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…
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.’