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.

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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?

Thanks for reading xxx

 

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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 ❤

 

#Equality4MentalHealth- Sign the Petition!

Hey folks!

If you’ve seen the news recently here in the UK, there’s a campaign going around called ‘Equality for Mental Health’. (see the BBC article online here), which proposes an increase in mental health funding. Mental health should be seen as equally important as physical health. Only through recent years we have seen the stigma slowly decreasing, with more people speaking up about mental health problems. 1 in 4 of us will experience it, so why only now is it being petitioned for more funding?

We need to start treating mental illness like any other illness. Waiting times should be shorter, and someone who is battling mental health difficulties, shouldn’t have be waiting months for the right treatment. We need better services and better care.

Please sign the petition here >>>> Equality for Mental Health 

❤ have an amazing day you!

Hey, November!

Good morning everyone! Here we are…it’s November! Can you believe how fast this year is going?! To kick off the month, here are some mental health tips and pointers for November. Stay warm, feel good and take care ❤

  1. It’s getting cold – so wrap up! Although it’s fairly obvious to wrap up warm when the bitter cold comes, feeling cold, shivering and losing the comfortability of heat can leave folk feeling stressed, anxious and distracted. So wrap that lovely scarf around you, keep that noggin warm and get some gloves on. There isn’t anything more uncomfortable than not feeling your fingers and shivering outdoors. Keep warm folks, the cold can actually affect your mood.
  2. Comfy shoes, comfy thoughts. It does sound silly, but feeling comfortable in yourself does include the comfortability of your clothes, right down to what you wear on your feet. For example, would you feel ok walking in heels on an icy road? No, you wouldn’t! Footwear that grips to combat the frost, ice and squelchy ground will leave you feeling confident to go about your day. Do take care when the weather is turning! wpid-img_20151101_121932.jpg
  3. Get involved in the festivities! It doesn’t matter if you’re not into the whole Christmas thing and you would class yourself as a bit of a humbug, there’s nothing wrong with having some festive fuzz. It could be just walking around the high street and seeing the Christmas lights, or taking part in secret santa at the office. The festivities provide us with so much wonderful opportunities to talk to new people, support local causes and simply give. Being good to those around you, will come back to you in abundance ❤
  4. Reeellaaaxxxxx Christmas, specific to the run up of it, can be quite a stressful and manic time of year. Try some mindfulness (check out my mindful blog post hereto take every moment as it comes ❤ try not to overthink about presents and spending your well earned pennies on extravagant gifts. The most thoughtful gifts are the best ones.

As always, sending all my positive vibes to you- and keep real! x

I’m on BBC Radio 4 Tonight for Mental Health!

Hi folks! Here’s a quick reminder that I’ll be on the radio this evening at 9pm (GMT)! It’s for a new series of ‘All in the Mind’ for BBC Radio 4 with Claudia Hammond, which will be discussing teenage mental health here in the UK. There is increased awareness of mental health, as we have programmes talking about it a little bit more, however- there is a rise in teen mental health problems. Here’s the infographic for the programme this evening! cover170x170

As evidence accumulates that mental health problems are on the rise amongst adolescents, are services keeping up? Claudia Hammond is joined by a panel of experts to discuss teenage mental health.

Professor Shirley Reynolds, Dr Dickon Bevington, Kimberley Robinson and Sarah Hulyer discuss the pressures teenagers face and how the mental health of our adolescents is changing. They also offer thoughts on how services could be reshaped to cope with this changing demand and what parents can do to help their teenagers.

I talk about my experiences of mental health problems concerning anxiety and thoughts on what can be changed. I don’t want to give too much away! I’m so humbled to be part of the discussion, and on the flippin’ BBC!! It is so so important.

Here’s the link to the programme: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06kch0z

If you do miss it, you can download it as a podcast at 10pm or any time/day/week after. It will be available after the first broadcast, so please give it a listen! The repeat broadcast will be Wednesday at 3.30pm (GMT)

Sending all my good lil vibes to you, and as always – keep real! Let me know if you catch the programme and tell me what you think! ❤ x

You Can Take The Leap!

Good Afternooooon, how are you? I thought today, I would do a post on where I am now aspiration/career path wise, to where I first started thinking of my own business. It has just occurred to me, that I don’t share so much about how I got to where I am. And that isn’t without it’s hard work! Things do not happen overnight, and you just gotta roll with the day, the here and now. I am not saying I am successful or anything like that (who knows, maybe in a few years huh!), but I am saying that I am content with where I think my chosen paths are taking me. Overcoming mental health issues played a part too, so hear me out.

Anxiety held me back from a lot of what I really wanted to do. During my time at University, I had therapy outside of my degree, but also self awareness and personal development lectures and seminars as part of my course. If I didn’t have both of these things, I don’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing today. I gradually became more confident in my abilities, slowly gained awareness of my weaknesses and strengths, and realised that it’s possible to achieve anything as long as you believe that you can. One hundred percent of the time, the only person stopping me from achieving was myself. Mindfulness personally helped me take a step back, and learn to pass each moment not worrying about the future, so I eventually found myself focusing on the present.  So what was happening right here, right now?

I started designing in my spare time, developing scribbles into more scribbles on tote bags and t-shirts. Maybe my hobby could be a business! I took the leap, walking with my scrapbook in hand to the local art gallery in Huddersfield, to see if I could put my work up in there. Hey Presto! They accepted, and that’s where it began. My confidence boosted, I continued to draw. At this point, I had no idea what I wanted to do career wise. I liked to draw, and maybe others would like it too!

I eventually found myself drawing more than studying for my degree, it also kept my anxiety at bay too. In the space of a year, I put myself and my work out there. Even though my vision as a business wasn’t clear, I went for it anyway. During the year of 2014, I exhibited my work at the annual Art Walk Exhibition, my work was up in two local stores, amazing arty connections with some fantastic illustrators and creatives made, had my first big commission for a small menswear company down in London, Levi’s looked at my work a lil’ bit and I created my first mini collection.

*phew* – what a year! All of that while studying, and having two part time jobs.

So, fast forward to the present. I’m working on my business plan. It’s getting prettttyyy serious. I have such confidence in my business idea and what to do. It’s very much under wraps (although sneaky behind the scenes is on my Instagram), I’ve been blogging about mental health more, and working with the charity Rethink- where I blogged for them regarding Anxiety and University. My work is more refined and it feels sooo good to have a solid style that I’m happy with. I was asked to go down to BBC Radio 4 in London for All in the Mind (which you’ll get to know more of soon, it’s a wee bit of a secret right now!), and I’m in the process of being interviewed for a Manager in Training at a certain amazing company. Exciting!

You can take the leap into whatever your heart is set on. You wanna start your own business? Go for it. You wanna change your career path? Make it happen. You don’t have to have a clear vision straight away, but once your heart is set on something, I implore you to take the steps in making it happen. In the last few months, I have only just realised what I want to do business wise. It’s taken research, trial and error, plus a substantial amount of patience to get to this point here. It’s only just beginning.

If you believe you can do it, you will do it. I believe in you, because you have never ending potential. You got this. ❤

3 Best Mental Wellness Apps

Happy Sunday folks! Hope you are enjoying yourself wherever you are! Today I thought to share with wpid-img_20151004_105008.jpgyou some of the apps I think are wonderful tools in staying well, as well as pick me ups when days aren’t so great.

Apps are wonderful little things you can get on your smartphone (presuming you have one!) that are usually free to download. I’ve selected ones that are free to use, so go ahead and get downloading!

So here’s my favourite mental wellness apps which I’ve downloaded. Please go check them out and let me know what you think!

  1. Headspace (FREE trial) – I cannot recommend this ap
    p enough. The first 10 steps are free, so plug in your headphones or set your phone down in front of you for some relaxation. Headspace
    is a beautiful app dedicated to mindfulness and relaxation techniques. It talks you through each step and it’s so soothing to listen to. If you’re 20150713-Headspace-logo
    struggling to get into the mindset of being mindful, this app is for you. It can be hard to get into the swing of meditating, but Headspace welcomes you with open arms and invites you to come back tomorrow on the app for another session. It’s calming and wonderful if you just need that little bit of guidance in getting that ten minutes out of your day.
  2. What’s Up? – It starts off by telling you some real interesting facts about mental health and saying ‘you are not alone’. First thoughts, it’s a definite yes. It’s lovely! It talks you through unnamedthe app and how to use it. It has different sections such as ‘Help Right Now’ ‘Coping Strategies’ and ‘Personal’ so if you’re on the go and feeling a bit stressed, the app is just the bees knees. For example, if you’re over-thinking- there’s a little game you can play that distracts you from your thoughts etc. You can also log in your thoughts and keep track of what’s going in that beautiful brain of yours. I can’t recommend enough, really.
  3. MoodTools – Depression Aid – This app, most importantly- isn’t just for folk with depression, it’s for everyone. There is a depression test you can take on the app, you can also record your mood, thoughts and emotions and do activities. For example, if you’re struggling to find something to do today- click activities and it will list a range of them for you to choose. Click one and see what activity it will give you for the day! It also asks for your mood before and after the activity to see how you’re feeling! This is a great app to organise your thoughts and challenge your thoughts and provide excellent help if you need it. A great aid is also the ‘Safety Plan’, which helps you note down important numbers, reasons to live and places for distraction if you feel you are in crisis. It also provides great numbers for hotlines if you feel you are in crisis, such as Samaritans, 999, Friends/Family as well as calling a Therapist of your choice. You can log all your important information in your iPhone6Whitesafety plan as and when you wish.

I hope you take a minute to download the apps and check them out. Taking the time to be kind to yourself, and having some of these wonderful tools at your fingertips could be the difference between a good and a bad day. Are there any apps that have helped you? Let me know!

As always, sending all my kimmykeepreal love to you! ❤