Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

It’s Mental Health Awareness week 2018, organised by the Mental Health Foundation. This runs from 14th – 20th May and focuses on stress, a key factor in mental health problems. Research shows 2/3 of us experience mental health problems with stress being a key factor according to the Mental Health Foundation.

Mental Health Awareness

Mental health awareness week 2018

Stress

Stress can cause or worsen anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Anyone of us can experience mental health problems throughout our lifetime and we need to openly talk about this to help beat the stigma and raise awareness. Stress in the workplace is the Mental Health Foundations main focus this mental health awareness week.

I have written several times on the blog about mental health awareness & my own mental health. From struggling with chronic pain at 25, my anxiety, having a carer at 27 and more. I know I’m not alone as there are some wonderful bloggers & readers out there who have opened up too.

Mental Health Affects Everyone

Young children and teens are also at risk of stress with the pressure to maintain high standards in school, friendships, overloaded with school work, homework and endless tests. Adults have so many different stressors from overworking, lack of wor/ability to work, financial strains, family issues and more, it can be difficult to cope in this hectic world. The more we talk about this, the easier it will be for those suffering mental health problems to speak up. I used to bottle everything up myself and it made things so much worse!

 

Beat The Stigma – Talk!

Talking about my mental health through the blog at times has been extremely cathartic for me. I know from comments left that opening up has helped others to do the same, it’s a chain reaction. Whilst most people may not feel comfortable to write publicly, talking to close friends and family can do the same. The more we talk about mental health and make changes to lessen day to day life stresses, the easier is to admit how we feel and that we need help. The more we talk about mental health and make it everyday conversation the quicker we can beat the stigma and support one another better.

Get Help

If you need to talk to someone my DM’s/Email is always open if any of my readers ever want to chat. Sometimes we need a little more than that and the following charities are here to help, should you need it.

Mind

https://www.mind.org.uk/

Email – info@mind.org.uk

Infoline – 0300 123 3393

Text: 86463.

Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

Samaritans

www.samaritans.org.uk

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Sane

www.sane.org.uk/support

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30-10.30pm)

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: http://www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

 

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

www.youngminds.org.uk

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm)

Did you know it was mental health awareness week?

 

 

Having A Carer At 27 Years Old

Having a carer isn’t something I expected to happen at 27 years old. I suffer from Chronic back pain, Sciatica, Depression, Anxiety & apparently (yet to be diagnosed) PTSD.  Due to my ESA being refused after 2 years receiving it, we have had to look at other options. I simply can’t cope with a tribunal, talking to strangers, going through my weaknesses yet again. It is honestly soul destroying, my mental health isn’t at a point where I can fight a battle like that.

For the first time in almost 8/9 years I felt suicidal again. I genuinely felt my family would be better off without me. I  thought about facing a tribunal but because I know it will be a struggle to attend, explain myself & I didn’t want to put the whole family through several more months of stress. Instead we have had to look at other ways to get by & as part of that, the Mr is now officially my Carer.

Having a Carer
Photo by lalesh aldarwish from Pexels

My Carer

Anyone that knows me well will know the Mr has been caring for me fully for the past 3-4 years. We never made that official on paper but it has been the case since Izzy was around a year old. I began to struggle to lift her, the pain would cause me to lose my vision. Things got worse & I know me fighting it & trying to appear healthy did more damage. It took a long time for me to accept I couldn’t manage a lot of daily tasks.

The Mr has done so much for us over the years, kept me going during my lowest points, making sure I take my medications, book & attend appointments, reminding me I have to eat at least twice a day, helping me up, chores I can’t manage, shopping, school runs & so much more that it makes sense for him to finally be my Carer on paper. I often joke about being useless without the Mr & it’s completely true, we’ve had our ups & downs but as my health has declined he has gone above & beyond to help me any way he can.

A Shock & Relief

Receiving the award letter was both a relief and a slight ‘oh’ moment though. As I said to the Mr, ‘This means you’re officially the adultier adult!’. I panicked slightly then, realising I had fully admitted I need help & a carer for at least 35 hours a week. It’s one thing having that help, it’s another seeing it written down on paper.

Once I calmed down it made me realise a few things. Whilst the DWP left me feeling useless & worthless, I do genuinely need the help and whilst ESA may be a nightmare to have awarded due to the shocking state of the system, we are entitled to something! It’s been a rough 2 months with barely any money coming in so it was a relief for the Mr to be awarded & paid carers allowance. I realised I am not admitting defeat like I first thought. Instead, I’m accepting help to enable me to get through day to day life smoothly.

Daily Life

Since my ESA was refused daily life has been a bit upside down. I’ve really struggled to do anything I enjoy, including blogging; feeling guilty for letting the family down. Now we have another solution I don’t feel so bad. I know we are on a low income because of me, my mental & physical health but knowing the Mr’s help is now at least recognised I feel a little less like it’s all on my shoulders. Knowing we have some kind of income other than my PIP is a huge relief. Even though I make it difficult because neither of us can work, I feel a little better. It’s tough being ill, it’s even tougher asking for & accepting help but I think in a way I will find it a little easier to ask for help now & not just from the Mr.

 

 

DIY Daddy

 

 

Rustic By Marney – How creativity helps me manage my anxiety and depression

Rustic By Marney was set up by Melissa Marney who crafts the most beautiful pens! Like many of us Melissa suffers anxiety and depression but found crafting and letting her creativity flow very therapeutic. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and images of a gorgeous purple flower pen she made for me, on the blog tomorrow! Keep an eye out! Until then here is Melissa’s story in her own words.

Rustic By Marney – How creativity helps me manage my anxiety and depression

Looking back on my childhood I now realise that I’ve always suffered with anxiety and depression. At the time I didn’t know anything about mental health issues, and I just thought it was normal behaviour and everyone felt the same way, but I just struggled more with my emotions. I covered my emotions and symptoms well, and looking back had a number of coping strategies, which I wasn’t aware were helping me, to cope at the time.

Hobbies

My favourite hobby when I was younger was ballet. I used to attend two classes a week and looking back now it was a way to shut my mind off, detach myself from uncomfortable feelings and emotions and silence those scary, intrusive thoughts.

As the years went on and I grew older I stopped dancing and didn’t replace this with another hobby. Having nothing to focus my energy on, my negative thoughts became louder and more uncomfortable and my symptoms worsened. Dealing with day to day life – working, paying the bills, maintaining relationships etc. It all became so consuming, and I knew something wasn’t right at the time but tried my best to conceal it (and I did a fantastic job at it!). I didn’t want anyone to know how I was truly feeling or that I was struggling to cope. There were times where I just wanted to scream out for help, but always remained silent and carried on with life.

Shutting Down

It wasn’t until a year ago, Steve and I got married in Cyprus, (which was the best day of our lives, very cliché, I know!) things changed. I pretty much arranged the whole wedding myself and in the lead up to it was unaware of how much stress I was putting myself under. Having perfectionist tendencies I wanted everything to go well, and was deeply involved with the all or nothing thinking. I also wanted to ensure everyone was happy and was having a good time.

While I was busy thinking about everyone else and my ‘perfect’ day I neglected my own needs my health was suffering as a consequence. When Steve and I returned from our wedding I didn’t feel myself at all. I put it all down to the ‘come down’ from the high I had been on the past few weeks. Nevertheless, I powered on and tried to get back into the real world. Unfortunately my mind and body had other plans. Two weeks later I had a breakdown, I completely shut down physically and mentally, I became an empty shell, I was just existing and not living. I knew things weren’t right and something had to change.

Recovery

It took me a while to accept what was happening. It took approximately six months to dig myself out of that ‘hole’ and get myself back on the right track. I’m still in recovery now, but having the right support, and a change in my thinking and attitude has helped me to accept it’s now just a part of me, and adjust to living with anxiety and depression.

During my recovery I found a new love in crafting. Throughout the years I’ve always told myself I’m rubbish at arts and crafts, I can’t do it and I believed it! It wasn’t until I started crafting my own place cards, guest book pens and jars for my own wedding where I realised this was all total rubbish! Silencing that negative voice in my head was a great victory.

Crafting To Cope

I’ve always been ambitious and dreamt of owning my own little business, and finding a purpose in life. During my breakdown Steve had mentioned to me about crafting again, however at the time I didn’t have the energy. As I slowly started getting better I took his advice and I started making my flower pens again. Slowly in time my passion and creativity started coming back, I was starting to feel my bubbly, confident self again. Crafting has been my biggest inspiration and I truly believe it has helped me cope over the past few months. Crafting has refocused my attention and reignited my passion.

Now whenever I feel anxious or have a bad day, however hard it is I grab all my crafting gear, sit down and get stuck in. I’ve found crafting extremely therapeutic and a way to ‘shut off’ from the stressors in the world. Turning my hobby into a business has given me great comfort as I now believe in myself. Having a passion in crafting and weddings, and combining the two is the perfect combination and therapy for me! There’s also that extra bonus of helping other brides have the best day of their lives. When they do then my mission is accomplished!

I recently saw the quote below which sums up my whole experience and filled me with comfort:

 Rustic By Marney - How Creativity Helps Me Manage Anxiety & Depression

Rustic by Marney can be found over on Facebook & Twitter. Whilst she does focus on weddings her gorgeous pens will brighten up any desk. You can find out more about Rustic by Marney and see the gorgeous pen she sent me too!

Do you find crafting therapeutic too?

Burnished Chaos

How To Be A Courage Queen Book Review

How to be a Courage Queen written by Rachael Alexander, a behavioural change psychologist, is a helpful guide to help change your life. This strategy-packed guide is available for £29.99. Anyone who reads my blog will know I suffer anxiety. The tiniest things can get me ridiculously worked up. I struggle to say no, feel guilty about small things and tend to feel like everything is my fault and will go wrong simply because it is me.

Courage Queen

Courage Queen

I figured How to be a Courage Queen was worth a read and wondered if it would be helpful. Often I struggle to see the positives in life and focus on the negatives. I’ve been trying over the last few months to make postive changes and help myself. If I want things to improve I have to work on my issues and accept I will have bad days without putting myself down for it.

This book helps you cope positively with what is going on around you. It helps you reflect on your life and take action to think or behave differently. Rachael Alexander suffered anxiety too until she began to learn about herself and it changed her life for the better. This gave Rachael the confidence to share these ideas with others in this book knowing it will benefit the reader.

Contents

This guide is broken down into 3 main sections. Each section is then broken down into manageable sections for you to complete. Each section contains different strategies to help you feel more positive and in control.

The guide begins with a declaration to yourself to commit to a journey of overcoming fears, living a life of courageous action where you can learn to love and be loved. You declare to commit to living a life of love, peace, purple, passion and joy which you sign and date.

A lot of sections ask you questions with boxes provided to fill out your answers. This is great for going back and reviewing your answers and seeing the progress you are making. The guide helps you seek out the answers and solutions to your own problems with simple questions and exercises. Filled with inspirational quotes along the way, you can’t help but feel a little more positive each time.

Others

This book covers issues that many people face and definitely feels like it is a helpful book.

 

Do you think How To Be A Courage Queen could benefit you too?

 

Mental Health Apps – MentalSnapp

I’ve been looking at mental health apps that can help me cope better on bad days. Mental Snapp is an app designed to help you manage your mental health using private video diaries. I know 2 people who find recording videos of themselves really helpful and love the sound of Mental health apps such as Mental Snapp.

Mental Snapp App Screenshot

Mental Health Apps

Mental health apps are a great way to manage and monitor your mental health. 1 in 4 of us will have a mental health episode at some point and it can be so confusing. Using mental health apps like Mental Snapp to actively manage our mental health can make it much easier. If like me you hate appointments and struggle to ask for help, apps like these can help us get things off our chest when we really need to.

Hannah Chamberlain, co founder of the app and originator of the idea, says; “I came up with the idea for Mental Snapp having told my own mental health story on film and helped other people tell theirs. I’ve been managing my own condition and making films on mental health for twenty years, and seen how telling your own story on film really makes a difference to people. Mental Snapp is a way to make the therapeutic benefits of journalling, rating mood and naming feelings accessible – the camera on your phone can be the therapist in your pocket.”

Mental Snapp

This video recording mental health app, Mental Snapp is available free to download from the App Store and Google Play. This helpful mental health app has been designed to be a space for you to tell your story and gain confidence. You can record short video diaries, rate your mood and name your feelings when using Mental Snapp. Your videos aren’t watched by anyone else so you don’t need to worry about being judged. It’s your version of events, and telling them helps you reflect and get to know yourself better.

Costs

A free app is always a good start and Mental Snapp is available for free. If however you need extra space to save your videos and want to access extra features, you can. The app costs £4.49 per month. The Mental Snapp app has been featured in the London Evening Standard. The idea is welcomed by the DWP too.

The Office for Disability Issues, DWP, says; “We welcome Mental Snapp as an innovative idea to help people manage their mental health. People living with mental health and other long term health conditions have barriers to overcome in living independently. The Government has set out a commitment to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027 and technology has an important part to play in helping us achieve this goal.  Mental Snapp is an exciting example of how technology can help promote methods of recovery that help people to live fulfilling lives.”

Mental Snapp can help you find things out about yourself and learn your moods easily. You simply record your video clip, rate your mood, tag a feeling and that is it! Nice and simple yet very effective. The app organises your video diary clips so they are easily searchable. This fantastic app also provides you with prompts and allows you to see patterns over time using the insights page.

 

Mental Health Apps - Mental Snapp Screenshot

 

The team at Mental Snapp believe you already have the skills you need to manage your mental health. Using the app and recording regular video clips can help you draw out those skills. It can feel a little odd recording yourself at first. Stick with it though and I promise you will see the benefits.

 

Do you think you could benefit from using Mental Snapp?

DIY Daddy

 

Self Care Gift Ideas And 5 Self Care Tips

Self care is something I have been saying I will put more effort into for ages now. Bit by bit I am learning to take care of myself a little bit more. It is hard as I am not used to it but I am making some time for me to relax.

 

Self Care Gift Ideas & 5 Self Care Tips

I have collaborated with a few lovely companies who focus on self care products. These are designed to help those of us who really need to put ourselves first. Self care helps us prevent a major crash and is so important for our minds and bodies. Perhaps you are looking at things to help you with your own self care or know a friend who could do with a little self care? These products and tips may help!

Self Care Notebook

Self Care Notebook Designed By Claire Sheehan

Claire Sheehan is an Artist from very close by in Southend-on-Sea who sells a beautiful range of products on Etsy designed to ‘soothe and feed the soul’. Self care is something that is easily forgotten when there is just so much to do, it can be hard to put yourself first.  Claire has designed this lovely A5 Self care notebook in grey, pink and white to help those focusing on self care.

This notebook is perfect for jotting down notes and reminders to help you plan your self-care. The notebook contains 48 blank pages of 80gsm recycled white paper for you to draw, doodle or write your plans. Available on Etsy for £5.50 plus shipping this notebook is a great treat for yourself or gift for someone who needs a little extra self-care inspiration. As you can see I have started putting mine to use already!

Self Care Notebook & Mantra's

Motivational Prints & Mantras

Claire also designed some fantastic motivational prints including the ‘I am strong and calm’ A6 mini print. This print is available on it’s own for £2.50 plus shipping or part of a pack of 5 mini prints for £10 plus shipping. Sometimes simple reminders like this can really help us feel a bit better about ourselves. Repeating them to ourselves or even just spotting them regularly help lift our mood and fill us with positivity.

Calming Scents

Help me have a mindful of calm spray from Help Me Organics

Help me Organics have an amazing range of organic products designed to help us relax. Everyone loves a gorgeous scent, it can really lift your mood. This is why Help Me Organics have created this fantastic ‘Help me have a mindful of calm’ range. This room spray is 40ml for £7.50. The scent was designed with a blend of essential oils to bring comfort to those who struggle with anxiety. They have combined Frankincense, geranium bourbon and lavender to work in conjunction with Mindful breathing techniques. Spraying 2-3 bursts in a room will help calm your mood and gently relax you. Help Me Organics also have massage oils and candles available in the Help me have a mindful of calm range. They also have several other ranges. I would definitely recommend browsing their site as they have some fantastic products!

5 Self Care Tips

It is so easy at times to forget about ourselves and worry about everyone else. Taking time out for yourself can make such a difference to your mood though. Those of us with anxiety and depression can really struggle to feel we are worth the time and effort. We know everyone deserves love and kindness but we often forget ourselves.

Be still

Do you find yourself constantly rushing around trying to finish all the never-ending jobs? STOP. Take a break, go for a walk in a beautiful park or along the river. Stop and simply enjoy your surroundings and the silence or sounds of nature. Take deep breaths and just be. I have to admit I underestimated the effects of this and am learning to do this more often.

Find an activity you enjoy

Especially as a parent I found I quickly gave up most things I used to enjoy to dedicate my time to my girls. Having a hobby/activity you enjoy and gives you a little you time is so important for self care. It really doesn’t matter what it is but spending even 20 minutes doing something you enjoy can change your entire day. I love to crochet and colour and have started picking up craft bits I have been wanting for years so I can do something for me. When you finish an activity for yourself it feels like a brilliant achievement. Even meeting up with a friend for a coffee counts!

Say ‘No’

Saying yes constantly leads to burn out. Remember we can’t please everyone. It’s ok to say ‘ No’ and put your health and well-being first. You are a priority, if you don’t take care of yourself how can you care for others? This is something I still struggle with daily BUT I have learnt to say No when it really matters and I have seen the difference it makes. Don’t feel guilty, we all matter! I love the saying ‘ You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first’.

Pamper yourself

I struggle badly with this one but it is so important to pamper yourself and feel good. Make time for that bath, light some candles, relax in the bubbles. Washing my hair is something I regularly put off as it literally takes hours to wash dry and straighten but when I make time for it I feel awesome afterwards. Visit a spa or invite a friend over for a pamper evening for a real boost!

Make notes

If like me you tend to forget about yourself then make notes, leave them where you are most likely to see them or in a notebook. Not only can jotting down reminders help but writing about our feelings can help us process our emotions too. The self care notebook is fantastic for this. Reading back through our writing can sometimes help us see solutions to our problems.

If you or a friend are lacking when it comes to self care then I help these products and tips are helpful!

 

Travelling With Anxiety – 5 Tips

Travelling with anxiety can be so difficult, especially as Christmas approaches everywhere becomes noisier and busier. I don’t tend to travel much, especially alone as I panic quite often. We have found a few ways to manage my anxiety and make my journeys as easy as possible. I have one or 2 trips planned over the Christmas holidays and it got me thinking about others travelling with anxiety too.

Travelling With Anxiety - 5 Tips

It may seem obvious but planning ahead can make journeys much easier when travelling. Here are 5 ways to make your journey a little easier.

  1. Check your route – Google maps is your friend! Make sure you know exactly where you are going, using street view I can look at the front of the building and surrounding buildings. The area feels a little more familiar and I can find my way much easier knowing what to look out for.
  2. Check Travel Options – I tend to look for the quickest routes and the cheapest fares. If I am travelling by train I check to see the train before and after the one I am aiming for in case I arrive early or late. I also check to see what buses run too in case there are any issues getting the train.
  3. Book in advance – Booking tickets in advance make travelling a lot less stressful. Not having to queue up for you ticket can save a lot of time and panic. You can often save a little too by booking a week or so in advance. A lot of the buses now have apps so you can buy your ticket on the go. I love this as it stops me worrying about losing my ticket.
  4. Take a distraction – I find if I have nothing to do I become overly anxious when travelling. Crocheting, tweeting or reading an e-book really help distract and calm me down.
  5. Take a snack & drink – Again this may seem obvious but if there are delays being hungry and thirsty will make you feel much worse. Keeping hydrated and sugar levels up is important when travelling, especially on longer journeys.

C2C Digital Display Boards

I was really pleased this week when Your Thurrock announced C2C are currently installing new digital display boards at their stations which show how full each carriage is. This simple little thing has made me really happy as I struggle with crowded noisy carriages. I know plenty of others find it hard too and these displays can make travelling with anxiety easier. Being able to avoid overly crowded carriages will make travelling easier for so many people.

Travelling with anxiety can be really stressful, do you have any tips for easing anxiety whilst travelling?

De-stressing With Thrive: Feel Stress Free

I’ve been de-stressing with the  Thrive : Feel Stress Free  app over the last fortnight. I introduced Thrive here, a fantastic app created for mental health conditions and designed to gradually build resilience to and manage stress, anxiety and mild depression. Using clinically proven techniques such as mindfulness and CBT over a few weeks can have huge benefits.

De-stressing with Thrive: feel stress free

De-stressing with Thrive

Me being me I haven’t managed to religiously use the app. I had hoped to use it much more. The Zen garden and Zen challenge does keep drawing me back in however and I feel it’s been beneficial for me. Most evenings I will sit and design a Zen garden or try one of the challenges. I can feel the stress disappearing as I rake and arrange my pretty little gardens. The challenges are simple, a little bit of thinking involved but it’s very enjoyable. With a star rating you can go back and try to think of better ways to solve the challenges too. It really does help me de-stress.

Zen Garden

Managing Better

Anyone who has seen my tweets this week will no doubt know we have had a stressful month which seems to be continuing. Normally these stresses would have me in tears, feeling helpless and useless.We had our washing machine breakdown the first week back at school. Although we managed to borrow money to replace it only for it 2 breakdown less than 2 weeks later.. with school uniform in.. AGAIN! Using the Zen garden each night seems to be helping me stay calmer. Whilst I am annoyed and frustrated I am managing to keep a hold on my temper and emotions much better. I’m not instantly reacting and being much more mindful.

Using Thrive

As mentioned in my previous post there are subscription costs for thrive, having used the app I feel they are actually very reasonable prices.

The Thrive app is available on all Android and Apple devices. 3 different subscription packages are available.

Monthly –  £5.99

Quarterly – £14.97 for 3months of unlimited access. That’s just £4.99 a month!

Yearly  – £47.88  a year brings the cost down to £3.99 a month.

For my readers however I have a special code to use through October so you can try out Thrive: Feel stress free for yourself and hopefully start de-stressing like I have! Use code FSFOCT300917.

 

 

 

Tackling My Mental Health With Thrive: Feel Stress Free

I’m tackling my mental health with Thrive: Feel Stress Free, an app created to help gradually build resilience to and manage stress. Something I am struggling with immensely lately. Thrive is also designed to help with anxiety and mild depression which I also struggle with.Thrive

 

I recently had a medication review which didn’t go too well. I saw Dr who clearly didn’t read my notes and his comments left me feeling rubbish. Because of this my mental health has spiralled out of control and I’ve struggled to cope lately. A Dr trying to change my medication without reading my notes ( I figured this as he asked as I was leaving if I’ve been to the pain clinic yet instead of ‘just taking medication’!) has left me feeling even more messed up than before! I avoided medication for a good 5 years when I obviously needed it, I’ve tried everything I can & given in and accepted medication just to get that kind of reaction. That’s probably a whole other post though!

I have decided I will try my best to take my mental health into my own hands and hopefully Thrive can help with that. I will be trying out the app and sharing how I get on with it in a few weeks time.

What Is Thrive?

Thrive teaches clinically proven techniques such as mindfulness and CBT. I will be trying the app out over the next month to try and manage my stress and anxiety as I am really struggling again lately. A confidential wellbeing app, Thrive helps build resilience, prevent and manage stress, anxiety and other common mental health conditions. Thrive is designed to help de-stress I just 5 minutes. I hope this is the case for me!

Subscription Costs

The Thrive app is available on all Android and Apple devices. 3 different subscription packages are available.

Monthly –  £5.99

Quarterly – £14.97 for 3months of unlimited access. That’s just £4.99 a month!

Yearly  – £47.88  a year brings the cost down to £3.99 a month.

How Does It Work?

There are several parts to the Thrive app. Each section focuses on one area but the app considers all area’s when processing results & giving advice. Thrive learns more about you as you use it which allows the app to give better suited advice.

Mood

Mood Meter

The Thrive app begins by asking questions and tracking them on the Mood Meter. Every day you answer the questions which allows the app to assess your current issues. With this information the app can provide useful results to help you work on those issues. Over time the app learns more about you allowing it to advise you better each time.

Thrive- Words of encouragement

Thought Trainer

The CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) based thought trainers is designed to help re-frame negative thoughts. This is something I really need to work on myself and I’m keen to see if I can see the positives in the negatives. The mood meter tracks everything and stores it in the Progress section of the app. The thought trainer slowly personalises itself to your

self suggestion

Relaxation Techniques

 Thrive uses four relaxation techniques – calm breathing, meditation, deep muscle relaxation and progressive relaxation. You may find certain techniques may work better for you than others. Try them all to see which works best for you. There’s a range of sessions varying in duration & situation. You can select what works best for you.

Wellbeing Guides

There’s a selection of wellbeing guides available on Thrive. The guides help understand and support you through situations like trouble sleeping, money worries, loss of a loved one, weight worries and more.

Zen Garden

This is my favourite part of the app already. The Zen garden allows you to get creative and design your own peaceful garden.  Creating a peaceful Zen garden helps keep your mind off stress. I’ve already found raking and making patterns quite peaceful.

Zen Garden

Message in a Bottle

Message in a bottle lets you share a completely confidential and anonymous message in a bottle with words of encouragement. Everyone needs a few words of encouragement at times!

Across all of these different area’s the app learns about you and can tell you where you need help. As you can see below my anxiety is the main issue which I’m hoping Thrive can help me with. Don’t forget to check back in a week or 2 to see how I get on!

Results

Have you used Thrive? Did you find it useful? Do you think it may be useful if you haven’t tried Thrive?

Social Anxiety – Struggling to get involved

I’ve been struggling with social anxiety for as long as I can remember. Whilst I am getting better at going out & socialising my anxiety still holds me back.

Recently I contacted my local community project to get involved. I figured I may be able to help spread the word about events & fundraising and maybe get to meet a few more people locally. Feeling brave I typed out a message & hit enter. I got a reply and we organised meeting up for a chat.

Izzy fell ill and I missed meeting the guy who runs the project. I contacted him to apologise and agreed to rearrange. My anxiety is preventing me from messaging again though. I’m just a small blogger who writes to pass the time especially when I’m in pain. How could I actually help?

I was also invited to the community house meetings which are on a Thursday evening. Of course I let everything get in the way so I was ‘too busy’ to go. This has annoyed me. I’m preventing myself from moving forward with the blog & getting to know more people in the community. Why? Because I’m scared. I’ve always been the weirdo’s kid, the outcast and I still feel that’s how people see me. 

Whilst my confidence has grown in some areas my personal confidence is still struggling. I know I can offer something to the community, I’m doing well with the blog but I don’t have the confidence I need to get that across. Getting to know people locally could be nice but at the same time I quite like being unnoticed. I guess I am a bit of a loner. Realistically though  I need to get out more, I need to meet more people, I need to have more confidence in myself and start getting involved more in the local community.

I’m determined to work on this but I know it’s going to be tough.

Do you have social anxiety? Do you have any confidence building tips? Has getting involved in a community project helped you overcome social anxiety?