Mental Health & Self Care

by Samantha MacKenzie

Mental Health & Self Care

Friday, July 26

This isn’t my usual post, but I feel the need to share my struggles with Mental Health because there is still such a stigma around the topic. The more people talk about it, the less lonely suffers will feel.

In the last couple of months, my mental health has been quite intense. I struggle with Anxiety (especially around health), depression and OCD. I caught a cold and while I know logically that it’s not dangerous, my anxiety doesn’t care. In 2 weeks I had 4 ambulances come out, when to the hospital 5 times and saw my GP twice. Anxiety is no joke. I know there will be people out there thinking, get over it or harden up. If those people could go through severe anxiety the would see just how tough anyone with it is.

While sick, I didn’t eat and was not keeping much down, so my antidepressants weren’t working. In only a week I went from managing well to not being able to get out of bed. (Its never a good idea to just stop medication!) It’s been 3 weeks since starting back on them and I’m feeling almost back to where I was before.

Along with all of this, I have low iron. Not having enough iron causes problems of its own like breathlessness, dizziness, exhaustion, not to mention the effects it has on mental health. When either your mental or physical health isn’t at its best, the other tends to follow.

Last week, I spoke with my GP about being unemployed and how I was supposed to cope with a job when getting out of bed is tough. Put simply, I can’t work. Not right now. It would be even more strain on my health. So, I must work on me. Self-care is my current focus, because if you don’t take care of yourself how do you do anything else?

My self-care consists of a few simple tasks. I try and do these daily, but am also aware that some days just aren’t as easy as others.

  1. Skincare – I’m a qualified beauty therapist so this is essential! I’ve done a little more research into skincare for my age and expanded my routine to include a couple of extra products.
  2. Supplements – I take Vital All-In-One daily. 1 to 2 teaspoons with water each morning. It’s the only supplement I’ve every gotten results from. More energy especially! It tastes disgusting but with 78 ingredients (probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, fibre and a unique high alkalising pea protein) I’ll suffer a bit of unpleasantness.
  3. Keeping the apartment clean and organised – minimal clutter around really does help the mind. Less to focus on around me. My husband also works full time, while I cant work its fair that I look after the home. This isn’t because I’m a woman and he doesn’t expect it. It’s a way for me to contribute.
  4. Books, study, puzzles – I need to keep my mind focused on external things. Anxiety can be loud so it’s important to have distraction.
  5. Getting outside – If I go anywhere during the week it’s by bus and the weekends are becoming a time to do simple, relaxing things with my husband. Going to a super quiet beach or even a small walk helps.

There are so many other things but currently I’m doing what I can. I try to write for the blog when I can also, but motivation can be hard to find when you’re exhausted! There are definitely some new exciting posts coming though, so stay tuned for those.

Xx Samantha

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