11 May / Learning to Handle Overwhelming Emotions

Overwhelm [o·ver·whelm] – verb
Overwhelm is defined as to completely overcome or take over. An example of overwhelm is for a teacher to assign students five lengthy papers due on the same day.
Source: http://www.yourdictionary.com/overwhelm

Being told you suffer with a specific mental illness or disorder is not conclusive of your symptoms or emotions. I am learning about my mental health each and every day, we are all different and unique in our own minds.

IMG_7531Yesterday I had a really great day. It was a beautiful day, and although I didn’t get up until gone 11am, I felt very productive. I sunbathed (& got sunburnt), meditated, stretched, listened to a TedTalk, went to the post office, did some chores for my Mum, wrote a blog post I’d been putting off for a while, and showered. These seem like normal every day tasks, right? But they’re not for me.

My usual day consists of; getting up late morning, eating my breakfast downstairs with my Dad, going back to bed and either sitting on my laptop or watching a movie/TV, I will then nap around 3pm until my boyfriend comes home, we will eat dinner downstairs with my parents, then go back to bed and watch TV until I go to sleep around 1-2am – all the meanwhile keeping a close eye on social media.

So, whilst yesterday was great and I felt very positive, I suddenly clicked last night that I’d feel crappy today because of it – and I was right. I had to drag myself out of bed today after waking up feeling very sick and anxious.

And, that’s because I’d overwhelmed myself with positive emotions and gotten carried away with the productive feeling.

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I need ‘down time’ whenever I experience something out of the ordain. For example; I am unable to spend an entire day socialising, without needing quiet time in the evening purely for the fact I am not used to socialising. I am also not used to feeling positive or productive for extended periods of time (a day is extensive).

My personal goal with this realisation is that I must take things slowly. Mentally I always seem to be in a hurry, which I think is largely due to my anxiety struggles. So, I must learn to take a step back, take a deep breath, be mindful of a new situation or emotion I’m not used to feeling, and not jump straight in as it were. This way I will be able to take in a situation easier and also analyse how it is affecting me.

I have a job interview on 26th May for a job as a receptionist/administrator, 3 days a week and full 9 hour days.

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I’m very anxious about it and it’s constantly circling my mind, as to whether or not I will be able to handle this drastic change in my usual life if I got the job. Three days a week to the average person may seem a dream, but to me it’s terrifying. Especially as the days are so long. Ideally I think I need to start getting up earlier and trying to tackle my tiredness, maybe that will help me.

I’m going out tonight for my boyfriend’s Nan’s birthday. We’re just going over to her house with the rest of his family and to have some fish & chips. It will be good to get out, socialise and also exercise my mind to unusual situations.

Mental Health: We All Have It!

It seems to be a common misunderstanding that only some of us suffer with our Mental Health, the truth is; we all suffer with our Mental Health at some point in our lives. There are just some people who battle with Mental Illnesses and Disorders on top of that.

Stress is probably one of the most common causes of Mental Illness (don’t quote me on that but I’ve definitely read it somewhere..), and I challenge you to find any normal, functioning human being (whatever THAT is?!) who has never dealt with stress in their life. And shock horror; stress IS a mental health problem!

Our minds are not equipped to deal with the modern world and the everyday stresses it provides, and that is why there is such a vast majority of people who do struggle.

And, if you think that Mental Health is not an issue that needs to be taken seriously, please try and digest these stats, from the Mental Health Foundation.

  • In 2013, 6,188 suicides were recorded in the UK alone. (Theoretically that’s nearly 17 people every day!) Of these, 75% were Male and 25% were Female.
  • Between 2003 and 2013, 18,220 people with Mental Health problems took their own life in the UK.
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England & Wales.
  • In 2013, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK.
  • Mixed Anxiety & Depression is the most common Mental Disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting the criteria for diagnosis.
  • In 2013, Depression was the second leading cause of years lived with a disability worldwide, behind lower back pain. In 26 countries, depression was the primary driver of disability.
  • In 2014, 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of Anxiety or Depression (a 1.5% increase from 2013).

Now if those stats don’t shock you (I could write more!), I suggest you read them again. Because they give me serious chills. The wave of devastation caused by Mental Health is unavoidable and yet it doesn’t nearly tally up to the importance of physical health right now. (And, I’m just going to say now, I’d rather have 2 broken legs than my Mental Health problems.)

So why are people ignoring it? I think mostly because they believe it’s not as bad as people make it out to be, or that it just simply doesn’t affect them. But, I wonder how many people cover up their Mental Health problems, ignoring the fact they are Mental Health problems because they’re minor, and just continue rather than listening to their minds? I bet it’s a lot!

Somehow ‘Mental Health’ became a dirty phrase and people don’t like to admit they struggle, so they ignore it. And eventually with some, something breaks and they come crashing down and are left with no other option but to be absorbed by their Mental Health.

It’s like any illness, if you don’t look after yourself it will only get worse. Got the flu? Rest. Have a sickness bug? Rest. Feeling stressed? ‘Get on with it’.

Please if you’re ever feeling stressed, allow yourself to listen to your mind and what’s causing you to feel that way. Combat it, allow yourself time for self-care, have a lazy day, talk to somebody, do SOMETHING – just don’t ignore it, it could be a big mistake and cause you more problems in the future!