Today is ‘National Time To Talk Day’, and whilst I never normally get on the ‘National Day’ bandwagon this one is important.
Mental health awareness has improved massively, I think, since the day (14 years ago now) that I had to go into work and tell my new boss of just two weeks that I was suffering with panic attacks. I remember it with such clarity, even though panic puts you in this foggy bubble where your hearing is numbed and you feel like a walking zombie (well I used to). At the time he thought I was resigning, but once I told him what was going on (and yes, I was terrified of his reaction) the world become an easier place to be.
I’d told someone and it started me on my journey and mental health recovery …
I was lucky, my then boss was amazing. He just told me that he understood, that my (mental) health was more important than any job, and that I should do what I needed to do to get better. Now I know not all bosses are like mine was, sadly, but we have to get past this stigma, and ...
The more we talk about it the more it will get talked about
But it’s not just about your boss, what about your family or a friend? And if not, there are support groups and networks out there to help you find someone you can talk to such as Mind and the NHS has lots of helplines available. You are so not on your own, even if it may feel like it.
It is why I eventually trained as a nutritional therapist and a clinical hypnotherapist in order to help others … to help you. Addressing both what I ate and how I thought helped me overcome my panic and anxiety, and it can help you too.
It was a journey for me, but all journeys start with that first step. So, make your first step on your journey and talk to someone, TODAY.
Our mental health is also intrinsically linked to our physical health
so you can also help yourself by starting to make some small changes to your diet too.
- Cut the stimulants – at my peak I was drinking coffee to get me through the day, alcohol to get me through the night and smoking cigarettes to relieve the stress! All of which actually do the opposite and only provide a temporary plaster.
- Swap coffee for green tea – some coffee is actually good for us but when you suffer with anxiety it can worsen the symptoms. Green tea still has a shot of caffeine but heaps of other benefits too.
- No alcohol – if you’re suffering with any mental health concerns that I advise staying off the booze until you have got back in control with your moods. Alcohol is inflammatory, can deplete us of certain key nutrients but can worsen moods (especially the day after).
- Quit smoking! You know it's not good for you, and it's expensive!
- Get you five a day of fruit and vegetables – these nutrient-dense foods support our mental health by supporting a healthy gut which makes key neurotransmitters which therefore supports a healthy brain.
- Protein up – breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks. It keeps your blood sugars steady, as well as your moods, and will prevent sugar cravings and any ‘hangry’ moments.
- Stay hydrated – at least 1.5 litres of water a day to flush out those toxins and make sure the body can ‘move’ all the energy and nutrients around the body and up to the brain.