Hmmm Wait a Moment

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About a year ago I said I’d do a guest post for SarahDanne over on Unexplored Boundaries – but I struggled to think of a topic, life got in the way and I never did it. Sarah came knocking like a year later to see what happened and as I didn’t want to let her down (again) I sat down to pen a post. It dropped at the start of May and here is the link

Being as it’s Mental Health Awareness Week and i’ve been overwhelmed with support and appreciation I felt it was a good time to share this myself.


This post is somewhat long overdue but I am here to share some wisdom.

This is dedicated to something I’ve learnt recently. Something that made me stop and go “Hmmm wait a moment”, something that has changed my outlook on life and on the way the world works.

This is regarding Mental Health.

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For the longest time, I have always thought to myself – Mentally I am strong, very strong. While I hear and see people complain and suffer from bouts of Mental Illnesses, I’d never given it much thought. For the regards of the person, the situation and the condition. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a supportive person who would do anything for anyone – If I can help I will always strive to do so. But my grasp on the concept of Mental Illness was always lacking in knowledge and I would put an unsympathetic mindset down to that lack of knowledge.

This was until this year. 2019 set in and I stumbled across several things that in turn would help me better my understand, increase my compassion and also motivate me to help.

Image result for ant middleton quoteAs I’ve mentioned before in other posts I really got hit with the S.A.S: Who Dares Wins bug. The show grabbed me by the scruff of the neck, shook me about and threw me in the corner of the room to witness and watch life from a different perspective. This started my obsession with Ant Middleton, his motivational speaking and way of thinking which I took onboard as a lesson in growth and way to growth mental strength. Along with this new found respect and understanding, I also took a step back and truly looked at my Twitter, the people I follow, the people I support and the people who follow me.

It’s really struck a chord with me, the idea of Mental Health – especially for men and how it is poorly represented in society, in the media and in life. There is a stigma regarding it and even once upon a time, I would have used the term “Man Up” without truly thinking of the meaning or situation that the person I am saying it to is in. With the inspiration from Ant Middleton, Jason Fox, the S.A.S team and the amazing people on twitter that I follow I’ve come to realise that more should be done – it needs to be done. So I’ve decided to try and lay the foundations for something bigger, a movement or safe space as it were. For a way to give back, to help people, to give an outlet, support and the guidance that is needed – while striving to remove the stigma completely.

This is my next mission, my next chapter, my chance to do something rewarding, meaningful and helpful.

 

This is me.

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Mental Health Movement

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Working out a way to do something. To give a safe space for people who want to talk and want to open up. So without further ado please welcome, share and support. . .

“Pizza Ma Mind”


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Over the next few months I’ll be trialing several things like weekly Twitter Chats and support points. Just to get the word out and the name spread. If you can help, suggest anything or just point me in a direction. All and everything will be much appreciated.

 

 


 

What is Mental Health?

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The first step to accepting and understanding Mental Health is to know what it is. This is a journey and post we’ll learn together.

Simply put it’s the psychological and emotional well-being of a person.

This is what MIND say about MH:

In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.

Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But if you go through a period of poor mental health you might find the ways you’re frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel just as bad as a physical illness, or even worse.

Some of the statistics regarding MH as according to the Mental Health Organisation are as followed:

  • In England women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders as men.
  • In 2017, 5,821 suicides were recorded in Great Britain. Of these, 75% were male and 25% were female.
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales.
  • 1 in 6.8 people are experience mental health problems in the workplace.
  • Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
  • 1 in 8 adults in the UK have experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.

Image result for mental health statistics


Learning these numbers was shocking. Especially the ones relating to Work Life. 1 in 6.8 people is the one that hit me. At work there is 7 of us in our team. Which means one of us is likely to experience something. But due to the stigma attached to MH, people do their best to hide it from the world. Which isn’t healthy at all. There is not shame in admitting you’ve lost a step or two.

I often think this about Work, but it could also be applied to Life I guess. “It’s such a easy thing, but it’s made complicated by people and their actions. If everyone was honest and easygoing there wouldn’t be a problem” If people weren’t afraid to open up, or if people were accepting of MH and didn’t look at it with disgust or horror the world would be a healthier, happier place.

The stats are horrific and as a society and race we need to make a change. We can’t have this level of suffering, this level of uncomfortableness. Change is needed. Remove the Stigma and live our best lives to our fullest potential.

 

 

 

Who is Mental Health?

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I follow a large number of bloggers and Mental Health Advocates who talk so strongly and openly about their own MH, MH as a whole and ways to raise awareness. With this in mind I wanted to showcase and share those people with you. I took to twitter to ask for help and for people’s posts to share. The response I got was MASSIVE and I am so thankful and appreciative of everyone wanting to get involved.

Everyone that has commented will get a mention in some form or another.


MWBM


ODP


PWVS

  • Erica over on The Prepping Wife
  • Her Twitter Page is: The Prepping Wife
  • MH Post – Veteran Suicide
    • This post is a great look a MH in the Armed Forces, be it in the States, UK or anywhere I imagine it’s the same regardless. This post is insightful and eye opening as Erica details the little things the Vet has to deal with when returning that we take for granted and don’t think about. Also I never realised the Suicide number was this high. It’s such a shame these people give so much for their country and for peace, but are rewarded with mentally challenging situations.

hj

  • Helen over on Helen’s Journey
  • Her Twitter Page is: Helen’s Journey
  • MH Post – How to Give Yourself a Break. . . . .
    • This is a great pick me up, remember you are amazing, look after yourself style post. It’s a reminder and that is so important for everyone to hear. Even if you don’t think it, you are important and you need a dose of positivity every so often.

Tiam

  • Tiffany over on Love Always Tiffany
  • Her Twitter Page is: Love Always Tiff
  • MH Post – I Am More Than Sad
    • This post is short but sweet and to the point. Highlighting the difference between Sadness and Depression, and being ok with admitting the problem, seeking help and looking to get better. Tiff as always you are a gem!

Hiontb

  • Hollie over on Life with my Trio
  • Her Twitter Page is: Hollie Cagney
  • MH Post – It’s Ok Not To Be Ok
    • Hollies post is one of the most relatable, real posts I’ve ever read. The idea of trying to portray a normal persona to save face but really on the inside being torn and broken. This reminds of me of the below line from Scrubs.


Honourable Mentions

As I said above I was overwhelmed by comments and people wanting to share stories, articles and posts in the name of MH. I’d have loved to have done the above for all of them but then this post would have gone on for days. So the ones I’ve missed but still deserve some recognition are as followed:

Sophie – TwitterBlog
Roberta – TwitterBook
Chloe – TwitterBlog
Joan – TwitterBlog
Nell – TwitterBlog
Jordyn – TwitterBlog
Marlena – TwitterBlog
Kat – TwitterBlog
Natasha – TwitterBlog
Nikki – TwitterBlog
Meditative Owl (Can’t find her name, sorry) – TwitterBlog
Koral – TwitterBlog
Stephen – TwitterBlog
Nykole – TwitterBlog
Jackie – TwitterBlog
Anneka – TwitterBlog
Maureen – TwitterBlog
Jade Marie – Twitter Blog
Catey – Twitter Blog
Sarah – Twitter Blog
Elizabeth – Twitter Blog
Christina – Twitter Blog

 

Mental Health Awareness Week

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This is a massive challenge now. It’s Wednesday 8th and I’ve decided to do my tiny bit to help raise awareness for Mental Health. Deciding to generate 5 posts, one for each weekday of next week – Mental Health Awareness Week.

I am not a Mental Health blogger, to my knowledge I am not a suffer of a diagnosed Mental Illness. There are so many people that are one or both of these things and within that group, some of them have found their voice and are amazing influencers and advocates for Mental Health. But there are others out there that has not found that voice, that struggle to open up and come to terms with things. These are the people I am doing this for. The scarred, the lost for words and the vulnerable. The people who want to scream from the rooftops but are so broken, shy and worried to do so that they sit in silence and let the world eat them up.

No more! Not today! Not ever!


The official theme of this week is Body Image – This is what the Mental Health Organisation have said about this topic:

“Body image issues can affect all of us at any age. During the week we will be publishing new research, considering some of the reasons why our body image can impact the way that we feel, campaigning for change and publishing practical tools.”

Mental Health Awareness Week, body image banner


But I don’t want that to stop us, I don’t want you to read this and think – my concern isn’t with Body Image, this isn’t relevant. I promise you everything is relevant. No matter what you are going through. Sit tight, buckle up and get ready for a week of informative, fun and relief. If I can change one persons life for the better than I will be proud. But I am going to need your help to achieve this.

Also check out the Mental Health Foundation website for tips, guides and articles about MH and what they are hoping to achieve this week.

All support, comments and love will be welcomed.

First steps into Mental Health blogging – I am a rookie in a Pro’s game. But I want to help. Wish me luck.


 

Men’s Gift Guide

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A Handy Gift Guide for the Men in your life.

What with Summer round the corner, fathers day and that important birthday for the special man in your life, I thought it best to put together a Men’s Gift Guide – because let’s be honest we all know that one guy who we struggle to buy for. Hopefully this post will help you decide something special for them.


One. – Panasonic Shaver

[AD] This entry is on behalf of Panasonic who have paid for a mention and advertisement.

Panasonic ES-LV6Q

Now no matter whom we have in mind, Dad, Husband, Best Friend or Milkman – more likely than not any and all men would love and appreciate a new shaver and this is where Panasonic steps in.

Panasonic has recently unveiled a new range of shavers, trimmers and clippers. The full range can be found here on “Shavers Panasonic UK”. In particular, I am drawn to the ES-LV6Q. Quoted as “The Next Generation Shaver for the Distinguished Gentleman” The ES-LV6Q uses a Multi-Flex 5D head, 5 blade technology and a 14,000 CPM Linear Motor Drive that is all packed into a comfortable sized handheld unit that gives outstanding results and incredible closeness.

Another great function to this unit that really bugs me with others is: say you have a mixed length of out of control beard and facial hair. Some razors, mine included, struggle to power through the fuller thicker sections. But with the ES-LV6Q it houses new sensor technology that can tell a thicker patch it coming and boosts the power to maintain the smooth action of trimming and minimises the skin irritation. I guess it’s like cruise control in the car – we don’t know HOW exactly it works, but it does and we love it.

Unlike other electric shavers, this one has the function to work wet or dry, for a quick trim or a full-on soap and lather shave – this unit is waterproof and developed with Japanese Blade Technology, the same the Japanese use for the manufacture of swords – and we all know how good their swords are, well imagine that in a razor.

Want him looking fresh, feeling fly and suave, then a new razor is always a great shout. As the main component in my bathroom in regards to my grooming regime, a trendy new razor will always be welcomed.


Two. – After Shave Balm

[Note] This entry is non affiliated, I was suggested to promote the product via a blogger on twitter. There is no personal gain from this.

https://miessence.one.organic/aromatherapist/en/product/11411/after-shave-balm

Now let’s be honest this works out really well with number one. After a lovely shave you want to finish the job off properly don’t you, you want to splash a bit of balm on to soothe and freshen up your now newly suave looking face.

This is where Miessence steps in, they are an innovative company focused on using Natural and Organic ingredients in products that work. Miessence are also 110% carbon negative, which means they offset more than they emit. So while freshening your face up you can feel proud you are doing your bit for the environment. With a couple of pumps to the fingertips, gently massage the face and shaved areas. This helps to calm razor burn and refreshes the skin. They also use marshmallow in this – so imagine that light and fluffy feel. Got to be worth a go right – treat yourself. . . . or him.


Three. – Hoodies with Purpose.

[Note] This entry is non affiliated, I was suggested to promote the product via a blogger on twitter. There is no personal gain from this.

Now I know what you are all thinking, Ross this weekend was a scorcher – who needs a new hoodie. Well this one is a must.

Firstly you want your man in comfort and fashion right, and to know he is doing his bit in support.

The C9 Foundation is a Scottish registered charity with their main purpose is to tackle Mental Health within grassroots football, with teams and their communities.

Run boy Colin and his awesome team, C9 is always striving to do the best, be the best and give the best back to the community and these hoodies and other clothing ranges, such as hats and shirts are one way of doing that. With the profits going to Mental Health charities, this hoodie really does have a purpose.

Of recent I have started to take an interest more and more in Mental Health blogging and support and without a shadow of a doubt I know Colin and his crew are doing and will continue to do an amazing job. Give him and them a follow on the following links:

C9Foundation / C9 Twitter / The Gaffer 


Four. – The Pawfection Pack.

[Note] This entry is non affiliated, I asked if I could promote the product via a blogger on twitter. There is no personal gain from this.

This one is for the dog lover in your life, that person who’d treat his four-legged friend over himself any day and for good reason. The Pawfection team are a small local business based in Cambridgeshire – who try to deliver the best service and the most affordable pricing they can in their quirky, cute boxes.

But don’t take it from me – here is Annie’s bio blurb about the packs:

“We at The Pawfection Pack also believe in supporting as many small independent businesses as we can, just like us, I always think it’s great when you find fun, quirky items that aren’t readily available on the high street, there’s something very special about them, as well as supporting the people who make them.”

Offering several style of packs, memberships, subscriptions and one-off buys, there really is an option for anyone. You can find their links just here:

Pawfection Pack / The Twitter Page / Stark’s Insta / Pupvengers Blog


 

Now how is that for a handy guide, a selection of ideas, quirks and gift picks. Give them all a look, take them for a spin and treat that special someone right. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, learnt and lot and maybe even thought highly of me. I am always here to help.

 

What To Do Next?

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As you might be aware of recent I’ve been a bit quiet on the social media, blog front. Just because I’ve been left feeling very deflated and . . . . well like this.


Stuck in a lifestyle that I am not a great fan of anymore. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to bad mouth these aspects of my life because they have served me well and I’ve learnt and grown from them. But it is now time to move on and take a bigger step forward. Though how realistic is that?

Not to moan about money but sadly this is what makes life tick over. I know I should live in the moment. Enjoy what I have. Can’t take it with you bullshit. But sadly Karen that isn’t the world we live in. The fact of the matter is if I don’t earn X amount a month I won’t be able to pay my bills, buy food or get by. So if I bring home less than that or I have a sick day and don’t get paid. I feel the pinch.

It’s horrible.

But what can I do? How can I make my life better? I’d love to go freelance. In photography or media or blogging. But taking that plunge is an unrealistic step for me. I’d love to get into charity work. Especially Male Mental Health based work. To help give a voice to people. To do something meaningful and to make a difference but sadly in the most none selfish way that won’t pay my mortgage. Not to begin with anyway.

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A very supportive and lovely friend said the following to me earlier – “You really could do it full-time I believe in you buddy! You’re written word is fantastic, I love your content and you are always one of the first people to boost people up in this community! I honestly couldn’t think of anyone who deserves it more than you.”

Which is crazy cute and mega supportive of her and it made me think – who else thinks this of me, maybe I could be this figurehead that people look up to, maybe I could help everyone.

I’m thinking about setting up a movement / brand / organisation that focuses on those goals of raising awareness and money for Male Mental Health charities. Which is where I will need your help.

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I just hope something like this can and will give me purpose and until I find my feet I will have to keep going with my current affairs but in time, maybe one day, I will be able to stand up tall and look back at what I have done with pride.