What is ‘Having it Together?’

Hey you.

Sometimes life is a big jumble of, well…not what we expect. I implore you to take a deep breath while you read this, and breathe out. You’re here.

You’re here.

Life is the weirdest thing, and we all look to others who somehow have it together. But as a matter of fact, they’re all looking at everyone else thinking that they have it together. It’s a big mush of ‘having it togetherness’- when as a matter of fact, none of us do. So why are we caught up in something we can’t achieve?

I sure as heck don’t have it together, but I’m just trying to get by with things that make me happy- all the while trying to accept that wherever life takes me, I’ll never really get to the having it together part of my life.

But we can have it together. Here’s how.

It’s about the journey, and I know how up and down it may be. We all struggle, but the only way we can feel like everything falls into place- is when we accept and focus on the present.

Wherever you are right now is wherever you are meant to be.

You’re sitting/standing, whatever it is right here, is what is important. If you’re having a bad day, be gentle with yourself. If your day isn’t going to plan, breathe and again be gentle with yourself.

Having it together isn’t fancy cars, stable jobs, perfect home and happy relationships. It’s about being wherever you are right now and believing that it’s where you’re meant to be.

having-it-all

Noticing When You’re Struggling

Sometimes, when we’re battling through and going about our every day activities, our struggles can slip under and go undetected. So how do we know when we are struggling?
If you are struggling, please do reach out. Take a peep at the care lines available here.

We all manage stress and situational factors differently, this is just part of our human make up. Some folk can breeze through stressful parts of their life; others may be unable to cope so well. However we all battle stress, so be gentle and keep an eye on how you’re feeling.

For me personally, I can plod along just fine; even feeling a sense of calm. But there is a point where my sense of level headedness will shift and I ask myself when I’ll feel that break in my brain. I’ve noticed more so than ever before, that I can bottle up my stress and have 2 or 3 days where I feel completely overwhelmed. I cry, I cannot control or manage my thoughts and have to let myself feel everything all at once. Other days it can be waking up with a mind cloaked in sadness. But I know it’s ok, and you have to sit with sadness and let it go on it’s way.

17308790_10206844635354254_2646944760814781165_n

So how do you notice?

  • Feeling more tired than usual. Be aware during the winter months you will feel more lethargic than usual. I know I feel that at the moment with the days becoming shorter with longer nights. But if it’s been happening for more than a couple of weeks- take note. Be kind to yourself, get your 8 hours in and reach out.
  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things. I being someone who has felt like that/ does feel like this time to time. Some days are so much harder than others. But if it’s affecting your work, tasks that are usually part of your routine that you don’t feel you can do (for example, taking a shower, making food for yourself)- this is when you need to gently step back on how you are doing.
  • Not wanting to do things you would normally enjoy. Are you taking time out to enjoy what you normally put your spare hours into? That could be just seeing your parents, going out to see friends or reading a book, playing music etc. It could be anything that you would normally never second guess as something you enjoy. However, if you’re finding that you are not enjoying what you used to- can be a sign that you are struggling.
  • Feeling like you don’t want to talk to anyone. I have had days like this, when on an average day I’ll be extremely outgoing and talking to people – then others where I don’t even want to talk to a loved one, or come into contact with any one at all. There are even days where I can’t even articulate how I feel. There are just no words, no language that can explain what’s going on in my head. This is when you need to see your behaviours as a sign that you’re having a bad day and not coping. Of course there are days you don’t have to talk to anyone, but if it’s persistent- this can be a sign you are struggling.

Please know you are not alone. Reaching out to people you feel safe to discuss how you feel is something so important. Loved ones want to help you, no matter the situation ❤

How do you notice you are struggling? Are there any tips you have to know?

 

Mental Health for Young People in 2017: What Can We Do?

2017 is a year of… well, discourse. I feel it rolling down the hills into our cities and towns, it’s hard to watch our society crumble. From studying Counselling, to being active within the realms of mental health ever since- I felt a need to reflect on mental health from my years of school, up to where we are today. I’m sharing my thoughts, because I feel the need for it to be shared. (Please see my disclaimer in my about section too lovely folk!).4e39e58e38bdf17dbffc00a175afaa34

After reading the Action Plan on Mental Health by the World Health Organisation (which was published in 2013 as a plan up until 2020, they stated “Health systems have not yet adequately responded to the burden of mental disorders; as a consequence, the gap between the need for treatment and its provision is large all over the world.”

 

I feel this statement is still ever-present in our society for 2017. The repeated articles from every aspect of the UK revolving around, for example, social media and the links to mental illnesses; is a vast part of our community in westernised countries. With mental health being an integral part of our health and wellbeing, why do we face statistics such as this? Can we move forward from these horrifying numbers, one example- that the biggest killer in young people is suicide in the UK?  In regards to other countries, that between 76% and 85% of people with severe mental disorders receive no treatment for their disorder in low-income and middle-income countries; with high-income parts of the world being between 35% and 50%? 4 hours ago today, The Guardian posted a headline ‘NHS mental health services turn away 150 vulnerable children a day’. We find ourselves asking… Is this truly happening?

In our westernised world, we are surrounded and subconsciously engulfed with advertisements and media. I remember at school when I was 15, not having a Facebook (just think of it!). I had a Bebo and MSN messenger to talk to my friends when I wasn’t at school. I used to spend hours chatting to my friends with so many emoticons (which we now refer to as emojis) and wondering why suchandsuch didn’t give me one of their 3 ‘loves’ on bebo that day. What millennial doesn’t have multiple social platforms now? Can we as a society, take a step back?

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 17.43.14

I re-read a book called DO/PURPOSE Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more by David Hieatt for a lot of inspiration regarding my small business. It has a great quote which says,

“Treat distractions as the enemy…The internet is brilliant but it is one very efficient way of using your time. It’s a super addictive distraction device that will stop us from getting stuff done if we allow it to. Just click the off button.”

Why do I get the feeling that, although this quote is so accurate and representative of how we feel, that it is so hard to actively do?

We are living and breathing a crisis that we all relate to in some form; whether that’s a family member suffering with a mental health issue, a young sibling showing signs of social anxiety, or a loved one being triggered by online content.

So what can we do? Is there a beacon of hope in the midst of it all?

Here are some gentle tips to support yourself, and to anyone you feel will benefit.

    • The word ‘mental’ is surrounded with stigma, which is often seen as something almost medieval and clinical. Try to using different words such as ‘wellbeing’ with young people. If you feel it’s hard to talk to someone about yourself- language and how we use it is super influential! Gently let it become part of the conversation, do not be afraid to let it out.
    • If you are struggling yourself, please do talk to someone. You may not like asking for help, and not wanting to feel like a burden on others- but people who care about you want to help you. I feel if I’m needing help (sometimes, I really don’t want to admit it) I say things like “I’m having a bit of a hard time, would it be ok if I talk to you?” or “I feel I’m struggling right now. Can we chat later?” Pick a time or place you’re comfortable with. I remember having a really bad day and ringing my mum just to tell her I was struggling. Just telling her was a relief. It doesn’t have to be a full conversation if you don’t feel up to it. Reaching out is hard, but undeniably worth every second.
  • Recognise little signs. We all have different triggers, or varying parts of our wellbeing that you can notice when something isn’t right. If it’s for yourself, keep a little note of when you’re feeling low or if your behaviour around certain times in the day/week/hour etc changes. Seeing your thoughts written down or keeping track of what has happened can make you realise what’s going on. When I’m stressed and feeling low, I tend to speak my thoughts out loud to just let them go. If it’s swirling around in my head, it feels a bit messy. Find something that works for you that is safe. If it’s someone you are concerned about- gentle ask them if writing down would help them feel more at ease.
  • Most of the time when we are in a crisis, or if you’re concerned about someone who you feel is having a hard time- helplines are always there. But this isn’t necessarily the help we feel we can reach during a time of need. I for one, when I suffered
    with anxiety- would not call a helpline at all. I felt the anxiety bubbling away under my skin in the heat of ringing a number. Allow yourself to have a hard time, and know that it will pass. It will pass. We forget sadness is one of our basic emotions, that we are so complex in our humanness that we completely disregard this. Don’t you know how strong you are? That you are breathing. Know you are loved, and you will carry on. Keep on going. If it’s a loved one having a hard time and are not wanting to reach out- just let them know you are there. When I can’t shake my sadness, just knowing I have support there is a cushion for the blows. Life is a complex thing, and y’know what- some days are just too much. Again, let them have a hard time, let them know you are there if they need you. No conversation starters like ‘you’ll snap out of it’, ‘you’ll get over it’ or ‘stop crying’ – because that isn’t supportive. Let them feel, let yourself feel. It’s ok.screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-17-56-43

 

Looking into 2018, we’ve seen the rise and fall of certain aspects of our world. I hope we can continue to seek love, truth and fairness. As corny as it gets, we are the makers of our Universe. What we think, or what we act on- is eventually what will become. Think of what you love, who you love- and what a wonderful gift we are breathing and living on the same planet at the same time.  It’s pure flippin’ magic.

 

Thank you lovely souls for supporting this post, as it has been 8 months since I wrote something. I just haven’t had the confidence. All my love y’all.

xxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with the Award-Winning Golddigger Trust

Ok folks, I am loving the fact I’ve been receiving messages and some of y’all got on my twitter poll to do more mental health tips. It’s all in the pipeline, so keep your sweet eyes peeled! But first…big news.

Today, my business Keep Real headed to Sheffield to film an interview with a wonderful award-winning organisation called The Golddigger Trust who are just…I have no words. Just incredible! I’ve admired this bunch of lovely folk for a while, and to be asked to collab with them via my brand was just great…and to interview them was just, well, greater. A big whole experience of inspiration. They do AMAZING work for young people (their tagline Unearthing Value, Transforming Lives is just so flippin wonderful) doing courses, projects, mentoring with girls and guys concerning self esteem. Golddigger Kimberley snap

We headed over to their offices and asked them a load of questions about the work they do, what inspires them and what’s coming up for them this year. It turns out they’ve got some incredible things that they’re working on (which you can find out for yourselves in the video we’ll be putting up soon!)

What I can tell you, is that th
ey’re aiming to raise funds for their Golddigger Trust Centre For Young People. They have said that ‘As the Trust has grown, we have long held a vision for creating our own ‘centre for young people’, somewhere that they can feel at home, and from where our award winning work can expand across the city and the UK.’

How amazing!? They need as much help as they can get, and would love for so many folk to get involved with what they’re trying to do.Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 20.24.55

These people are so inspiring, and continue to inspire so many young people every single day. Please check out their campaign here and fundraise or donate to their cause here. These guys deserve so much recognition and I am humbled to have interviewed them. Having had a really sweet talk about my business, what they’re getting up to and what we could potentially do together is just beautiful. I cannot wait to share with you what we’ve done and tell you more about the trust!

Sending all my love ❤

 

Mindfulness and Random Kindness 💜 — GentleKindness

💕 Small kindnesses offered to people in random situations, when the opportunities present themselves. Not only is it good for your spirit to offer kind actions to people, but it helps to give you a different perspective in observing your reality. 💜 Some people walk through their day with narrow vision, simply focusing on […]

via Mindfulness and Random Kindness 💜 — GentleKindness