Hello Happy Talkers and happy Tuesday!
Today’s interview’s going to be a little different. Normally I interview bloggers, but I’m so excited to have someone of a different niche here on my site for this post. Louise, author of the Mindful Millie children’s book, has been so kind to take some time to answer my questions. If you have little ones, I highly recommend checking her book out; it’s about an adorable little elephant who helps others by encouraging positive mental health practices and mindfulness techniques. I think it’s so important to teach kids how to take care of their brains as early as you can, and a children’s book is such a lovely way to go about that. Let’s see what she has to say!
1) What has your mental health journey been like for you so far? You can tell us as much or as little as you like.
I’ve had anxiety and depression since I was a child, it has been quite extreme with spouts of agoraphobia, health anxiety and panic attacks. It is like a vicious cycle; your anxiety isolates you and so you become lonely and depressed and then because you are depressed you feel worthless and so you are anxious about other people liking you. It took until last year, I had a week long anxiety attack where I literally laid there, shaking, constant fast heartbeat, sweating, convinced I was dying – I was so scared of dying that I just wanted to get it over with. Luckily I went to the doctors for help, and once the medication allowed me to get out of the feeling of doom I found a book on mindfulness that has changed my life completely.
2) How do you keep yourself content day-to-day?
Every day I use mindfulness, not only to cope but to enjoy life, which is something I never thought I would be able to do. It’s all about living in the moment – anxiety is the future, depression is the past but if you live in the now you are free.
3) Looking back at times you’ve struggled, what would you tell your past self to help them out?
I would tell myself that I am not a horrible person and that I should be more compassionate to myself, look after myself and treat myself as I would treat a friend.
4) What are the things that make you happy, how do you pursue them, and what would you tell others who are trying to pursue what makes them happy?
I really enjoy helping others so I volunteer full time with a charity – but you know one hour a week could make a huge difference to you. Meeting new people and gaining confidence while also helping other people is great. I’ve also written a book – one day I just decided to go for it, commissioned an artist and now it’s published and every time someone tells me they enjoyed my book it brings me so much happiness. If you have a dream – just go for it, the worst that can happen is no worse than not pursuing your dream.
5) How do you take care of yourself when you’re feeling down?
I’m a huge fan of self care. When I’m down I like to have a bath, light candles, do my nails, read a happy book and cuddle my dogs. You should never feel guilty about taking time to look after yourself.
6) How has blogging contributed to your happiness?
I know my blogging has helped others – it makes all the pain seem worthwhile.
7) What inspires you, both for blogging and in your personal life?
I mostly blog about my mental health and how I’ve learnt to cope in the hope it can help other people going through similar things. I often blog about infertility too as that is a journey I am on.
8) How have your friends and family supported your mental health journey? What helped and what did not?
I’m really lucky to have a supportive husband who is keen to understand more about mental health and how to deal with me when I’m down or anxious. What doesn’t help at all is when people tell you to cheer up or to get on with it – if it was that easy, trust me I wouldn’t have spent the majority of my life feeling this awful. Personally, I don’t really want people to tell me what to do when I’m really down or anxious, I just want a hug and just to know they are there.
9) What are your goals for the future, both for yourself and your blog? How do you go about achieving those goals?
My goal for the future is hopefully to reach more people and make more friends. I’m really excited about my next book which will hopefully be out before Christmas, another Mindful Millie tale with a new friend – Sad Simon. I can’t wait for everyone to meet him.
10) What makes you feel most alive?
Being outside in the middle of nature. There is nothing like sitting by the river, in a forest or on the beach and just noticing the beauty surrounding you.
See ya Sunday,