Are You Ok?

It’s R U OK day today.  I hope you’re all ok?  Are you?  In our society, it seems to be the norm where it’s good manners, expected even, that our response is positive.  “Yes, everything is ok!”  But, I know that everything is not always ok.

RUOK
Brook Gossen – More Than Ever

Mental health is something we all need to focus on from time to time and it’s very important we prioritise it. Without our mind being healthy, we are often left in a dark, heavy slump.  These heavy dark slumps are painful, crippling and zap your energy like any physical illness.

If you’re not ok, that’s ok!  But you are the only one to be able to do something about it. Take the first step and chat to someone, put it out there, deal with it head on.  Don’t keep putting it off, blaming others for your problems or wishing someone else could help.  Because you are the control centre of your mental health, nobody else.  Take ownership over your life, your mind and your problems.  There’s real power in doing this, I assure you.

This year has been a challenging one personally, with a lot of stressors at play and anxiety trying to cripple me.  In some respects, I’m very lucky to have had anxiety and depression play an integral role in my life for the past 20 years, as it’s taught me to know myself, who I am, accept all of what I am (and what I’m not), what I value, what I expect from others and most importantly, what I won’t tolerate.   They are super powerful tools to learn and use to know what to do when your mind is battling against you.  People will try as much as they like to bring you down, doubt yourself, doubt your foundations and relationships.  But in the end, if you have all of these elements in your mental toolbox, you will come out the other end with a clear perspective.  Take the time to be you, accept yourself for who you are, flaws and all and, be at peace with all that you’re not.

Chatting to family and friends is so crucial.  To get another persons perspective can clear your mind so much and alleviate some of that built up pressure that stress, depression and anxiety has a tendency to cause.  Go to your GP and have a chat to him.  Get a referral to a psychologist.  They work wonders in helping you feel better in your own skin and mind and make you see that you are ok, just the way you are!

If you need medication, don’t feel ashamed, don’t feel weak.  Feel PROUD of yourself for helping yourself and making a move into better mental health.  Men, I’m talking to you as well.

To anyone suffering with mental illness; you are one badass mother f*cker because nothing is more terrifying than battling with you own mind every single day.” Unknown

Get outside into the beautiful fresh air.  Start your morning with a walk, even if it’s just around the block (I used to hate being told this).  Start a garden!  It  doesn’t matter what it is, what it looks like, whether it’s inside or out.  But it’s something you can nurture and take care of and think of other than yourself and your spiralling thoughts.  It’s extremely rewarding.  Have a bath, have a shower.  There is something about being in water that can be immensely soul soothing.  Have a day in bed.  Have two days in bed!  Accept it for what it is and give it the time to pass.  Just be careful not to make it a whole week, a month, or a year.  Get yourself up.  Eat well, at least between the chocolate and chips your body is asking for.  Exercise, even if it’s just for five minutes.  Do not put pressure on yourself though, as this can lead to five steps backwards and a mindset of failing yourself.

If you are grieving, experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, have suicidal thoughts or tendencies, Depression, Anxiety, eating disorders, addictions or even a phobia that is so terrifying that you struggle to face it head on, talk about it, please!  That is the first, crucial step to feeling better!

There is help available, whether it’s from the person next to you or a stranger at a clinic who may one day be your saviour.

I’ll ask you again;

Are you Ok?

Because if you’re not, that is ok x

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Do you love the bedding featured in the image for this post?

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@lennon_house_

The amazing team at ‘More Than Ever’ have donated a voucher for a king size sheet set to the ‘Beyond the Stigma’ online auction.  All money raised is donated to ‘Beyond Blue’.  It’s on now until 10pm Sept 20.  To bid, click here.

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If you need any further resources head to Beyond Blue or Lifeline x

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Note.  If you have a negative stigma or outlook towards anyone who may be suffering, shame on you and go and educate yourself.

 

 

Keeping Plants Alive

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How do you keep your plants alive?”.  To be perfectly honest, I wing it a lot of the time.  Although, upon further reflection, I have had a keen interest in indoor plants for a few years now which I suppose brings knowledge, which then brings the capacity to wing it.

To answer this question, I need to trace back and think about the beginning of my plant passion.  When I knew nothing!  Let me tell you, a lot of plants died in the process and a lot of money went down the drain.  I am a person who always learns, loves to gather new knowledge and make a point out of learning lessons from my mistakes, albeit the hard way, always.  I’m also a person who absolutely hates wasting money, but also waste in general.

Plants would look beautiful for a few weeks but ended up as death sitting in a window.  This wasn’t on.  I was determined to make this work, determined to have greenery and life in my home.  Determined to not fail, rather thrive in my new found hobby.  I began to research.

FullSizeRenderThe tiny care label provided with a new plant is very rarely sufficient.  This I discovered quite quickly.  Pinterest has always been a good friend to me, an enemy to my insomnia, but a wonderful companion for my creativity.  The abundance of articles on plants is magnificent.

I could go on about plants for pages, but I have two top tips which I will share with you right now.

1. Know your plant and know it’s water needs

At the risk of sounding irresponsible, indoor plants actually thrive on neglect.  Do not drown them in water overload.  A common misconception about keeping your house plants alive is that you must love them and literally shower them with love.  Please, don’t do this!  They will most likely die!  (Of course, there are exceptions to this for some water loving plants such as Philodendrons, ferns, moss.)  In most cases, your plant will require the soil to be mostly dry before needing another drink.

2. Light is food for your plants

Get an understanding of the different light requirements for your plants.  Bright light, bright direct sunlight, bright filtered light, low light etc.  Some plants need full sun, some plants need extremely bright light but not direct sun (direct sun may burn them), some plants may need a little sun baking session each week for a nutrient boost and some plants will thrive in low light.  Low light, however, can be a trap.  All plants require SOME light to live.  So don’t go putting plants in a completely dark room with zero natural light.  For example, we have a powder room in our house that has no window.  It’s a tiny little room with a toilet and basin, but no plants.  Yes, this pains me dearly, but I can’t bring myself to put an artificial plant in there.  So I have accepted the fact that there will be no life in that tiny room.

Indoor plants are such a joy to have.  They provide life to your environment, boost your air quality significantly, add a touch of jungle to your space and are extremely therapeutic.  It is such an achievement when you can figure out how to keep a plant alive.  Anyone and everyone can have plants inside.  The ultimate decor piece to make your house a home.

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Note.  I am not a plant expert, rather someone who loves plants.  All words are my own and all advice is from my personal findings.

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