Mental Wellness Tips with @PositivelyJessicaWard

 

Jessica Ward, who you might know as @PositivelyJessicaWard, a winner of the title 'Mental Health Awareness Blogger' is a passionate blogger, writer and marketer. She is an avid explorer and a foodie and a fitness lover.

Through Jessica's own struggles with weight and bullying, she has now created a space on the internet for motivation, inspiration and positivity. A true escape from the outside world.

The ethos of her blog is orientated around turning difficult situations into positive outcomes and always looking at life through positive eyes.

 

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Hey, Jess here!

With that being said, for part of the 30 Days of Caring Campaign, I’ll be spreading a little light and positivity. The 30 Days of Caring is all about making a difference in the lives around you. Whether that’s sending a card, checking in with someone or saying kind things to others. A small gesture can go a long way. To read more about this, you can head over here.

Today, I’ll be sharing my top tips for mental wellness and the importance of having a support network for your overall wellbeing and happiness - as part of the Support Pillar for the 30 Days of Caring. Support creates the foundations of our life and when we have the right support, we can feel unstoppable. In recent studies, 7% of people said that they are 'always or often lonely, this goes to show that we’re not alone with our feelings - this adds up to 3.7 million people in the UK alone.

But what is mental wellness? Well, it’s a little different to mental health - but they both go hand in hand. Your mental wellbeing or mental wellness is all about your thoughts and feelings and how you cope with the ups and downs of every life.

Good mental wellbeing isn’t the absence of bad thoughts and feelings, it just means that we can manage and welcome those feelings in a little. Then we can feel confident, build and maintain relationships, have a sense of purpose and function every day.

Our mental wellbeing is often affected by big life events that we feel we have no control over. In these situations, our response is absolutely crucial and that will determine the impact on our mental wellbeing.

A big contribution to feeling accepted loved and strong can come from the people we surround ourselves with. The benefits of social connections and good mental wellbeing are numerous. Having the appropriate support from others can lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, achieve greater empathy and it can even help you strengthen your immune system!

Do you feel supported?

If you’re struggling right now, your support doesn’t need to come from direct connections. You can seek support from trained professionals too. You’re never alone in your worries and feelings - someone is ALWAYS there to listen. No matter your background or situation. So don’t suffer in silence.

How do you personally show support to your friends and family?

I adore cooking so this can sometimes be a regular occurrence in my house. Food brings my family together so I love to create hearty and wholesome meals for them. I also send gifts and cards to family and friends afar. However, even the smallest of gestures are important checking in over text, being understanding in moments of stress and being there when they need someone to talk to with no judgement.

What are the things to look out for that show someone might need support, even if they say they are ok?

Feelings and emotions can all be different depending on the situation, the circumstances and the individual but keep a lookout for these things:

  • Irritability
  • Low confidence
  • Loss of appetite or increased control over food
  • Tried and fatigued (a lot of the time)
  • Tearful and nervous
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reserved from social situations

Could you share some advice on how to support someone suffering from anxiety or depression?

Anxiety and depression can impact everyone differently. So what might have affected you might affect someone else differently so it’s important to know that and not have any expectations or judgements.

Don’t try and second guess people’s feelings or diagnose their feelings - just be there for them. Keep questions open-ended, set time aside to check in with them (a judgement-free zone), let them share as much or as little as possible and ask them how you can help them. Be patient, your relationship may feel different during this time but stick by them and don’t give up. If things progress suggest professional support too - if you’re not a trained professional don’t try to be one. Help is there for them.

What difference do you think small acts of kindness like card sending can really make in these situations?

A massive difference! A small note, a reminder or even a card to look at each day can be a make or break positive action. Even if our friends seem disclosed, it’s important to stand up and show that you’re there for them - no matter what. This sense of connection and belonging can massively help someone who’s suffering. When you’re feeling low, you can feel alone so connections are important.

If you could share one important self-care tip what would it be?

Although we can try and be the best friend, the best partner, the best sibling and so on… It’s important that we fill up our own cup too. We can’t keep pouring our love onto others if we don’t prioritise our own mental wellness too. Supporting others, as much as we might enjoy it, can be draining. Don’t feel guilty for needed to take time for you. You totally deserve it!