6.4.20 Birmingham, UK

I am in no way about to act as if I know everything about mental health, because oh my god, that is so far from the truth and in facts there’s so much to cover, I wouldn't even know where to begin. However, I wanted to share with you the small changes I’ve been making to improve my mood when I’m feeling low. 

It’s no surprise we all experience rough patches with our mental health, heck, it’s a natural part of life. But lately mines been at an all time low and quite frankly, it fucking sucks. 

Things to do to improve your mood - See the Stars

I’ve been dealing with some battles and I’m so frustrated with how much they affected me. In 2019 I opened up about feeling the burn out and continued to talk about my mental health being the reason I quit my job. So, it’s only right I continued the discussion about my MH and the progress since last year. 

Personally it’s had its ups and downs, a period not too long after quitting my job I felt like it was beginning to improve, I found joy with my new work place, meeting new people and my creativity has sparked again. Whilst I'm in a much better position, my perception of what's happening changes regularly and I really wish I had the answers to my own questions, but here we are. 

I need moments in my life to take a step back and remind myself (and the anxiety) that things aren't always as bad as it seems and they won't be here forever either.

This coping mechanism might not work for everyone but fortunately for me, I'm constantly reminded that some of the things are out of our control, a persons reaction isn't my fault and working out a way of dealing with the problems around me and knowing whether it's our duty to fix that or not.

Things to do to improve your mood - See the Stars

We're no strangers when talking about my experiences with mental health, that also includes my time with a counsellor etc and one of the biggest pieces of advice I've taken from my sessions is the ability to recognise I'm in control of my worries, problems and reactions and finding ways to improve my mood when feeling low and working towards clearing my mind of those doubts and fears to move forward.

That being said, I then use these steps to switch my focus and distract my anxiety.

When in counselling, I used to keep track of the bad things during the week and off-load my troubles to discuss with my therapist and as much as that worked for me, it's also difficult to wait up to two weeks for this conversation. One person I trust with my thoughts and any troubles I'm experiencing is my boyfriend, we talk through what I'm feeling, how he can help and then work together to either just talk me through my problems, find me a distraction to stop it arising or we find a solution.

Things to do to improve your mood - See the Stars

Some of this actually stems from my counselling sessions, I actually studied counselling at university so most of this I recognise from my studies, but my experience with talking therapies has been to recognise what's causing me so much distress and one of the ways of noticing these is to write them down. I've tried a variation of this, I've tried a daily journal, jotting down three positive things from the day or using a counselling technique following the worry tree - this one I have spoken about previously and only tend to use in my worse moments. And being as I'm a hoarder of journals and notebooks, I'll pick one up and just jot down my thoughts and mentally break them down and figure out what's in my control and what isn't.

If you've not noticed, I'm a fixer and whilst it has it's positives, it also has it's negatives too and sometimes we can't fix everything. I find that I won't be able to use previous techniques and I need a easy day/night instead, usually this involves being in someones company but not necessarily needing to make much conversation and just switching on an easy going film - my top choices for these are usually very predictable trashy films which are actually my favs. I get to switch off from my worries, reset my headspace and laugh & cry at one of my favourite films, lovely.

Ah, easier said than done trust me, I know. Thankfully though, in the last couple of weeks I've been getting so much better at noticing when I need a break, most of my stresses are currently due to lack of work and pushing myself to blog more (both almost at two ends of the worry spectrum, but also quite closely connected). My issue is, the more worried and anxious I get over these things, the more my head is clouded with thoughts, so at least once a week I'm focusing my attention on different things, watching more movies, reading a book for an hour instead of scrolling my phone and simply taking a proper break from my problems and start afresh the next day when I'm in a clearer mindset. 

Like I said, these things are all down to personal preference and these are simple things that work well for me. I wanted to share them in the hope that it helps others find there coping mechanisms, they only way I've discovered these work for me is from trial and error.  

I'm always in search of trying more, so tell me -what works best for you? 

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