Mental Health Importance

‘A clear distinction is often made between ‘mind’ and ‘body’. But when considering mental health and physical health, the two should not be thought of as separate.’ – Mental Health Foundation


Mental Health isn’t linear. With it being mental health awareness month I thought that there is no better way to start my mental health blog than to focus on the overall importance of mental health and why raising awareness is important to me.

Mental health influences your physical health and physical health influences your mental health. There is so much available help for physical illness. If you break a bone you go to the hospital, if you have an on going ear ache you go to the doctors or if you have tooth ache you can go to the dentist. While it is extremely important to take care of your physical health, it is just as important to take care of your mental well-being. I think it is important to stop seeing these as separate and start embracing them as having a joint impact on us. For me, this point hit me hard. I’ve suffered from chronic back pain for years and always believed it was the result of physical damage. However, when going to physio I was told that I have very tense muscles as the result of high stress levels which meant that I had to reach out for help at student well-being. Once there, I was informed that they believed that my high stress levels were the result of high anxiety levels. Looking back this made a lot of sense and made me realise how powerful minds are and it’s influence over our bodies.

I realise that there is help already available out there for mental health. You can go to the doctor to get diagnosed, there are mental health charities out there such as MIND and there are mental well-being advisers in education. However, unlike getting help for physical health there is still a negative stigma surrounding mental well-being, impacting decisions as to whether to reach out for help. Therefore, this blog is to help in any way possible to help tackle the stigma through the awareness of mental well-being. I aim to do this through sharing my own experiences and journey, sharing other peoples journeys (please send me yours if you wish to share it), talk about techniques that have helped me as well as discuss influences of the stigma.

What do you think are the best ways that we can reduce stigma and raise mental health awareness?

Body Image: It’s time to love yourself.

‘Body image’ is a term that can be used to describe how we think and feel about our bodies. Our thoughts and feelings about our bodies can impact us throughout our lives, affecting, more generally, the way we feel about ourselves and our mental health and well-being’.
– The Mental Health Foundation

So, let’s talk body image.

Everyone I have ever come across has experienced trouble with their appearance. Whether it’s that they think their nose is too big, ears stick out too much or, the most common that I’ve come across, the belief that you are fat.

I’ve been there. I’ve hated my appearance too.

But, as I previously tweeted:
 ‘It’s okay to look different. None of us look the same. We need to stop comparing ourselves to each other, making false expectations about the way that we are meant to look. The differences in how we look is what makes us independently beautiful’.

Yes, there are things you can do to change aspects of your appearance, such as getting your ears pinned back or losing weight, but you will never be happy unless you accept yourself and your uniqueness. You won’t ever look identical to someone else and you know what? That’s okay. In fact, that is more than okay because it means that you are the truest you.

Confidence will not come straight away to many, but if it does then that’s brilliant. Most of us will need time to gradually build it up and that’s okay. Give yourself the time you need without putting pressure on yourself.

To some, building this confidence up seems impossible but I believe that you can do it. Start with the smallest first step you can think of and slowly build up. Maybe your first step is your ability to accept compliments, embracing them rather than dismissing them. Maybe try to think of one aspect that you like about yourself and focus on that. Build it up gradually until you realise what an amazing being you are.

Our bodies are different and that’s okay. It’s time for you to love yourself.

Here are some links where you can find support:
Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/
Young Minds: https://youngminds.org.uk/
Anorexia and Bulimia care: http://www.anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk/
Beat: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/