Yesterday was crazy busy so unfortunately I didn’t get chance to write my post on the first day of Mental Health Awareness week 2015. Raising awareness for mental health is so important to me, for obvious reasons! I think it’s vital that people are aware of mental health and that it becomes less of a taboo subject or area where people feel uncomfortable or uneasy because they just don’t really understand or know what to stay. There’s such a problem with the *unsaid* and I really feel it’s something that, if rectified, could really lead to more people getting support earlier or feeling able to say when they are struggling.
This year, the focus for #MHAW2015 is Mindfulness. Whilst I was an inpatient for my eating disorder, I got to practice a lot of mindfulness and found that it made up a really large part of my recovery journey. Mindfulness enabled me to manage my thoughts and feelings in a different and healthier way. Rather than trying to exert control over everything, I was able to notice, accept and move on from my thoughts; being able to do this was particularly helpful with managing my eating disordered thoughts, noticing them, accepting them for what they are (eating disordered crap) and being able to not give them the time of day that my illness wanted them to have. It enable me to be mindful rather than having a mind that was full of things I didn’t want to be there. I was able to just ‘be’ in the present rather than stuck in my head.
A common misconception of mindfulness is that it is some weirdy meditative activity, put simply mindfulness is about focusing on the current moment and not letting the past or present get in the way of it. For me, breathing mindfulness exercises are brilliant if I am feeling stressed or anxious, they really help me to clear my head and have one focus rather than lots of different ideas whizzing through my mind.
My plan is to blog as much as possible this week and help raise awareness and stuff for MHAW2015!