Hey friends! Happy Tuesday. I’m comin’ at ya with another talk. This week I’m talking to Laura from Inside My Mind XO, a journal-style blog where she talks about anything from movie reviews, to feminism, to mental health and so on. 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 was first diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety in December 2014. However I feel as though I have always struggled with poor mental health, I just never knew it. It took being signed off from work to finally have some answers. My teenage years were a tough journey and I had always just put it down to being a hormonal teenager! I was relieved when I got my diagnosis because I felt like I wasn’t alone and that there were others who understood what I was going through.
2) How do you keep yourself content day-to-day?
Being unemployed, I find it difficult to not stress and worry day to day. I worry about money, what my friends and family think of me and if I’ll ever live a fulfilling, happy life. When I am feeling okay I tend to relax, watch some TV or YouTube videos and take the dog out for a walk. Listening to music and writing also helps me to not get too overwhelmed.
3) Looking back at times you’ve struggled, what would you tell your past self to help them out?
Do not let the opinions of others determine how you see yourself. Do not spend your time and energy on people who do not hold you to the same value as you do them. Take a deep breath, stretch and realise how amazing and strong you are. There will always be hope and there will come a day where you will find a way out. Never give up and work at yourself every single day to lead the life you want to lead!
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?
Laughing with my friends and family, which can sometimes be difficult to do, brings me so much joy. Even when I’m feeling down and not in the mood to crack jokes, I try to anyway because seeing those I love smile and hearing them laugh warms my heart! This year I will be focusing on actively doing things that make me happy such as singing, running and photography. I would tell others to find things that they enjoy and do them! No matter how small, if it’s something you enjoy and takes your mind off of the troubles of life I say go for it!
5) How do you take care of yourself when you’re feeling down?
I normally sleep, which I probably shouldn’t do all the time. I also like go take long baths. I’ll put something on my phone like Netflix, YouTube or music and have bubbles or a bath bomb. Just lying in the hot water and closing my eyes, putting my head back and relaxing helps me clear my head. I also sometimes like to go out for a walk. I chuck my headphones on, put on my favourite music and get over for an hour or so. I need to remind myself to go walking more often because I really love it! Taking some time to myself to do some writing is useful too. Whether that’s blogging, writing down my thoughts and feelings or coming up with stories/poems, it’s all a way to express myself.
6) How has blogging contributed to your happiness?
It’s a way to write about what I want to write about and a way for me to engage my creative side! It’s also a helpful way for me to take myself to a quiet place and have some ‘me time’. Also connecting with other great bloggers has been encouraging and contributed to my motivation to continue my blog. It’s a great, supportive network of inspiring people who all bring so many different things to the table! It’s given me a sense of community and I feel I have a place to be myself!
7) What inspires you, both for blogging and in your personal life?
Definitely other people. Seeing other people’s blogs, photography, art and other creations inspires me to be better! While there is a lot of negativity online, it is also a space of wonderful, motivational and loving people. I will always strive to become the best I can be in all aspects of my life.
8) How have your friends and family supported your mental health journey? What helped and what did not?
They have been patient and loving towards me. While they may not fully understand what I’m going through, I know I have their support. My dad has been a saving grace these last few years. He let me move back home with him even though there wasn’t enough space for me, he’s helped me by coming with me to any appointments I have, always offered to come with me anywhere I go (even if it’s down the road to the shop) and he’s patient and kind and is always asking if I’m okay. What helps most is obviously patience, kindness and empathy. What doesn’t help is backhanded comments about when I’m going to be getting a job – I’ll be ready when I’m ready!
9) What are your goals for the future, both for yourself and your blog? How do you go about achieving those goals?
For myself, I want to get myself back into work and do a job that I love. I want to become a confident, self assured, strong woman. I will spend this year, and any time it takes after that, focusing on getting my head in a better place. I will take small steps to achieve the bigger picture. I want to be an inspiration to others that you can recover from your dark days and there is a life ready for you to live! For my blog, I will continue to write about things that I love. I will work hard and spend good time creating and thinking about how I can improve my writing. I want to incorporate more photography into my blogs too!
10) What makes you feel most alive?
Going on little adventures with my friends and family, eating food that is more amazing than I thought it would be, seeing my little dog do his crazy run around the house after a bath, laughing until I cry, dancing and singing at concerts, waking up refreshed after sleep, hearing my boyfriend say ‘I love you’ and swimming in the sea!
If you want to see more from Laura, check out her social media below: