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Listen to Connor from the Mental Health Journey Podcast explain in his experience ways to improve our mental health when we think it could b

From Audio: #21 Improving Your Mental Health

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station description Sharing a story known by many. Conor Stone has lived with anxiety and depression f... read more
A Mental Health Journey
Duration: 12:35
Verbl Audio Mental Health
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this week, what we'll be doing is looking at things we can do to feel better when we do now with those things or just little areas of our life that we can always keep an eye on and and kind of have some sort of structure over and just to keep us in some sort of balance with our mental state. So let's let's do that. And and maybe before we get stuck into every hour, maybe you can just allow yourself to take a really deep breath right now. And what I mean by that is, you know, can you breathe down into your stomach, rise your stomach, widen your raves and rise your chest at one deep breath and let it all out slowly and with a bit of a sigh, just settle in where everywhere, whether you're moving or sitting down. We'll just check for the next 15 minutes and hopefully you'll get to nuggets that are helpful for you. And again, these are all things from my experience that that worked for me when I'm feeling a little bit of, I'll kind of do chronologically if I can. And the first step is what we discussed last week, and it sounds so much easier then it actually is, and it's to notice it to notice that you might be feeling a bit off. I think I mentioned the last podcast that some of the toughest periods of my life, I did not see that I was off and it took a friend or my partner pointing out to me that they think I'm feeling a bit different or they they have a feeling that there's something going on with me for me to reflect and go, wow, there is and there have been feeling that way for quite a while. So the first step is to notice that and hopefully notice it before it gets to a really bad stage for me, initially, you know, when I first noticed by issues with anxiety and depression and panic, it was after my first panic attack in 2017, and you know, ideally ideally that wouldn't have been the case of maybe I go to work today before then, and I had that horrible experience of panic attack, but it was the case and you know, it's brought me on a path that has been good for me, I think since, um and then when I was going through depression for like my worst time again, it was it was my girlfriend lower that said it to me that I might be feeling a bit off and you know, when I heard that I just started crying and recognize that I probably felt really bad for probably, I don't know, it could have Been 12 weeks at that stage and I just didn't consciously taken out of it. So by using the steps from the last episode, if you haven't heard it yet, maybe just go back and listen to before you listen to this, just see if you can notice that you're going to have to go being a decline and then when you do what I like to do, first thing is I I write about it or I reflect on it and the sense of what I'm trying to do when I do that is that I try to define what's going on and just ask myself why that that might be and if anyone wants structures for how you might do this, you can message me at the mental health journey underscore instagram page and I'll share some with you, but I do, because it gives me a chance to work out what's going on in my own mind and gives me a structure for when I speak to other people about it, because sometimes when I'm feeling bad, I like I can't I feel like I can't talk to someone about because I can't even explain what's going on, that's okay, you know, you can you can talk about and just, you know, show that you're in a difficult place that moment or that something's going on. But for me, I just like to take a step and just working it in my own head and work out what's going on, Why is that going on? Has anything triggered it? Is there anything I can do about it? Who can I speak to you about this? And then I proceed, and it just helps me to get that right in my own head and maybe just consciously recognize that something's up, then I talk about it and this is so important, you know, I'm looking at that because this is such a big part of my life and I'm part of my personality and I feel comfortable talking about this stuff with quite a few people now, but to begin with, you know, when I, when I had my first panic attack, I I had A group of three or 4 friends and then I had my mom and my older brother because I wasn't even going out with lower at this time. So they were really the only people I felt comfortable talking to you about this and they are so good about it again. You know, my mom's a therapist, a psychotherapist and like I'm lucky to have her because she she understood what was going on when I told her about this stuff, Not everyone has that, but hopefully have someone you can talk to, even if they haven't had similar experiences, maybe they can just listen and by just sharing that with someone else, maybe lightens the load a bit. But if you don't really have something that you can talk to about this, maybe you can find a therapist, Maybe there's one if you're going to university, maybe there's one within their Baby. Your GP can recommend one. Or I know if you're based in Ireland, there's therapy hope dot org where you can kind of find your match in a therapist and pick them out and match their bio and find someone who works for you. I don't want to recommend doing because like with the therapist, you know, it's like, it's like anyone, it's like a friendship, not everyone is going to get on with everyone and everyone's going to be a great match. That doesn't mean that friendship or relationship going for you, and it doesn't mean therapy isn't for you. So what I would say is could you set Up a little like intro car, just a 10 minute call to see if you get on with this person and if you do then you book in your first therapy session and just see how it goes. I went to my first therapy session, You know, September 2017, so coming up to four years and I thought it was only gonna be there for three or 4 sessions and here I am many years later and I'm going next week again, so maybe you can find someone like that, something that you can talk to him, the next thing for me is not everyone, it's the same. And again, this is coming from my perspective, but what I'm feeling off, I'd like to bring a structure back into my life and that doesn't necessarily need to be like really rigid and strict. It could just be that you fit it into your day at some stage, but some people need a rigid routine. When I was at my worst with depression, I I had a very rigid routine and it was something that really did help me, You know, it's stuff like if you work all day and you are a slave to your candor, can you just put in your calendar a little 15 minute period to breathe twice a day, put that in and no matter what comes open? So I thought is in the category, so I'm going to do it. Mhm Could you do that? And in that time could you breathe run walk? Maybe you can include friends in it to get your motivation up. My my routine when I was at my worst. Um I said Before, like for me, my worst was the summer of 2019. Really tough time. Just like really low with depression, no energy, but I still had a life to live, you know, like I still have to go to work when I came back from my, from my sick leave. I still need to get through meetings, I still wanted to be successful and the only way I was able to do that was like a really strong morning routine. So every morning I get up about a quarter to seven, I would have a cold share it using the win half method, if anyone wants to try it definitely, very interesting, then I do a deep breathing exercise to kind of get some heat into me to get some energy into me to, I suppose, you know, wake myself up in that morning, I do some stretching or some light yoga and then I'd grown her, I'd walk to work and just before I get to work I'd stop, there was this little uh corner off the street and that had chairs and it was kind of quiet and secluded and I go down and just do a few breathing exercise and hype myself up for the day and just tell myself I can do this, I will be okay. And I have these tools if I need them during the day and again, like you don't need that exactly routine, but maybe if you're feeling a bit off, could you do something in the evening, one in the morning or at your lunch break or a little periods throughout the day to make yourself feel better, whatever that might be for you. And this next one is so important. It is that when you're getting that structure or when you're working out, what can you do for yourself, when you're doing your journaling or just asking yourself in your head, remember that? Just I'm going to use a hurling phrase here before you do the fancy stuff, Like picking the bottom with one hand, you always Prioritize doing the Basics 1st, picked up all the way to hand scheduled or play it and it's the same is true with our mental health and the pillars of mental health and good mental health will always be sleeping well, eating well, exercising, being connected to, you know, friends, family, a community, having a work life balance. These are these are all things that we need to do before we over worry about things like meditation, mindfulness yoga. Because if you haven't slept for three days in a row, having an error of meditation every day, it's not going to it's not going to be effective. You know, you need to get those basics right, those pillars right for things like meditation, mindfulness, breathwork yoga to be as effective as they can be, even therapy. That's what I would say is, you know, like sometimes for me, I just start going to bed a little bit earlier. I'm waking up a little bit earlier as well, but like, you know, having a total sleep that's better. And then in that morning when I wake up it earlier getting a bit exercising and just after a few days, I just started to feel that better in myself. And then you're kind of deal with this already in that you're listening to my podcast and I'm sure you have some sort of interest as well as um as all these other things um as well as my podcast is to educate yourself. Um yeah, I'm this is just so critical for you to feel safe and in control and feel proactive in your own mental health journey. Um it's stuff like reading books, listening to podcasts, watching videos on Youtube, following the right pages on instagram and just learning as much as you can about it, like you can take my word for these things, but I think the most positive thing you can do is just keep exploring yourself.
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