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What is a healthy Breakfast?

What is a healthy Breakfast?

You probably have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day that shouldn’t be skipped. While this might be true, it doesn’t mean that you should eat just about anything. You need to eat healthily. Generally, a healthy breakfast consists of carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats, and proteins.

It’s not only meant to make you fuller but to also fuel your body for the day. Unhealthy breakfast, on the other hand, can only make you sluggish and contributes to weight issues and cardiovascular complications. So, choose to eat healthy at breakfast and start enjoying a healthy life. Here’s an elaborate guide to use.

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Foods Considered Healthy for Breakfast

In general, these foods are considered healthy for breakfast, thus highly recommended:

1. Eggs

Although eggs can be taken at any time of the day, they are more effective during breakfast. One study shows that eggs can regulate blood sugar, especially after a sharp rise. They also contain antioxidants that promote better cognitive functions, eye health, and heart fitness. The protein content is enough to make you fuller.

2. Homemade Smoothies

Homemade smoothies are a quick option for concentrated nutrients. They aid in weight loss since they make you fuller quicker and are effective in reducing cravings. The advantage of making smoothies at home is that you have absolute control of your nutrients intake.

3. Greek Yogurt

Studies show that Greek yogurt is packed with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), known to aid in fat shedding and offers protection against breast cancer. It also makes you fuller quickly and improves your metabolism. There are also a few Greek yogurts that come with live cultures (probiotics), known to boost gut health.

4. Fresh Fruits

Fruits are generally delicious for breakfast. The interesting part is that they are also nutrient-packed, thus a healthy choice. Top options for breakfast include:

  • Citrus fruits – High in fiber and Vitamin C and are great in hydrating the body.
  • Berries – Rich in antioxidants and fibers, known to promote good heart health.
  • Grapefruits – Low in calories but high in fiber to aid in weight management.

5. Whole-Wheat Bread

You need carbohydrates for breakfast and there’s no budget-friendlier healthier option than whole-wheat bread. It’s packed with dietary fiber that’s essentially meant to make you fuller quickly. More importantly, fiber promotes better digestion and heart health.

6. Coffee

Coffee is a popular beverage at home and workplaces. It contains caffeine which promotes mental alertness, better mood, and brain vitality. Research shows that caffeine can also boost metabolism and may aid in weight loss. So, if you are the workout type, coffee can help a great deal. It fuels your muscles to help you train more effectively.

7. Oatmeal

If you are a cereal fan, then you should go for oatmeal. It originates from oat, which means it’s packed with enough fiber to help reduce cholesterol levels and antioxidants to fight hypertension and Heart Disease. Moreover, oatmeal makes you fuller quickly and so it’s great for promoting better weight management.

8. Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is one of the healthiest and most nutritious beverages on earth. It contains enough caffeine, known to improve mood and mental sharpness. It also has beneficial antioxidants like EGCG that’s good for your heart and brain. A cup of herbal tea a day may go a long way in fighting chronic conditions.

Foods Considered Unhealthy for Breakfast

The following foods are considered the worst for breakfast and thus should be avoided:

1 Toaster Pastries

Though toaster pastries are a common option for breakfast in most places, they are not healthy. Recent studies show that they are low in protein and this makes you hungrier during the day. As a result, you may end up eating more leading to fast weight gain.

2. Waffles

Waffles have one major issue – they are made from highly refined flour. This implies they are low in fiber and may contribute to weight gain as they are slow in making you fuller. Most waffle options are also topped with syrup, which means more sugar in your diet.

3. Pancakes

Pancakes have the same issues as waffles. They are made from refined flour and can be topped with artificial sweeteners. So, they don’t offer protection against obesity or diabetes. The secret is to just avoid them.

4. Fat-Free Flavored Yoghurt

Even though whole milk Greek yogurt is good for breakfast, fat-free flavored yogurt is not. For one, flavored fat-free yogurt comes sweetened with sugars and this is a risk for diabetes. The absence of fat also means that it takes time to get fuller when taking fat-free flavored yogurt.

5. Fruit Juices

Unlike fresh fruits, fruit juices are more of high-fructose syrup than natural fruit. So, they are a riskfor diabetes and obesity. This makes them a poor choice for breakfast. What’s more, they make you hungrier throughout the day.

Key Steps to a Healthy Breakfast

To stick to a healthy breakfast plan, you need these key steps:

  • Make it a routine – Your family needs to value the importance of a healthy breakfast. So, it should be a daily thing. Kids, especially, need to be trained to appreciate healthy breakfast when they are still young. It makes it easier for them to continue the routine when they grow up.
  • Consider budget options – There are so many healthier breakfast options you can go for. For example, cheese only cost $2-$3 per containers but is low in fat and high in protein. Cereals, on the other hand, only cost $4 per box and comes fortified with valuable minerals. You should also note that fresh fruits are cheaper than processed fruit juices.
  • Look for nutrients fortification – If you are shopping for your kids, look at food products that are fortified with essential nutrients like Vitamin D, iron, calcium, and omega 3. Such nutrients are great for boosting physical and mental development in kids.
  • Include wholegrain – Whole-grain meals are a perfect substitute for processed grains. They contain enough fiber to offer protection against cancer, diabetes, and heart issues.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate – You should not forget to take fluids in the morning. Including a healthy drink like coffee, herbal tea or water can help tremendously in preventing issues like headaches, grumpiness, overeating, and tiredness.

It’s undeniable that we need breakfast to start our day, so, skipping it is not an option. The only sensible option is to consider healthy choices. Besides, not all healthy breakfast food options are costly. Others are budget-friendly but very beneficial for your health. For this reason, you have no excuse to eat unhealthily during breakfast.

Thanks to Dr. Amanda Dee from Healing Hands Chiropractic for sending us this blog post. 

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World Mental Health Day 2019

World Mental Health Day 2019

Today is World Mental Health Day. On this day every year, people all over the world aim to highlight important issues surround mental health and attempt to find ways to combat them. While mental health is an issue that needs to be addressed EVERY day, this day unites all those who are fighting for all things mental health related and also shows those who are suffering that they are #notalone .

 

While mental illness is preventable to some degree, just like any illness it has an element of chance. ANYONE can struggle with their mental health. This is why we at Dr Julian believe that EVERYONE should have access to high quality, reliable mental health care if and when they need it. The Mental Health Foundation agrees, listing easy access to effective mental health care as one of the top protective factors against suicide. Too many lives are lost as a result of mental illness, and we want to do what we can to help care for those battling suicidal thoughts before it’s too late. 

 

At Dr Julian, we eliminate many of the factors that prevent access to mental health care such as travel time/cost, limited availability, long waiting lists and even allows you to receive therapy from YOUR safe place, making therapy more comfortable and talking through your problems easier.

 

“After a very difficult couple of years during which I suffered from depression and anxiety due to illness and bereavement, I finally found I could talk to someone.
Even the thought of walking into a doctor’s surgery and speaking to a receptionist would prevent me from seeking help. At last I could talk to someone from the security and comfort of my own home. No feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed in a cold, formal office – just someone I could talk to who understands and will help me work through my feelings.
I confess that I didn’t think that talking to a therapist could help – how wrong was I!
I am so glad that I found the Dr Julian app.”

-Patient Review

 

We’re passionate about what we do, because we can see how much our service helps people. That’s why we continue to find ways to improve and expand to reach and help as many people as we can. Having partnered with several NHS trusts this year, we’ve received excellent feedback and we hope to continue to collaborate with other trusts to help provide better mental healthcare to those who need it.

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THE 5 PHASES OF FIGHTING LOW SELF-ESTEEM

THE 5 PHASES OF FIGHTING LOW SELF-ESTEEM

Identify
Just because you feel generally ‘down’ and you want to feel better, that does not mean you are ready to do something about it. You have to find the cause. And the cause could be sneaky.

Let’s say you are growing bald. It happens suddenly, and it is very visible at first sight what is affecting you. You know when it started and you know what is causing it.

However, low self-esteem might be stemming from a bad relationship or friendship, where the other person is putting you down, but is also manipulating you into you thinking they mean your best. Those reasons are trickier to uncover.

Write down a list of the times that you were feeling down and the thoughts that were running through your head. Find the original bad thought that put you in that state. Caution: The reasons might be multiple.

Categorize
Once you have discovered the cause of your low self-esteem, put them in one of three categories:

Constants. The constants in your life are things you can’t change. For example if your low self-esteem is stemming from you being not-so-tall, you are probably not going to be able to change that. The strategy you need to employ here is acceptance, or looking at things from a different angle. Instead of trying to change the constant, change yourself, to where the constant is not bothering you so much.
Fluctuations. Those are situations where there is a combination of factors you can change and factors you can’t. If you sweat excessively for example, in most cases you will be able to improve your symptoms to where they are not a distraction in your everyday life, but you will always have to take excessive care of your personal hygiene, take pills, and/or spend a lot on medical-grade products.
Variables. If your low self-esteem is stemming from the fact you are not a very good conversationalist, or you are at a low point in your career, there are things you can do to completely eliminate that source of low self-esteem.

Improve
This is the part of the process our article is concentrating on. You need to adopt the attitude that you owe it to yourself to research and never give up to always give yourself the best chance in life.

Identify your issues, work on the ones you can change, and accept the flaws you can’t to where they do not interfere with the rest of your life.

Adapt
Let’s go back to the example with the frenemy – the friend that is actually your enemy.

If they are causing your low self-esteem, naturally a part of your healing process will be to cut ties with such people. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases people attract similar types of friends around them – it is the principle of the key and the lock.

It is common in this situation that a person will suddenly be left with a lot less friends than they started out with. And that could, in turn, be its own source of self-esteem issues.

Now you will need a new strategy. Change the types of people you become friends with. Your old ways are no good.

Persevere
Once you figure out the issue is solved, the worst thing you can do is to just fall back to how you were.

It is important that you continue your efforts to improve your life.

In the example of the frenemy, you have to be careful that you don’t attract the same false friends in your efforts to not be alone. If your excessive weight was causing the issue, and you lost some of it, you need to continue with your efforts.

Remember. Maintenance and prevention is always easier than breaking the bad habit.

YOUR BODY
Your body is the home of your spirit. But it could also be the birthplace of many insecurities that poison your daily life.

Because it is the first thing that people see about your, the most obvious difference between you – it is easy to see the differences in the physical world, and not so easy to see the difference between the minds.

Please note that we are not saying that any of those issues should be a concern of yours, but here are some of the most common issues you could have with your body:

You carry extra weight
Some extra inches around your belly could really damage your self-worth. Luckily, it is one of the issues that can be fixed just by the power of an iron will. Caution – it is simple, but it is not easy.

The first thing to do is to cut back on sugars. Your appetite will immediately go down and you will crave much less food. With a limited amount of carbohydrates, your body will be feeding off of the fat. Low sugar lowers insulin levels which leads the kidneys to lose the excess water and sodium.

Concentrate on getting your protein, your fat sources and carbohydrates only in low-carb versions – particularly from vegetables. High protein diets will make you feel more full. Add more protein and you will feel it is way easier to stay off sugar.

Now, some gym talk. Visit around 3 times per week. Make sure you do some stretches before you start. Warm up your muscles for the workout. Try to include some weight lifting, instead of doing cardio only. It will do wonders for your shape, in addition to your weight and you will see results in the mirror faster.

Don’t overdo it. Concentrate on what works for you. Explore different options. Even if someone tells you their routine is doing wonders for them, if it doesn’t fit your needs or is not up to your liking, ditch it.

In the beginning, concentrate on persistence rather than a particular type of exercise. Once you get results, track them. Try to push yourself towards achieving your end goal.

You sweat
BO could take a real hit on your self image. Heavy sweating could be a sign of a medical condition. Hyperhidrosis, as it is also called, can be a symptom of a thyroid disease, diabetes or bacterial infection. Excessive weight is a contributing factor.

If the temperature is not high and you are not exercising, you should not be sweating profusely. This is when you know you have an issue.

What can you do?

Deodorants/Antiperspirants. If the generic products do not work for you, look for medical grade products.
Iontophoresis. Low-level electrical impulses will temporarily incapacitate your sweat glands.
Medications. Ask your doctor for prescription and additional advice if you have to.
Botox. Botox can briefly stop the nervous system from triggering excessive sweating.
Surgery. A doctor can cut a nerve in the chest that causes the sweating or they could as far as removing some of the sweat glands.
You are not the right height
Shorter people often suffer from lower self-esteem. The teen years are usually the hardest part in such cases. Shorter people have a more difficult time establishing themselves as the authority, and in their relationships.

However, you should not underestimate other factors – if your friends and family never make fun you for your height, you are more likely to develop high self esteem. The environment has an important role in determining how one perceives themselves.

Surround yourself with people who treat you nice for who you are and do not accept jokes you are not okay with.

You dislike your features
Feeling ugly can be devastating to you, as this Cosmopolitan article tells us.

Disliking our features could be detrimental to our confidence, especially during our teen years.

This YouTube video outlines how young girls, in particular, feel confused about the way they look and seek validation from the internet. Seeing so many changes day after day, being told by their mothers and fathers they are beautiful, and by bullies at school – that they are ugly.

In this day and age the question of cosmetic surgery will always come up in your mind. However, before you take any drastic measures, make sure you have considered all pros and cons.

You are losing your hair
Hair loss is a common problem amongst men. Men do tie having a full head of hair to sex appeal. Even though only 13% have reported to have been very upset when their man lost their hair. In contrast, a full 52% think women would largely find bald men to be unattractive.

Apparently what actually matters is confidence. If your confidence is diminished as a result of going bald, you will only make the problem worse.

It is particularly devastating when it happens to women.

You will find a lot of procedures can be done to try and remedy the root of the issue or hide the symptoms. The truth is nothing is proven to work.

The best thing you can do is you can try to untie your confidence from your hair. Talk to people. Read about how others dealt with the issue.

You are getting old
Women feel ‘invisible’ by the age of 51: Confidence plummets after hitting 50, the Daily Mail reports.

‘Only 15 per cent of those over 45 declared themselves as having high or very high confidence while nearly half described themselves as not very confident at all… Six in ten felt modern life was geared towards younger women while 46 per cent believed that the problems faced by older women – such as the menopause, weren’t spoken about.’

Here are some things you can do to fight this feeling:

Self-esteem could actually increase as you age – you are smarter and more experienced now. You can be more assertive.
Sixty is the new forty! Some of our low confidence as we get old could be tied to us comparing ourselves to our parents at that age, but times have changed!
Focus more on what is truly important. At a young age you have so much choice in front of you. But it also leads to a lot of confusion. Now you know who you are and what you want. Do it!

YOUR JOB
Roughly, we spend one third of our lives working. Your relationships at the office, your status, your opinion of your job can have a huge impact on the way you feel about yourself.

You do not have a career
You are college-educated, and yet, you could never find a well paid job in your field. It is the curse of a generation. It is a huge problem. Yet, society tells people working in the service industry derogatory jokes, people who work low-level, low-paid jobs are being ostracized and told they are to be blamed for their state of affairs.

First, remember that you don’t have to always comply to society’s expectations, especially if you are happy with your job. Second, and only if you are not so happy, we advise you to do some research and look for the advice of career specialists. It is never too late to make a change.

Passed over for promotion
Redirect your negative emotions into positive efforts. Consider if it is maybe too early to despair. Do you have a future in the company? Decide where you should objectively draw the line.

Be proactive and seek direct feedback from your supervisor. Take it as a serious learning opportunity – learn what you are doing wrong. The answer may surprise you.

Plan carefully for your next step. What and when do you want to achieve from your job? Who is the decision maker? What is their vision of the situation? What are their condition? Is it something you can afford waiting for?

You are underpaid
Men are more likely than women to associate their self worth with the money they earn. And women are more likely to be underpaid because of their reluctance to negotiate for a higher salary.

Deal with this issue in three steps.

First, do your research. How much are you worth in your company? What about other companies? Second – who is deciding on your salary? Are they happy with your work? Third, plan carefully how and when to raise the question. Give yourself the best chance.

You are underappreciated
Work on getting yourself out of your comfort zone. Speak to your colleagues and customer more often. Write down a list of achievements no one gave you credit for. Make sure you raise the question during your next evaluation.

YOUR MONEY
The thickness of your wallet may be tied to your self-worth.

You are not your money
In some cases such world view could be justified. If you are a an associate at a law-firm for example, your earnings will be very closely tied to your worth as a lawyer.

If you are an IT specialist though, you should not be comparing yourself to the celebrities on TV. It is a question of attitude, and your attitude will usually be closely tied to your ability to spend on products and services that are worth it, and on your ability to save money. For those points, direct your attention below.

Be realistic
If you have unrealistic expectations you will never feel good in your skin. Make a mental exercise to always work on your best chances but not to have top expectations.

Make a plan
Consult a financial specialist. Disclose the amount of steady income you are getting and your goals for the close or mid-term future. Maybe you want to get married? Have children? Retire?

Ask your consultant about a percentage of your income they advise you to spend on necessities, luxury items, fun and… how much they advise you to save.

Remember. You don’t solve money problems with money.

Make amendments
No plan is a good plan if it is not flexible. If your income changes for the worse or the better you need to adjust your financial plan accordingly.

Make investments
You do not necessarily need to make financial investments. What we mean by that is to consider every purchase to be an investment. Always think of the ‘return’ value. That way you will never spend money on junk.

YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
As we discussed earlier in the article, a bad relationship has various ways of being toxic to your self worth. People are weird creatures. To no fault if your own you could be sucked in an unhealthy relationship – friendly or romantic – with an equally unhealthy person who can only feel good about themselves if they put other people down.

Here are some helpful tips how to avoid that.

Make friends with the right people
Step number one is to be cautious about people who you let in your life. Be wary of people who:want to become too close too fast
joke about your insecurities and laugh it off then garnish the insult with a compliment too little too late
gossip
have too many insincere friendships
have too little friends even though they seem social

Lose friends when they are toxic
Step number two is to not be shy to let people go during the first signs of them being unhealthy for you.

It is better to have no friends than to hold onto a toxic relationship.

Nourish relationships
Hold on to your good friendships:

Be grateful when someone does something for you
Be conscious of people in your life that make you feel the best about yourself – ask them how you can help make their life better
Be the friend you want to have. Do not neglect your relationships.

YOUR INTELLECT
If your self image could be affected a lot by the way you look, that is because your appearance leaves the first impression to people you meet.

And the most lasting impression is affected by your smarts. Therefore if you don’t feel you come off as intelligent, it could be equally as damaging to your self esteem.

Here are some tips how to come across as smarter, fast:

Learn new things
Your first task is to get hold of the news. Make sure you read about the most pressing local and international events every morning.

This simple habit will immediately open access for you in office conversations. Several months in, you will be able to become the centre of attention. You will have informed opinions and even a witty joke or two.

Master small talk
The key to small talk is to talk about things that don’t matter, as if they do. Talk about the weather, sports or… the news… and be engaging. Ask little questions here and there.

‘Hey, who are you rooting for at the game tonight?’, ‘Hey, how long do you think it will take them to finish the reconstruction on the 8th?’.

Accept yourself
You can master small talk, get on the topics of the day, and use little tips and tricks like that.

But let’s be completely honest – you will probably not go back to college, you will probably not increase your IQ.

There will always be someone around who is smart and dashing and witty. You are good enough. Just give it your best and relax.

CONCLUSION
Your self-image could be affected in various stages of your life by various factors. And you may or may not be able to do anything about it.

Sometimes it will be up to you, sometimes it will be completely out of your hands.

Whenever you head for raising your self-esteem, you need to work in two directions in parallel. First, do your best to change the things you can change.

And second, accept yourself, love yourself. Know that you are enough the way you are.

Your goal should be to become the best version of yourself. Someone you can be proud of.

Make sure you put your best foot forward and be happy.

 

Martin @ Cleverism.com

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Mental Health Specialists of the Year!

Mental Health Specialists of the Year!

We are trilled to announce that we have been awarded Mental Health Specialists of the Year 2019 by London Prestige Awards! It’s a huge achievement and we are incredibly proud!

We would also like to say a huge thank you to all of you who have supported us and helped us grow as a community. The Dr Julian platform is all about helping those who need help, when they need it, and this really wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support we have received. For that we are truly thankful. 

We aim to continue to grow and improve so that we can reach more people and help change the way mental health is viewed and treated in the future. 

From all of us at Dr Julian….thank you! 

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Mental Health Education: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Mental Health Education: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What is PTSD?

 

PTSD is a form of anxiety disorder that manifests as a result of a distressing, stressful or frightening event. Some examples of events that may trigger PTSD symptoms include: road traffic accident, personal assault, health problems and childbirth. While these are recognised as common triggers, there is no pre-determined list of experiences that do and do not “qualify” as events associated with the onset of PTSD.

 

Who experiences PTSD?

 

Around 1 in 3 people who have experienced a traumatic incident will go on to develop PTSD and while for some symptoms appear immediately after the experience, for some it take months, or even years, to develop.

 

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

 

Like all mental illnesses, PTSD can affect different people in different ways. This being said, some of the most common symptoms experienced by those with PTSD can be split into 4 categories:

 

Re-experiencing– involuntary reliving the trauma through flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive images/sensations and/or physical sensations (e.g. pain, sweating, nausea, shaking).

 

Avoidance/Emotional numbing– avoidance of certain places, people or activities that may remind that individual of the trauma they experienced. This may be achieved by excessively working or participating in hobbies or alternatively, it may be achieved by withdrawing from their former lives, making that individual isolated.

 

Hyperarousal– this essentially means that the individual will find it difficult to relax. This can present as irritability, anger, insomnia and difficulty concentrating.

 

PTSD is also heavily linked to other mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, phobias and addiction. Addiction will often involve self-destructive behaviours like alcohol and drug abuse.

 

What is the difference between PTSD and Complex PTSD?

 

Complex PTSD is experienced when an individual has been repeatedly exposed to traumatic events like violence, neglect or abuse. Children who have experienced abuse are particularly vulnerable to complex PTSD and unfortunately, symptoms are often not detected until later in life.

 

How can I help someone who is struggling with PTSD?

 

Due to the nature of the condition, people with PTSD often find it hard to trust other people. Being supportive is incredibly important and while it may be difficult, if symptoms like anger or irritability present, try to separate them from the person in front of you. Just like a person with a cold can’t help sneezing, these outbursts are often purely a symptom of the illness. If you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD of any kind, please reach out to someone and seek help. The team at Dr Julian are always available to help.

 

No one should struggle in silence. Talk to someone. Talk to us.

 

 

If you or anyone you know struggles with PTSD and you feel we could add more information to this factsheet or that we got something wrong, please feel free to message us on facebook or Instagram so we can make sure we’re providing people with the best information possible!

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Rocketman: Mental Health Themes

Rocketman: Mental Health Themes

This bank holiday weekend, there’s one film that’s predicted to break records in cinemas….Rocketman. This film tells the story of how rock and roll legend, Elton John, rose to fame. I was lucky enough to go and see it this week and despite preconceptions of a classic “rags to riches” storyline, I was surprised to encounter a strong connection to a multitude of mental health conditions. Without giving any spoilers, I thought the film posed some really important questions and viewpoints.

 

From alcohol and drug abuse/addiction to affection deprivation and toxic relationships, the film explores how situations and people can affect a person’s mental health. It really made me think about the importance of environments on mental health as, it was very clear in the film that certain people and places resulted in further issues for Elton. How many of us have been in a situation that we know isn’t good for us, but have stayed because we feel trapped and unable to leave? I know I certainly have. Yet it’s not something that’s discussed very often. So, how can we help those who may be feeling trapped?

 

I found the character of Bernie, Elton’s lyricist and friend, to be one of the most inspirational characters of the film. Despite not understanding his friend’s choices, he stuck by him throughout all the struggles he faced and even when he was pushed away, he always returned, ready to help. I think we could all learn from Bernie. Despite the pain it caused him to see Elton struggling, he persisted to help in any way he could. Just having one person who sees past the mental illness and tries to find a way to help you is priceless. Mental illness is often scary and isolating and cannot be fought alone. So I aim to take a leaf out of Bernie’s book, and try to put aside my own struggles in order to help those around me who may need a hand to get out of an extremely dark place.

 

It’s also apparent in the film that Elton feels like he’s let his childhood-self down. This is an extremely common theme amongst those with mental health issues for, as children, our futures seem full of potential, with adults appearing as superheroes and no dream being impossible. However, the rose-tinted glasses of youth blur out the hardships that many of us face throughout adulthood. As a result, it’s understandable that we feel as though we have failed our former selves.

 

However, it’s important not to let these feelings of failure knock you even further. During the film, there’s an extremely powerful moment where grown-up Elton gives child Elton a hug. Within this moment there’s an overwhelming feeling of forgiveness, reconciliation and hope. Our challenge for you today is to take some time to picture yourself as a child. Imagine what you would want to say to your younger self and what your younger self would say back. Consider the emotions you’re experiencing and think about where in your body you can feel those emotions.

 

This kind of practise can be extremely helpful in understanding your emotions and also in helping to forgive yourself. Everyone will experience some form of hardship during their lifetime, but the fact that you’re reading this shows you haven’t given up yet. That’s something to be extremely proud of and I’m sure your younger self would be proud of you too if they could see how brave they grew up to be. Give your younger self a hug and see if it could help you to take one step closer to a brighter future.

 

No matter what your situation, it’s never too late to turn things around, but it’s difficult to do so alone. Reach out to someone today and find the help that you deserve. Talk to someone. Talk to us.

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Mental Health Awareness Week: Body Image

Mental Health Awareness Week: Body Image

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s an annual campaign designed to make the public take the time to think about mental health and how it may be affecting them or their loved ones. The theme this year is “Body Image” and was chosen to make us all consider how we think and feel about our bodies.

 

How is body image linked to mental health?

The majority of us will have, at some point, looked in the mirror and not liked what we’ve seen. While negative body image isn’t in itself a mental health issue, it can develop into one along with some other nasty symptoms such as poor quality of life and unhealthy and damaging eating behaviours.

 

The Mental Health Foundation found that 1 in 5 of us feel ashamed of our bodies and 1 in 3 of us have felt anxious or depressed as a result of body image. These figures are huge and clearly indicate that something needs to be done to help improve the nation’s body image and the associated mental health issues.

 

Social Media and Body Image

As the age of social media continues to expand, the mental health concerns associated with it follow. 1 in 5 adults have viewed images on social media that have caused them to worry about their own bodies and there is currently little regulation on social media platforms to present body criticizing content. While social media is not necessarily to blame for this trend, the way in which we use it is often damaging and steps need to be taken in order to promote body positivity and provide access to help for those who find themselves struggling with their body image while online.

 

The Be Real Campaign’s Body Image Pledge is striving to collect the signatures of top social media companies to look into how body diversity can be represented online and how social media can become a more positive experience for all users.

 

How can you help?

In modern society, most of us are guilty of posting only the positive aspects of our lives. Our social media accounts rarely show us slouched on a sofa, eating pizza, with unwashed hair surrounded by mess. Yet for a lot of us, this is more common than the pictures presented on our social media accounts showing holidays abroad or pictures of ball gowns and suits. While it’s down to personal choice what you share online, remember that what you don’t share, other people are unlikely to share either.

 

Be mindful of the accounts and pages that you follow and be aware of how they’re affecting you. Regularly look through your followed pages and don’t be afraid to unfollow if you think it’s having a negative effect on your mental health. Finally, this is not something that will change overnight, but being aware of the dangers of negative body image and how it may be affecting those around you can help you to become an ambassador for positive body image.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with body image and you’re concerned please don’t hesitate to talk to someone. Talk to us.

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Maternal Mental Health Week 2019

Maternal Mental Health Week 2019

When you mention “maternity” or “pregnancy” to the majority of the population, the classic Hollywood style images of happy families and new-born babies come to mind. However, as we enter into “Maternal Mental Health Week” this week, we want to open up the conversation about the struggles that many people face surrounding maternity.

 

More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or during the first year of the baby’s life, the most common form being depression. If left untreated, maternal mental health is one of the primary causes for death of mothers during this time. However, due to a range of fears, such as societal judgement or having their children taken away from them, many women do not seek help.

 

This week is to raise awareness of the struggles that many mothers face and help to signpost services that can help mothers in need, but it is also important to help change societal views, to help mothers to know that they’re not alone if they’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition and to know that it’s okay not to be okay and to ask for help. The chances are that someone in your life is struggling with maternal mental health and may be doing so in silence. Simply asking a loved one if how they’re doing or noticing the signs of someone who’s struggling could help get that person the help they need and may even save their life. While pregnancy and post-natal life are traditionally joyful periods, be mindful that this may not be the case for everyone. Let’s talk about maternal mental health and help support these strong mothers through a very difficult time.

 

While there are many forms of maternal mental illness, we have included a few common symptoms:

 

Feeling sad/hopeless

Sleeping too much/too little

Loss of appetite

Lack of interest or pleasure in normal activities

 

If you have any worries about you or someone you know, please talk to someone. Whether it be your local GP, a midwife or any other service, the main focus it to make sure the individual is safe and gets the help they deserve. Don’t suffer in silence.

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