Ever so slowly, but ever so surely, Mental health is becoming something that we can discuss with increased openness and without stigma. Yet sadly, for it truly to be considered on a par with physical health, there's still a long way to go.
I am a mother to two boys aged five and six, I have always been told by other parents, family and people around me that boys are the easier sex to raise and that they give you far less worry than girls. I cannot say whether that is true as I will never be able to test the theory. However, I am genuinely concerned that I am totally mucking up something which is meant to be quite simple.
Blue Monday is typically the third Monday of January and is considered the most 'depressing day of the year'. But is 'Blue Monday' actually a thing? By saying we are 'so depressed' that Christmas is over, aren't we just trivialising depression?
A few years ago, I probably would have said that I did not feel in control of my life. I was fortunate to have loving grandparents who never stopped supporting me and to come across The Prince's Trust which helped me set up my business. They were some of the helping hands which have enabled me to be in a position today to help so many young girls reach their potential.
1.) If you know about my anxiety, it means I trust you - so please treasure that. It's not something I give away easily. Anxiety is invisible so I can keep if from people if I choose - other excuses can step in if needed. But if I tell you the truth instead of an excuse then you are special. Thank you for making me feel safe enough to tell you.
I wanted to share what I feel has really helped me turn a corner and hopefully, if you suffer with depression and anxiety too, you may find some of these ideas helpful. Remember, just like anything else, you have to put them into practice to see results.
So if you've entered 2017 piled with worry about whether you're doing the right thing, right now, in your life. Please... don't. Live for the moment, focus on what makes you happy, and the rest will come along soon enough. And if for whatever reason none of us wake up tomorrow, at least we can say we enjoyed the ride.
Which we don't; it turns out I'm among the almost 80% of people who fail to achieve our resolutions. This can have a massive impact on our mental health if we feel like we failed. We try to kick-start this new healthy life, filling the gyms with eager motivation, only to slip back into our old lifestyle before the end of January, full of shame.
I believe that despite all the imbalance around us, we need to position ourselves in a steady spot and remember that, as human beings, we have endured and overcome so many things. As tough as it may seem now, we will survive Trump and Brexit too.
It's only since becoming a dad I realise where the strength must have come from. You've told me countless times "you'll know what it's like when you have your own", and you were right.
So why then do so many of us still seem to be suffering? What is it about the world we live in today that causes so much stress that so many of us are depressed, suffering with anxiety issues, personality disorders, eating disorders, sleep disorders and a number of other issues all involving our mental health.
In general, conducting just a simple research using Google Trends, indicates that depression and anxiety show up as two of the highest ranking mental health searches and that searches for anxiety have increased 18% in 2016 compared to 2015, with an astonishing 96% increase over the period of last 5 years.
She's daring and not afraid to speak out to anyone that will listen. I love this quality of hers, it inspires me to overcome my anxiety and push it as far to the back of my mind as I possibly can. There are a few things we can all do to try and not let our anxiety rub off onto our children...
The industry must continue to support, understand and amplify the message that suffering from depression, and even being on anti-depressants, doesn't necessarily mean you can't fly. The result would be greater safety within the industry for all.
The media create this perfect vision of a family Christmas - and it's an ideal that has hung over me and made me very miserable in response. My depression and anxiety always get worse in December.
A proactive approach for children navigating through the stresses of modern childhood, and the anxieties it can bring is to empower them as much as we can. Incorporating an understanding of yoga in to a child's day, gives them a tool with which they can begin to understand their own mind and body