Health Tag

Good morning and happy new week. Today is officially known as Blue Monday – apparently the most depressing day of the year.

Chronic Illness and Depression/Anxiety

Many people don’t realise that along with being diagnosed with a chronic illness, people are usually also struggling with their mental health. Having a condition which can mean you struggle to complete everyday tasks and have a ‘normal’ life can be very demoralising. Chronic illness may also affect you socially, leaving you isolated and lonely while feeling unwell at home or in the hospital.

The Mental Health Tag

I saw this in a post over on Happy Mentality and thought it would be a good one to do for today. Supporting people with chronic illnesses with their mental health is something I am passionate about. It can so often be overlooked by the NHS, due to low funding and a focus on fixing physical problems and symptoms. My inbox is always open to those needing support or help, so please feel free to message me anytime.

1. What is your mental health issue? 

I have anxiety and depression. Both started around three and a half years ago when I was having a rough time with my health, as well as in my marriage.

2. Do you have medication and/or therapy?

I use both and I think that works best, particularly with anxiety. I take Citalopram daily which is an antidepressant and also good for anxiety. I also have CBT sessions.

What is CBT? Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression

3. What therapy/medication have you tried and has any worked for you? 

I started on Citalopram taking 20mg a day, which was then increased to 30mg. This seems to suit me with minimal side effects and I feel my anxiety and depression is well controlled.

4. How long have you had problems for? 

I would say that I have been suffering with anxiety for a little longer but I realised I was depressed in September 2015.

5. Do your family/friends know? 

Yes. I am very open about it and many of them read my blog so see things like this! My partner Ste, Mum, Dad and brothers have always been really supportive.

6. Does this affect your work and daily living? 

I cannot currently work due to my physical health. I wouldn’t say that depression and anxiety affects my daily life, some days and weeks I can be perfectly fine. It sort of comes in waves. Sometimes when certain things happen or my health is particularly bad, there is an explanation, but sometimes life is fine and the feelings I have are pretty inexpiable. This has been a lot beater since I started taking medication and attending CBT though,.

7. What makes you feel calm? 

Reading, sleeping, being with my kids and dogs. A relaxing bath and a bit of a pamper. My blog helps me by giving me a focus and other people to help and support. I enjoy writing, planning and also putting make up and getting dressed every day makes me feel more together.

8. What do you do in crisis? 

I made a post about Coping With Anxiety – Grounding Techniques last year.  My go to technique is the square breathing one. I find it easy to remember and simple to do, and it works! I am also getting better about speaking to people when things are happening. After the boys went to live with their Dad I was really struggling and not in a good place. Luckily, at two of my lowest points I was able to open up to Ste and a couple of close friends who helped pull me through.

9. What advice would you give to others suffering? 

It sounds cliche but my best advice is to open up to someone. Whether that is your partner, doctor, a blogger who writes about this stuff, a friend or your rheumatology nurse who is there to mainly see how your joints are doing (yes, that was my choice although I hadn’t planned it), you will be amazed at how people will want to hep. The sense of relief that came from just telling someone about how I felt was so immense.

Saying that, some people will be supportive butt not know how to help you, so pick your chosen person with care. This can often mean it is easier to speak to a medical professional or someone who is open about their own mental health problems. If you try once and don’t get the answers you need, try again. You did the hardest but once, now you are ready to receive the help you need and deserve.

10. What makes you smile? 

The kids, Ste, our dogs and extended family. Reading will always make me smile. I also enjoy going to the cinema, watching Netflix with Ste snuggled up in bed, exploring and visiting new places, fresh air, shopping, cross stitch, learning and cooking (as well as eating ha ha).

11. Describe your mental health issue in 5 words – 

Confusing, upsetting, strengthening, eye-opening and tiring

12. Insert a picture to make people smile –

Hungover, hair half in still, the morning after my friends masquerade ball. Maybe I should have kept my mask on ha ha!

I hope that today is actually as positive as can be for everyone. Please feel free to use these questions and continue the tag on your blog. I am not going to tag anyone specifically but hoping some of you will carry this on!

BlogMas Day Fourteen – The Winter Tag

I recently saw this over at LOVE-ALMA.COM and decided to give it a whirl after seeing her answers! Hope you will all join in!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY TRADITION?

One of my favourites is still getting my Dad to go downstairs first on Christmas morning to check ‘he has been’.  He always come back and says we must be up too early and there is nothing there but we all know he is fibbing.  Even though I am in my thirties, I still get him to do it now!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE GO TO WINTER LIPPIES?

I get really dry lips so Vaseline Lip Care is always my go to.  I have recently discovered the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague and I really love it!  It is a little darker than I usually go for as I generally go for a pretty neutral lip but I really like this one!  A year long favourite has been the NYX Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Satin Ribbon – so many lovely shades in this range though!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WINTER SCENT?

I wouldn’t say the perfumes I use change too much for the seasons.  Some of my favourites are Zadig & Voltaire ‘This Is Her’, Ghost and Jimmy Choo.

WHAT IS YOUR GO TO WINTER FASHION TREND?

I love skinny jeans and boots!  I have a few different pairs of boots – different materials, lengths and colours and enjoy matching outfits and having super comfy feet.

WHAT IS YOUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE HOLIDAY MOVIE?

Oh my goodness, to pick just one would be so hard.  I love Home Alone 1 and 2, Elf, Love Actually and The Holiday.

WHAT IS YOUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE HOLIDAY SONG?

I love The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl singing Fairytale In New York.  I will be sharing my Twelve Songs of Christmas on my Facebook page which you can check out here

DO YOU PREFER TO TRAVEL DURING THE HOLIDAYS OR STAY AT HOME?

Although it is lovely being at home, it is all about family so as long as they are there, I don’t mind whose house we spend it at!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WINTER SKINCARE PRODUCTS?

I have just started using the new, hydrating Water Boost Simple range.  I am definitely liking it so far but will let you know when I have been using it for a little while if it is helping.  I generally stick to Simple and Nivea products for my skin as find these the best.

I have also just tried a sample of the exfoliating mask from Younique and loved it! So much so I now have the full size version courtesy of my lovely Younique guru and friend, Holly. The exfoliating beads are small and just rough enough to freshen your skin without leaving it feeling raw, which some really abrasive ones can do.

You can check out Holly’s Facebook page here – she is so lovely and friendly and will always help with any questions you may have.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WINTER HAIR CARE MUST HAVE?

I haven’t really got anything special I do over winter to my hair.  I will be dyeing it again this week to give it a boost before Christmas – Cherry Cola is my colour of choice!

lll9

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WINTER ACTIVITY?

I love all things crafty and baking with the children.  Leo and Layla love doing this too, Riley needs a little more encouraging and generally gets bored much easier.  I think this is the month for some real, quality time together.  Movie nights, board game fun and winter doggy walks are all top of the list too.

WHAT IS YOUR MUST HAVE WINTER BEAUTY PRODUCT?

I think mixing my BB cream in with my foundation is really helping my dry skin not look too flaky.  It is a real struggle for me but BB cream alone is just too little coverage in the winter.  Mixing it though helps with keeping my skin hydrated and I get the coverage from the foundation which keeps me happy!

DO YOU LOVE THE SNOW OR HATE IT?

Overall, I hate it.  Travelling in the snow is no fun, everyone goes a little crazy and the country grinds to a halt.  I don’t mind it for the odd afternoon or two for a good play in, but it needs to disappear without the slush/ice issue and not be when I need to be somewhere!

ONE ITEM ON YOUR WISHLIST THIS YEAR?

My Christmas wish was to have Ste home from hospital and I got that so I am happy!  Now looking to enjoying the festive season with our special ones.

aaa

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOLIDAY TREAT?

Pigs in blankets, Turkish Delight, Twiglets, mulled wine and Baileys!

DO YOU DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING EARLY OR LAST MINUTE?

I have done it all pretty early this year and was really pleased with my organisation!  It has definitely helped with spreading the cost and not having to panic too much financially at the end of the year, especially as I have had Leo, Riley and Ste’s birthdays in the last two months aswell!

Hope you enjoyed the winter tag! I’m not going to nominate anyone specifically but will tag a few blogger friends when I post this on social media and hope they join in!

Lucy At Home