As somebody who suffered from an eating disorder for many years in the past, one of the questions I get asked most is, ‘Do you believe you can fully recover from an eating disorder?’ My answer to this is undoubtedly, yes. Whilst at their worst eating disorders can be fatal, people can and do recover from them. This blog aims to cover some of the top tools and tips that helped me in my personal recovery as well as discussing some of the most widely used techniques and treatments.
Whilst Winter, like all seasons, brings plenty of things to look forward to, many of us find that some aspects of these months affect us negatively. Dark mornings and evenings, colder temperatures and cravings for comfort aren’t always conducive to optimal physical and mental health. Some people even suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sometimes referred to as winter depression. Other people may not suffer from the condition fully but may notice some of the symptoms discussed below having a negative effect on their everyday life. This blog highlights some of the ways this coming season can affect our health and wellbeing and discusses ways to help deal with these potential obstacles.
The terms ‘mindfulness’ and ‘meditation’ are often used interchangeably and have become somewhat ‘buzz words’ in the last few years. They are becoming increasingly recognised for their benefits within the field of mental health and are very popular due to their simplicity and accessibility. Anyone can practice mindfulness and meditation with no special equipment, training or guidance required but it’s always good to arm yourself with a few pointers when trying out a new skill and so if you’re interested in giving them a go or finding out what they can do for you, read on…
What is a vision board and why should I try one? A vision board (or dream/goals board) is a collection of images, words, ideas or other items that represent our desires for our life and our future. It can include examples of things we’d like to have, be or do and can help to inspire and motivate us to work towards these dreams and goals in our everyday life. Vision boards can support the practice of visualisation as explained in the previous blog for those who prefer to see physical images rather than simply imagine them.
What is visualisation? In the context of this blog, visualisation describes the use of our imagination to form mental images of an event, situation or anything else that we desire. Visualisation can also be described as mental rehearsal, where we create images in our mind of us having, being or doing something that we want for ourselves in the future. Whilst on one level we may know it’s a mental trick, the mind and body react similarly whether something is real or imagined and so visualisation can have real physiological effects. You can see this in action for example when we remember something funny that happened long ago and can’t help but laugh, even though it’s not happening now and is just in our mind. Similarly, if you think of an amazing meal you once ate and imagine the smell, taste, texture and use all of your senses, you may start to salivate or even feel hungry. The body can react as if a situation or object is real simply from what goes on in our mind.
The idea of getting fitter or leading a more healthy lifestyle can often feel overwhelming and leave us not knowing where to start. The feeling that we have to make huge changes or set life-changing goals can be so intimidating that we end up doing nothing. It really is true that getting started is the hardest part of any task and so by starting with some simple, easily achievable mini-goals you can build momentum and confidence in yourself whilst getting started on your journey to a fitter, healthier, happier you. Try out some of the ideas below – you could try one a day for a month or choose a couple a week. Set a target that feels manageable for you and let’s get started.
This past 18 months have been, for many of us, a challenge like we’ve never experienced before. With health anxieties, changes to our working situation or status and periods of isolation to name just a few specific examples, it comes as a huge relief that lockdown is currently gradually easing and more people are being vaccinated daily in the fight against Coronavirus. Whilst this is certainly a light at the end of a sometimes seemingly endless tunnel, for those suffering the effects of ‘Long Covid’, the challenges may feel far from over. Whilst this is still such a new condition and research into it is constantly ongoing, there are now a few identified tips that are thought to help support recovery. This blog aims to outline some of these.
A whole blog on breathing?! Seems a bit excessive for something we do naturally all day, everyday, right?! Wrong! Breathing is the foundation of our very existence and is inextricably linked to both our physical and mental health. Physical activities such as walking, lifting and cleaning have a clear effect on our breathing as do psychological states such as stress and relaxation. By learning how to control our breath we can help to manage our physical and psychological states to best support us.