So May marks Mental Health Awareness month and so I would like to open up discussion around the topic.
There are so many factors to take into consideration that impact on our mental health for example various physical health, PMS, fertility, hormone imbalance, perimenopausal, menopausal & postmenopausal conditions.
Not only that but we also have our day to day stresses to contend to like juggling work, home life, parenthood, relationships, caring for family members, financial worries, managing feelings of inadequacy or feeling like we're losing our identity as we move through the life cycles...the list really is endless.
Is it any wonder that our mental health suffers as a result?
However, as a society we as women are still expected to have our s*** together and to get on with it. So, although we are generally better at talking about our feelings then men we can often feel shame, guilt or embarrassment around not being able to "cope" and then as a result deny anything is wrong to ourselves or hide what's really going on to those around us.
I always find it sad to hear that despite all communication options available to us in this day and age that many of us still don't feel we can talk about our problems, especially with our friends or family. This was something that came up in my recent masterclasses.
Instead many of us carry on feeling overwhelmed, depressed, stressed, anxious and alone with little or no support from anyone. In doing so it can lead to heightened emotions including sadness, fear, worry, anger and irritability which can have a detrimental impact on our sense of self as well as our relationships with others.
I know this because I have been here on many occasions throughout my life...most recently with my diagnosis of Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) last year and the stigma around infertility. However, if you have been reading my emails you may have noticed that I have been more vocal about this recently, this is because not much is known about the condition and I feel it is important for me to raise awareness around POI and women's health issues in general. It has taken me a long time to open up and be vulnerable enough to share my backstory, but in doing so I hope it will help other women feel they can to.
Fortunately, I have been supported by some amazing women to get to where I am today and I am pleased to see that there are more and more empowered women now standing up and bringing attention to Women's Mental Health issues.
The more we can openly talk about our problems the more we will remove the stigma around our Mental Health and most importantly start to normalise it as something most of us will encounter with statistics showing 1 in 5 women will experience poor mental health at some point in their life.
So, if you are reading this and can relate to any of it. I would love for you to get in touch to share your story if it feels comfortable to do so and if not that's also okay, but please never feel like you are alone. We are all walking each other home so if you need to...know that you can always reach out to me for advice and support.
Here are some of my top tips to support our Mental Health. I know you will probably know most of this already, but it's always good to remind ourselves from time to time to put ourselves first.
Reconnect to yourself- a great way to do this is by tuning into your breath not only does it bring us back to ourselves, but it also helps you to come back to the present moment and re-centre your thoughts. Check out my short video HERE for a simple technique you can do at anytime of the day to help your nervous system.
Write a letter to your future self- help to reframe your unhelpful thoughts by visualising the life you would like to see yourself living. How do you want to feel, look, live? Where do you work? Where do you live? Who's in your life? Get as specific as you can.
It may feel like a dream, but anything really is possible. Look to flick the switch on your negative thought pattern and when you slip into difficult times try to come back to this future version of yourself and remember she is waiting on you. Maybe even create a vision board or draw your future self which will also serve as a way to refocus your mind.
Get enough sleep - getting good quality sleep is essential and plays an important factor in regulating our hormones including cortisol, a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands known as the stress hormone. If our hormones are out of whack then there guaranteed to play havoc on our physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing.
So, make sure you are getting at least 6-8 hours sleep and try to limit your exposure to artificial light a good one hour before bed preferably even longer if possible. If you have struggle sleeping try this yummy Ayurvedic Sleep Tonic recipe
10 Almond soaked for 8 hours and then skin removed
1 cup of milk of your choice (I prefer Almond)
2 teaspoon of coconut oil
4-5 dates preferably medjool
8 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
pinch of turmeric, ginger & nutmeg.
Whizz everything up in a blender and the gently bring to the boil and serve.
Get outside- as much as it's the last thing we often feel like doing when we are feeling low. Being active and getting outdoors in nature not only gets us moving, but helps to ground us and gets us out of our head for while. Try to commit to at least 15 minutes a day.
Do something you love- what makes you happy? whatever it is do more of it!
Whenever you can find moments of happiness you release serotonin your happy hormone. Tend to you inner child the part of you that just wants to have fun, life doesn't have to be serious all the time. It is said in many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:
"When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?”― Gabrielle Roth
Eat well to live well- having a healthy, balanced diet has a massive impact on how we feel but you don't have to make massive changes to feel the effects simple things like ensuring you eat regularly will help to regulate your blood sugar levels and stop you feeling tired and irritable. Make sure you eat enough healthy fats as your brain and body needs these for optimum health. They're found in things such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocados. Avoid processed or packaged foods as they contain a whole load of nasties that aren't good for us Also watch your caffeine and alcohol intake as both affect your mood and can cause anxiety, as well as sleep issues, especially if drank close to bedtime.
Stay connected- whether that's simply enjoying time with friends and family or if needs be seeking out professional support or advice if things get to much. Don't suffer in silence there is always someone out there that will be pleased to hear from or see you.
I hope you have found some of these tips useful.
Sending you lots of love 🧡
Until next time, keep shining bright!
P.S. Have you joined my private Facebook Group SISTERS OF THE MOON a group for conscious & spiritually minded women where you can feel safe to be YOU and speak your mind with no fear of judgement.