Self Care Saturday - talking about Mental Health
Saturday, 10 October 2020 | Admin
It's Mental Health day today and as with a lot of our favourite topics like poo, pee and periods, there is still a bit of a taboo about speaking out on Mental Health. Bring it on, we say.
Here at Team Cheeky we really understand the importance of awareness around mental health. Just like many of you, we've struggled with anxiety and depression or maybe lived with partners who grappled to manage that troll of depression which spirals in their head. For some of the team, we're on the way to joining the menopause club, just about coping monthly with the impact of lower progesterone which causes massive mood swings and stabby rage. We *know* that we aren't fun to live with during these times.
So we thought we would share our own tips for managing our mental health. We really hope it helps....
"My boyfriend and I split up recently, in part due to his ongoing bouts of panic, anxiety and depression which left him struggling to avoid being overwhelmed by his thoughts and emotions. It's painful to watch someone battle that tangle in their head, with catastrophising, low self esteem and mind reading affecting his mood for months at a time. It's really difficult to get someone who suffers in this way to realise that the way they're feeling, isn't 'normal' for most people, as it seems normal for them.
I've always said that I don't suffer from anxiety, however over the last year in lockdown, I've been listening to the Brene Brown 'Unlocking Us' podcast series and realised that actually I do, but I process this by being an over-functioner.
What does over-functioning mean?
- Move quickly to give advice / problem solve
- Tendency to rescue / take-over / push through
- 'Do' rather than let yourself feel
- Never need help, I help others
- Poke my nose into other people’s business rather than mind my own
- Always appear tough and in control, fiercely determined and never showing vulnerability
Fresh Air and Movement
Absolutely best way I can hit the 'reset' button is a dog walk outside. I am very lucky in living on the coast beside the South Downs, so always have a choice of windy beach walks or a pleasant mooch through nature in the forest. Enjoying the view and watching my Staffy's undeniable joy in life whilst walking is usually enough to ground me, get me out of my head and back into being present and calm.
However meditation is my secret weapon when I am really struggling. 12 minutes first thing in the morning being still and quiet, thinking about nothing other than my breath will calm me and stay with me for the day. If I need to come back to that place of calm later in the day, I can simply take a few moments to breathe and centre myself once more. I love the Calm app which contains a host of guided meditations, including 'how to meditate' which was brilliant for me as a complete novice. There's also a range of excellent bed time stories for adults which help you fall sleep, including one with the rather fabulous Matthew McConaghey!"
Vanessa Mills (Social Media & Customer Service Assistant)
For me, it's taking time out to get my nails done. I've now scheduled an appointment with a lovely lady every 3 weeks and having lovely nails always make me happy. I also get up early 3 mornings a week to do Jemma's Health Hub and I always feel a million times better for it. Jemma focuses on exercising for mental health and is brilliant. Becoming a Hubber is definitely one of the best things I have done. Going to the seaside also works as a reset for me. I'm lucky enough to live within an hour's drive of the coast and I find it really clears my head. If I'm honest though, a hot beach is where I really tap into my inner Zen.
Personally for me the most important thing is in looking after my own mental health is remembering to consistently take my anti-depressants. Without them, my mind wouldn't be in a great place and no amount of self care would fix that. If you are feeling consistently low, definitely worth speaking to your doctor. They won't jump to prescribe you pills, but it might just be what you need at this time. Also, therapy is really like magic and if you're able to speak to someone, then do. It's one of the best things I have ever done.
Issie Pickup (Marketing Executive)
I am really open about talking about my mental health, not only because it's so important but also the affect it has had on my family. In the current lockdown climate it seems more important than ever to ensure that we're checking in with ourselves and also talking about how we're feeling. In terms of self care, I love nothing better than a good pamper. Getting my nails done, having my eyelashes done, maybe a cheeky facial (my sister is just the BEST at facials). Honestly, a nice glow mask, hair mask and chick flick (Bride Wars, 27 Dresses, Devil Wears Prada you name it I've watched it...) just makes me feel more relaxed and calm.
I also can't live without my humidifier, I love an evening yoga session with the lovely smells of essential oils - it makes me feel wholesome inside. Also love a good book or a power run which are also important for my well-being. Laughter therapy always works a treat too.
Claire Squires (Warehouse Manager)
Well, my number one is to walking my dog; just him and I and some fresh air. I have a self care Sunday or Saturday which I really try to do weekly: face pack and just lay on my bed and chill for 15 mins. I've also started to do mindfulness everyday now on my FITBIT. There are different free sessions you can do but I do the 2 min stress reliever before bed every night and when I get home from work.
Bev Foard (Warehouse Stock Manager)
I'm another dog-owner and love my Saturday morning with my dog. Just the two of us for an hour along the seafront, helps me to blow the stress of the week away and sets me up nicely to relax, enjoy my weekend and recharge my batteries.
I don't really have a regular self care routine, but I've recently started Les Mills fitness classes online. I also love to unwind in the fantasy world of reading, which helps me switch off from the normal stresses of life, I do this every day.
Claire Sheridan (Operations & Business Development Manager)
I am probably the wrong person to ask as I hardly make any me-time! But I do make sure to lock myself away in the bathroom every now and again with bubble bath and an audiobook.
Jo VanHuet (Customer Service Manager)
I found during that during lockdown with 2 kids and my husband working full-time at home and my husband that self care seemed to have slipped way down the 'to do' list. I've made a real effort to improve that and recently got back to paying myself some attention.
For me, that ranges from an energetic kitchen Hiit session to lying in bed of an afternoon, with a cuppa and a box set. Complete opposite ends of the spectrum but I find them both to be equally restorative.
Durin lockdown, it has been hard missing trips away with girlfriends. Despite the Zoom fatigue, there is sometimes nothing better than a shared G&T over a screen, from my bed, in my pj's... recreating what would happen in person if we were sharing a hotel room!
Carving out that time to restore and balance myself is SO important and I really notice the difference (as do my kids and husband!)
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Your mental health should be a priority, so be kind to each other and yourself. Use your words, talk about how you are feeling, and let's end the stigma together.
Love the Cheeky Team x