10 gifts for people struggling with mental health.

It can be difficult to know what to do or say when someone is in the thick of a mental illness. So many of us find Christmas overwhelming and sad, and that's ok. It is also full of love and mince pies, but I think it's so important to give both sides to Christmas. ⠀

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@suziereading book called The Self Care Revolution, is the ultimate guide and thought provoking way to get on board with self care. There are lots of different things you can do in this book, including yoga exercises. It has handy sections so that you can skip right to the section that you are most in need of that day. £8.56.
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@fionalikestoblog My love for this book runs so deep. It was the first book that I couldn't put down. It follows Fiona's journey through Depression and has so many laugh out loud moments, plus a lush dose of nostalgia. I can't recommend this enough. £9.74
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@lauratalanti makes these beauts of enamel pins with important messages on, plus Laura loves cats and fosters them. Pins include, 'you are enough', 'always overthinking' and 'lifetime member of the introvert club.' They come in amazing colours and shapes. £7.00
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@the_positive_planner Fin and Ali have just launched an amazing Positive Bullet Planner. Which is an organisational and creativity dream. It organises your day-to-day life and document things that are important to you. It has delicious quotes and illustrations throughout and is such a positive addition to your life. £24.00
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@icancards Depression I Can Cards always outsell all of the other cards each month. They are created by people who had depression. Therefore, aim to be comforting, motivating and positive. Zero cheese in all of the quotes, just realistic positivity around meaningful subjects. £10.00

Thoughtful, positive xmas gifts for children.

I've put together some of thoughtful and positive gift ideas for children this Christmas. To inspire, build resilience and to give them a meaningful message or tool this Christmas. 🤶🏼🏼

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Happy Self Journal are lovely doodled characters journals for 6-12 year olds that helps develop positive habits. they have lush quotes throughout and the illustrations, characters and stickers are amazing. £19.90.

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Velvet Chalk have beauts of chalkboards in cool shapes and initials, perfect for your children to doodle or even display their emotional weather etc. From £22.00.

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Lobella Loves and Three Penny have collaborated to produce A-Z  flashcards of amazing women both present and in history, to inspire the growing feminists out there. They even have a blurb on the back for older children. £10.95 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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Mother Like No Other has created a delicious design about having a choice, and that choice being heard, loudly and proudly. It's unisex so would be perfect for boys aswell.

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Barney and Beau have calming night lights that my boys have in the bunny design. But they also do dinosaurs, stars and other designs. A great way of building a relaxing bedroom and this even comes camping with us or when building a den. From £9.95.

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Disko Kids 'We Can Be Heroes' tee is such a lovely message to give and, again, is unisex, and money from the sweatshirts is given to support Winston’s Wish charity.

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Legacy Gifts have perfect stocking fillers for the little worriers out there. These little worry dolls can be put under your pillow and come with a story about the history of them. £5.99.

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I Can Cards 25 affirmations for children to build resilience, self esteem and positivity in children aged 4-11 years old. There are doodles from @_katiebray_ on each card. £10.00.

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What will be under your tree?

Yes you can.

Yes you can// I wanted to approach a subject of mental health and being proactive. This is a difficult subject for me to approach as it is a major trigger point for me. I am naturally a solution finder and want to always be moving forward.

When I was diagnosed with PND I felt someone had pressed the off button to this proactive part of my character. BUT I realised that I was still moving forward or sometimes staying still. It's just that the goal posts had been moved for what I was achieving. So making it to an appointment, going outside and managing one thing on my to do list was a huge achievement for me. More than anything I achieve most days now in comparison.

I knew I had to keep moving forward, finding new resilience tools, making changes and being self aware of my depression and the impact it had on those close to me. Which was my main drive to push myself out of my comfort zone and keep putting one foot in front of another.

I know this may seem like an impossible task when you are in a dark whole, but you can acknowledge that your 'best' has changed and celebrate the small but HUGE things you have done each day. Focusing on what you can do.

I know, and have met, people that are stuck in their mental health, and it has become so all encompassing and allowed this to define themselves, and even as a way of excusing certain behaviours and actions that they take. Finally, using it as a tool to self sabotage moving forward.

I know this sounds like such a harsh post, but I wanted others to look around them, follow people on these squares that are going through the same, that will inspire them to keep going forward.

'Grow through what you go through.' Don't let mental health engulf your life make it something that makes you a more bad ass person. Or gives you the inspiration to write a book like the amazing @fionaikestoblog. If Fi hadn't have had depression and anxiety she wouldn't have written the amazing book Depression in a Digital Age.

Self sabotage slave...

Sabotage comes in so many forms, from not doing exercise and taking our vitamins to pushing people away that we love, or acting like a knob in relationships. It comes in waves and it is when we are most vulnerable and need some extra love.
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The first thing we ca do is to accept responsibility and stop the revolving doors. Being SELF AWARE of being a slave to self sabotage. The same as we need to be aware of our emotions and emotional weather we need to be aware of our actions and words, and how they can too be negative.
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Understand and accepting that we can't always be happy and there are 3 other emotions that we have and need to experience, sadness, fear and anger. And we need to be extra kind to ourselves and not bury our heads when we feel these emotions. Embrace them and express them healthily.
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For most of us life isn't smooth sailing and the journey has been a bumpy one. We are constantly learning and growing. Nothing will change in your life until you realise that your actions are self destructive and holding you back. Of course that doesn't mean that you'll sail through life now, and battling against self sabotage and our inner voices, is no easy work. But if we can be aware and realise what we are doing, THEN we can do something proactive to show the world that we are worthy of being happy and healthy.

Thoughts become things...

When we are feeling low, depressed or anxious we easily get dragged into the negative talk, negative thoughts and negative actions. Which then acts as a merry-go- round that is difficult to get off. 🎡
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BUT the main thing is to recognise that we can break this cycle, even in our darkest hour with the duvet over our heads, frozen...there is lots we CAN do. It's important to recognise that the more often than not, the thoughts that are ruminating around our brains, are just thoughts, they aren't facts. For example; thinking that you aren't good enough because you have had a lie in and missed your first meeting, then you get a churning feeling in your stomach about letting that other person down, that makes you pull the duvet even more over your head and not get out of bed for the rest of the day.🛌
BUT instead if we rationalise, call a positive person, tell Sandra to Fuck off, and remember that actually you are bloody knackered because your over worked and need a break. BE KIND TO YOURSELF 💚it was ONE meeting, that can be rearranged. But you can remember how awful you will feel by staying in bed all day, and using that to get you to your second meeting. OR saying, actually I'm feeling awful today, I need to cancel all the rest of my meetings and go for a walk or work from home in pjs and pants, 🙈whilst watching 'Olivia and Alex Said Yes', then give yourself the love, attention and permission to do this. 
You're only human and not a robot, 🤖those thoughts aren't serving you well and they are ruining your day. Break through that initial barrier and carry on being bad ass.💪🏻💚

Just say NO...

Like so many other things in our lives, we want to help others, offer a bit of ourselves, without thinking about the impact or effect that it has on us, and our mental health.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Of course it's important to say yes to lots of new things, and explore what is new and keep progressing. But only if that will be good for us too. Some selfless tasks are lovely to do and helping others actually has a positive effect on our mental health. But we need to balance it out if we only hear ourselves saying yes all of the time.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Yes I can go out, even though you're really tired and need an early night.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Yes I can take that bit of work for you, even though your work load is sky high.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Yes I can sit here for 2 hours, at least once a week, listening to your problems, with no resolution or mutual conversation. Yes, yes, yes...wait no! I can't do that today as that will have a huge impact on me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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If you feel like the yes is causing you stress and meaning that you are feeling resentful, this is when we need to start practicing the occasional no. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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We can't do it all, and the need to please in some of us over rides the need to have our needs met. To realise that you are important too, and you matter.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀