Do YOU Survıve or Thrive?

A new study has re­vealed that over two-thirds of women have ex­pe­ri­enced a men­tal health prob­lem. To kick-start Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week, the Look team open up about how they’re learn­ing to thrive in­stead of sur­vive…

Look (UK) - - LIFE -

The Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion has just re­vealed new stats to mark the start of Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week (8-14 May), show­ing that 70 per cent of 18-54 year olds ad­mit to hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced a men­tal health is­sue. It’s why we’re tack­ling the ques­tion: why aren’t more of us thriv­ing?

‘It’s about more than just the ab­sence of men­tal health prob­lems,’ says Mark Row­land, di­rec­tor of the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion. ‘it’s the ca­pac­ity of each and all of us to feel, think and act in ways that en­hance our abil­ity to en­joy life and deal with the chal­lenges we face. It is liv­ing life to the fullest and feel­ing able to cope with the stresses and chal­lenges every­day life brings.’

To ig­nite the con­ver­sa­tion, mem­bers of the Look team are shar­ing their own ex­pe­ri­ences of men­tal health and how they’ve faced their is­sues… Gabrielle Dyer, Beauty Writer ‘Last year I went through a pe­riod of ter­ri­ble anx­i­ety. The only way I can de­scribe it was a con­stant feel­ing of dread. It was like liv­ing to sur­vive. I didn’t en­joy work, I didn’t re­ally en­joy spend­ing time with my friends and I suf­fered from panic at­tacks.

A mate sug­gested a course of acupunc­ture and I also took up box­ing. I have felt anx­ious maybe once or twice, but it’s noth­ing like the con­stant dread and over­think­ing. You have to find some­thing that works for you, but I def­i­nitely ad­vise speak­ing to some­one – a close friend, or a fam­ily mem­ber. It helps so much, as does fit­ness.

Do not un­der­es­ti­mate ex­er­cise. It might sound stupid, but ex­er­cise has made the big­gest dif­fer­ence to me.’ Sarah Har­ri­son, Act­ing Se­nior Fash­ion As­sis­tant ‘Around once a fort­night, I feel like I’m hav­ing a mini life cri­sis. My house­mate and I al­ways talk each other through these melt­downs and 99 per cent of the time it comes down to not hav­ing enough time and money to do what we want to do. Fi­nan­cial is­sues are a con­stant worry – “just get­ting by” is some­thing my friends and I do each month.

I love my job so much, but I put a lot of pres­sure on my­self and worry whether I’m reach­ing my po­ten­tial. I’ve been re­ally try­ing to up my game on my per­sonal blog and so­cial me­dia, which I en­joy. But re­cently I’ve been re­minded of how short life can be. It’s made me re­assess the pres­sure I put on my­self and the anx­i­ety it causes. These days, I try to have a dig­i­tal detox every now and then.’ Max­ine Eggen­berger, Fash­ion News and Com­mer­cial Con­tent Editor ‘I moved here from Scot­land to do one thing: work. I left uni­ver­sity a year early to seize what I thought was an of­fer I couldn’t refuse, bid­ding adieu to my friends (and a lot of the fun times that were yet to be had with them) and my fam­ily. My only so­lace was that my boyfriend (now hus­band) came on this jour­ney with me.

I ded­i­cated all my time to my job. I put my work above all else. I made more work con­nec­tions than I did ac­tual friends; some of them even­tu­ally made it into the “mate” zone, but still, my life was com­pletely work-driven. I worked all hours, in­clud­ing evenings and week­ends. Had my re­la­tion­ship not been as strong as it was, it would have bro­ken.

Now, six years down the line, I fi­nally feel like I have the bal­ance be­tween work and life (al­most) right. It’s hard to draw a line when you love what you do, but some­times, for the good of your own well­be­ing, it’s ex­actly what you need to do to thrive.’

Roxie Nafousi, Look In­flu­encer and am­bas­sador for the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion ‘So­cial me­dia plays a big part in how I feel. I can def­i­nitely feel down when I look at other blog­gers, as I think their In­sta photos are so slick. I reg­u­larly have days where I com­pletely lack con­fi­dence, so I couldn’t pre-plan a blog shoot, say, as I might wake up that morn­ing feel­ing aw­ful. So for me to start thriv­ing, I’m try­ing to re­ally work on my self-es­teem, through ex­er­cise, a healthy diet and also by spend­ing less time on so­cial me­dia. I spend 80 per cent of my day on so­cial me­dia at the mo­ment. Re­cently, I’ve been on a jour­ney of find­ing con­fi­dence – it starts with be­ing mind­ful and be­ing in the mo­ment. When we start com­par­ing our lives to oth­ers, we can lose sight of this.’

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