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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: Nature

It's Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 this week and the theme is nature. I think we have come to appreciate the importance of the natural world that we live in during the past year of us all struggling with the covid-19 pandemic. Being stuck at home with work, kids, families, the same old films and TV every week has helped us appreciate the power and impact that nature and our fellow animals can have on our wellbeing and mental health. Of course, many have not been lucky enough to be able to access a garden or outside space at all, and we have heard from many of our clients the difficulties that has led to with regards their mental health. Getting outdoors, even if just to hear the birds sing or feel the sun on our face can make such a difference to our physical and mental wellbeing. I personally love being near the water and I am a big animal lover. Many of our clients enjoy this too and have felt their mental health struggle because they cannot be part of nature during lockdown
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  GRIEF, LOSS AND BEREAVEMENT Grief and loss is complicated and messy. There's no simple way of putting it. That's how it is. In therapy and counselling, we often hear clients say that family and friends keep telling them that 'you should be over this by now'; 'how can you still feel sad about X' or even 'pull your socks up and get over it' (I have to admit, I shriek inside when I hear that, arghhh!). The thing is, hearing these things 1) isn't helpful or validating; and 2) misses the point when it comes to grief, loss and bereavement. We can also experience grief, loss and bereavement for lots of different things: it's not just in response to the loss of a loved one. We can experience this in relation to the loss of a beloved parent, friend, colleague or pet. We can experience it in relation to loss of health, a job, moving house/location, loss of elements of our identity, a interest/hobby, an object that had meaning for us, something in our e

Types of Body Image Concern

  BODY IMAGE Did you know that many different types of body image concerns and problems exists? The main types of body image concern include: * Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) * Muscle Dysmorphia * Skin Disorders/Disfigurement * Eating Disorder-Related (over-evaluation of shape and weight) * Amputee Identity Disorder (AID) * Trichotillomania * Body Modification and Self-Mutilation * Psychogenic Excoriation/CSP/Dermatillomania We often consider body image only in terms of weight, shape and appearance (we call this 'overevaluation of weight and shape in eating disorders). However, body image is much more than that and it's not just about appearance: when considering body image, especially in psychotherapy and counselling, we must also consider how one experience's their body physically, appearance-wise, spatially, emotionally/psychologicially, socially, and existentially. Body image concerns are often also aligned with eating disorders. However, they are not eating disorders a

#MondayMotivation: 5 Steps to Talking to Someone You Trsut

We all need someone to talk to sometimes.... don't we?      #MondayMotivation     Here's this week's Monday Motivation. Hope you like it! Feel free to share.   Talking to others about our problems, concerns, thoughts, feelings or about whatever is going on for us in life can be tricky at times. It can be hard to open up and have time to focus on ourselves.    However, your mental and emotional health is sooooooo important and deserves the same care as your physical health. The poster below gives some tips to help you move towards talking to someone about some of the thoughts, feelings, concerns or experiences you may have.     ** We All Need Someone to Talk To Sometimes...Don't We? **    Sometimes we all need someone to talk to - about the big and the smaller things in life. Perhaps you need a listening ear and someone to talk to about life's struggles and stresses. Or perhaps you experience low mood, depression, anxiety, problems with food/eating, OCD, body dysmor

#FridayFacts: Myths About Emotions

  # FridayFacts: Myths About Emotions Every Friday we'll post some 'facts' and information about mental health. This week's facts focus on 'myths about feelings and emotions'. Please see the picture below. EXTRA INFO: Emotions are something that we all experience, and yet so many people misunderstand or apply judgements against them. Misunderstandings sometimes lead to individuals being mocked, shamed or dismissed for feeling and expressing emotion (or for not publicly expressing emotions, especially in times of grief). There are numerous myths or misunderstandings about emotions that lead to people feeling they need to bottle everything up inside or not express themselves, but that can just lead to things building up inside of us over time. And what happens when something is held in and builds up and up and up? Eventually it explodes! This explosion can come in the form of tantrums, tears, anger or even violence, and unhelpful coping techniques. If you are hav

Monday Motivation: Make a Coping or Comfort Box

Monday Motivation Every Monday, we post some 'motivation': this could be a quote, picture, activity, story, articles etc. This week's 'motivation' involves making a 'Safe Box' or 'Comfort Box'. Read about how to do this below. Make yourself a 'Safe Box' or a 'Comfort Kit'. This can be very useful during times of distress, overwhelm or when we feel under threat in some way (e.g. anxious, confusing feelings etc.) What you put in your box/kit is up to you; however it's purpose is to provide you with a 'go to' a toolbox that you can reply on during times of distress or discomfort. You can choose from various things from the kit or box that will help you when you are feeling distressed, upset, unhappy, angry, sad or when your eating disorder thoughts, feelings and behaviours are overwhelming or difficult to control. Some of the things the box/kit might include are: * relaxation CDs; favourite music that you can dance to/cheers

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