Worry Times: Let’s Talk About Mental Health

Hey guys – If you saw my last review, I mentioned that lately I’ve had an influx or poor mental health. While there are more than a few factors impacting my life at the moment, I’ve found that there hasn’t been any real reason why I’ve been so down. I’ve just been feeling all-round blue.

And you know what?

I’ve since come to the realization that being blue, well, that’s okay.

Today I would like to share with you why it’s okay to feel down and what I do to try to stay positive. Please don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments too. This, right here is a safe place where we can share our experiences, maybe recommend some comfort books or something else to ease those pesky worry times. Let’s light a candle, spread the love and support each other.

Okay, so first things first. Why is it okay to feel blue?

Let me tell you;

Sadness, anxiety, stress, worry – what these mental states all have in common [besides all being a general pain in the butt of course] is that they are all in fact, emotions. Normal, healthy emotions. Suppressing and ignoring these emotions is harmful to our health and won’t solve anything. As I’ve said in the past, emotions are like waves – they are a continuous roller-coaster-like pattern of ups and downs. So repeat after me; it is normal to have highs and lows. It is okay.

So that got me thinking… Why then, do we beat ourselves up for feeling blue? Why do those around us constantly put us down by telling us to “snap out of it”, “just don’t be anxious” or, my personal favorite; “just get over it”. [Yeah. Sure. My anxiety and depression are magically cured. Thanks]. We need to support each other, let our friends know we understand how they feel and maybe even sit with them in the dark for a while.

So basically, I’m saying that you should allow yourself to feel sad every now and again. Maybe use these worry times to get in touch with why your feeling that way. Practice self love, pamper yourself and know that not only are there so many resources and friends at your disposal [*waves*] but that you will be okay. These feelings can only last for so long. It’s impossible to be happy and positive every moment of everyday and it’s even more impossible to expect that of ourselves. So allow yourself to experience every emotion, but also don’t forget to count your blessings and take solace in the knowledge that without the darkness we wouldn’t see the stars.

So, with that in mind, I would love to share with you some of my personal practices to help lighten the load and to lift my spirits when I am blue. 

Pamper yourself

Sometimes all it takes is a self-pamper session to feel warmer. I love to have a nice hot bath – especially when I’m feeling down. Make your bath uber relaxing and extra special by lighting candles, playing soft music and even adding bath salts. I like to take a book with me and soak for a good long hour in rose and lavender Himalayan bath salts because not only does my bathroom smell amazing but the rose and lavender is super calming. Lightening a lavender candle and letting the steam waft makes for deeper relaxation.

Read A Comforting Book

My go-to books when feeling blue are the classics. Earlier this year I lost my pet which was a seriously traumatic experience which resulted in a huge slump. I went straight to books that to me, feel like the equivalent of a warm hug. Books like; Alice in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables or modern classics such as Harry Potter, Twilight and The Night Circus. Another genre that works for me too is just pure fluff. The Selection is helping me through my current mood and I’d highly recommend it.

Watch Comforting Movies

Okay so this is going to sound weird, but sometimes I get in these moods when I’m blue and I just want to watch warm movies that feel like “warm hugs”. Like the book thing, it’s just a mood I get. Sometimes that might be Disney movies but my go to feel-good-movies are actually the old classics from my childhood. Meet Me In St. Louis [perfect for Christmas], Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Annie, Marry Poppins – basically those movies that bring a smile and are just… well, warm.

Journal or Write

Sometimes it also helps to just put pen to paper. Putting your feelings into words help you to understand the root issue and can help you to gain perspective. Not a fan of writing? Why don’t you try to draw it? Either way, whatever your method, sometimes all it takes is getting those messy, jumbled thoughts out of your head and clear your mind.

Exercise or have an Emergency Dance Party™

Okay, don’t roll your eyes – I promise you this helps. Taking the time to get out and go for a walk helps to brighten the mood. Especially when it’s a beautiful day. Emergency Dance Parties is not something I came up with – I actually got it from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. But it’s a great method for a laugh. I put on music – any music I’m in the mood for whether it’s Broadway, Disney or even just the radio and proceed to dance about the house like an idiot. Yes, you’re neighbors will probably think you’re crazy but Emergency Dance Parties are vital to surviving the blues.

Meditate

First things first: know that nobody’s actually good at meditation the first time around. I’m still hopeless and I *try* to practice meditation most days. But, see the key word here is practice. Meditation is a practice and one that takes time to perfect. It’s also a unique process – every one meditates in their own way. I like to practice affirmations and self love through guided relaxation videos. There are so many resources on YouTube – you just need to find the one that speaks to you.

Another way is to just sit and be present in the moment. Focus on your breath and use it as a tool to calm. You can also use visualization to manage your fears and worries. Imagine them floating away like clouds in the sky. I also am a huge fan of ambiance and white noise. There are so many ambiance videos on YouTube that are free. Calming beach waves, a soft rainfall and even fantasy forests are just some of the ambiance videos available to you. There’s even Harry Potter inspired ones!

What I’d like to say now is thank you for letting me share this with you all. Talking helps more than you know. If you are struggling and it’s on-going it might even be worth reaching out to a councilor or therapist. If your anxious about talking to someone face to face there are even hot lines with professional councilors you can talk to for free. Also, a big, huge shout out to all my friends here on the inter webs who reached out to me this past week. Your messages helped me smile and made all the difference. Asking another person if they’re okay, spreading love and just being awesome is the best medicine to help those struggling with mental health. So, thank you.

What are your rituals and practices? Do you have any book recommendations for me to help me read? If so I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all in the next post. Lots of love.Alexandra

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5 thoughts on “Worry Times: Let’s Talk About Mental Health

  1. What a great post lexie! It is 100% ok to be blue or down sometimes or in my case anxious. I love your tips and tricks to try and make yourself feel a little better. Emergency dance parties are one of my favourites too they really do work! I also love going for a walk on the beach it is my happy and calming place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel you – the beach is my clam spot too! Great minds think alike huh? 😉 Because I don’t live near a beach I bring the beach to my space to help create that calm, soothing environment. My room is all white and baby blue. I’ve got bowls of shells, beachy ornaments and ocean canvas paintings on my walls. That way when those anxious feelings and thoughts do come I’m able to visualize being on the beach in my “happy place”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such brilliant tips – will definitely try the ‘Emergency Dance Party’!
    I also read somewhere that simply smiling can raise your mood, even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing! My natural expression looks really sad (even when I’m feeling fine!), so I sometimes try to smile just to see if it makes a difference!
    I seek out comforting books such as old favourites and those with a ‘warm’ message. A nice hot drink always helps too.

    Liked by 1 person

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