When I learnt more about anxieties and realised I had my fair share of some common ones, with the help of those around my I’ve been on an ongoing journey to make small changes to my life and the way I live it, to help me battle them and become a strong person mentally.
Previously, I was always under the illusion that when it came to mental health, only something big and drastic could help. However, this I later found, was the complete opposite.
The smallest of things can affect our mental health, so why can’t the small of things affect our mental health in a positive way as well. The answer is, they can.
Here are some examples of small changes I made that helped me. And don’t for one minute think that they were done overnight, it’s a journey, not a change.
- Where I sat in my workplace
I realised that where I was sat in my workplace was aiding my depression, I was sat in the corner at the back in a very quiet area of the office, which didn’t fit my personality and how I like to work. So I made the change to sit in a more active and busier area of the office, surrounded with conversation and similar minded colleagues. This instantly made me look forward to coming into work again, something I’d not felt in a long time.
I was already reading blogs and found that I really enjoyed reading about the changes and ways people were living their lives, the tips and health advice, the pictures and travel tips, and so I thought, well I’d like to share mine. Even if nobody reads it, shares it, enjoys it, I get the enjoyment of writing it and sharing my opinions/views and experiences.
- Honesty on Social Media
For too long I was seeing the effects and feeling them myself of seeing these ‘glamorous’ lifestyles posted all over Instagram and Facebook, and thought enough was enough. I wanted to take action. So from that moment, I pledged to post some bizarre concept across all forms of social media, it’s called ‘the truth‘. I know, I know, how could I dare?! In this day and age, what about all the people that would judge me? Well… what about all the people that would benefit from it. So I started posting about all the experiences I was having, both fun and negative, the problems I faced along with the solutions, the thoughts and opinions, both positive and negative and made sure I shared the truth. There’s no point pretending to live a life that you don’t live just to gain ‘followers’ or ‘friends’.
This was always a weird concept to me, there were hundreds of articles and blogs I’d read whereby people had said that I need to surround myself with positivity. What on earth does that even mean?! I need to change the way I think of life, and think more positively… That’s the same as telling somebody with a broken leg to just pretend it’s fixed and it will be. It doesn’t work that way. Positivity is the most difficult change to make, and the longest because it’s never-ending. As I said, this is a journey, not a overnight transformation. Therefore, I still have days where I struggle with this concept but ultimately my aim was to spend more of my time with those around me that were more positive. To share my positivity with others, for too long, I saw something that impressed me or that I liked and would keep it to myself. Well now, if I see that somebody has done something well, looks good, helps others, I share my opinion with how amazing they are. Because if it’s not shared it’s just a lonely thought.
But these positive changes are less difficult to make, the truly hard ones are being positive when it’s difficult and bad things happen, the truth is, you don’t have to be. It’s ok to not think positively all the time, it’s ok to be upset and think negative things. The aim is to try help you reduce these but more importantly, try to control and understand them when they do happen. That’s the ongoing journey.
- Fitness & Health
Back in my school days I was very fit and healthy. I was playing sports 3-4 times a week, I was a regular at the gym, attending 4-5 times a week. I was the fittest I had been and I was the healthiest I had ever been. I wanted to work towards getting back to these fitness and health levels, so I rejoined the gym and started attending regularly again, fitting it in around my work. Generally, I attend about 3 times a week. So far in about 3 months, I’ve lost about 1.5 stone and continuing on my weight loss journey to get back to a shape, health and fitness that I feel comfortable with.
Coincides well with my fitness and health. At the time, I was eating anything and everything I lay my eyes on. Chocolate, fast food, crisps, cakes, you name it, I was eating it. So with the help of those closest to me, I changed my diet, I started eating healthier at work, and found better lunch places to go to in the city. I started doing a regularly weekly online food shop, meaning that my evenings meals weren’t a last minute decision based on how hungry I was. I no longer bought in the rubbish food that was destroying my diet, meaning I had no option to snack on it. This significantly led to me feeling better and healthier.
The most recent and interesting journey transformation I’ve made to date. I’ve significantly reduced my alcohol intake. I no longer drink red wine as I found that this was acting as a sever depressant for me. I rarely drink at all and if I do, it’s a maximum of 2-3 drinks. I found that from an evening of drinks with friends, I would severely struggle for the following few days, it was no longer worth it.
Let me know in the comments, if you’ve made any small changes to your lifestyle to help you feel more positive.