Le guest blog - mental health.
This first post is by Chloe, my online friend, writer and blogger. Thanks for your contribution Chloe! I hope any new readers will stay on my site for a bit, there's lots of interesting reading available at the menu icon, top left.
How blogging has positively affected my mental health
Hey everyone, hope you’re well! My name is Chloe, I usually blog over at www.chloechats.com but today
Peter has kindly let me write a guest post for his website.
About my blog:
I run a mental health and lifestyle blog where I like to talk about self-care, positive ways to look after our well-being, and some fun little travel posts if I end up doing something exciting that I want to share. I’ve had my blog for a few years now, but it was only March last year (2018) that I decided to make it more specialised as a mental health blog. This was done because of personal reasons (related: My Mental Health Story), but also because I wanted to let people know that they aren’t alone, and if I could put a smile on someone’s face through my blog posts then that’s pretty amazing.
I've learnt a lot over the past year through my blog, and some of my favourite blog posts I have written are the ones where people come away feeling like they've learnt something from it. I will every so often write blog posts where I do a lot of research beforehand and I enjoy it so much. People have said they've learnt from them, but so have I writing them!
My day-to-day life is pretty busy. I work full-time alongside my blog, so I'll be at work Monday-Friday and then I'll use some evenings for my blog and weekends I try to keep free, so I can get on with my blog. Of course, I will have the odd plans, visit friends and family, have some time with my boyfriend and also have time for myself as well - I love me time! I usually make sure every Sunday evening I have a little self-care session for myself, I like to have a bubble bath whilst watching something (at the moment I watch Dancing on Ice), and then I get out and use some face or eye masks and get into bed. It makes me feel so refreshed for Monday morning.
How blogging has helped my mental health:
At the start of 2018 my mental health was really bad - possibly one of the worst times ever. I wanted to sleep all the time, I lost my appetite completely - sometimes I wouldn't eat a single thing in a day, I cried a lot, I was absolutely miserable, and I didn't know why, I became physically ill because of how bad it was. I only had less than 2 weeks off work at the time because I physically couldn't hold myself up (my mum had to help me down the stairs, and because I was throwing up a lot I also didn't eat - which most probably added to me being so weak and not being able to walk myself.)
My big turning point was when I was in a restaurant with my boyfriend and I burst into tears and it was uncontrollable - I felt so embarrassed. I remember when I got myself together, I said to him, 'this has got to stop.' Right there and then, I went on my phone and sent a long message to my friend who I had met at uni a good few years back, she graduated in mental health nursing and she's a lovely friend, so I knew she would get me started on the right track.
This is why I find talking about mental health is so important. Keeping it all to yourself can be so unhealthy as I found out the hard way, as soon as I started to reach out for help, it got better one step at a time.
Writing is therapeutic:
I won't go into any more detail as this would be an essay of a post, however, a big thing that helped me was writing. I find blogging amazingly therapeutic, when I'd have worries on my mind, maybe when I felt I had low self-esteem, I would write about it. I would research how to improve your self-esteem and I'd make it into a blog post.
There’re a few reasons: For one, it was seriously helping me out, researching and learning myself made me feel so positive and it made me realise that there's things that we can do to help ourselves. Secondly, I knew that I wouldn't be the only person in the world feeling that way, so in writing about it, I knew it would help others too.
I also don't always publish everything that I write. If I'm having a particularly bad day or I have something on my mind thats really bothering me, I like to write about it. I don't just write about the problems though, I also write about how I can improve them. Sometimes, seeing the words in front of you makes things a lot easier than just having them in your head.
Blogging has helped me to become more creative and gives me a purpose:
I've always been quite a creative person, but I never pursued it. I did Art and Graphics at GCSE at school and they were both my favourite lessons and also the subjects I got the highest grades in. However, after I finished them I took it no further. Also growing up I used to write so many stories, and I remember one story I had hand written and I ended up filling out two big notebooks! (I was probably around 15/16 at the time.) When I started blogging it made me realise my love for writing again. Blogging gives me a space to show my creativity and I can show people what I'm good at.
Having a hobby has such a positive impact on your mental health, and there's so many hobbies out there. So, for me, blogging is my biggest and most favourite hobby I do. Blogging gives me a purpose, it keeps me going. My blog has quite honestly been a life saver for me, if I didn't decide to do this, I don't think my mental well-being would be too great. Maybe that's just in my head though, and ultimately it comes down to how I have changed my mindset and lifestyle, but to me, telling myself that my blog has helped me a lot is something I'm happy with.
I'm also not just relying on my blog a hundred percent to make me feel better, but it's something that keeps me busy, relaxes me, and something I really enjoy.
Connecting with other bloggers:
I had no idea when starting a blog that I would be a part of a wonderful community. I have found that when you're feeling alone and feeling as if you have no one to turn to, it's heart-warming and amazing to know that there are other bloggers you can speak to. I know social media isn't always great for your mental health, but, I have interacted with so many others on Twitter, I'm part of private group chats and even just tweeting out and starting a conversation with someone is so lovely. I have come across others who talk about their mental health on their own blogs, and sometimes seeing that can make you feel less alone. There's so much support out there, and I have been inspired and motivated by so many blogs I have read.
I remember at some points last year, I didn't leave the house very often, which meant I didn't get any human contact. The online blogging community really helped me, I always had someone to speak to, there really are some amazing people out there.
I hope you enjoyed my guest post, and once again, thank you Pete for letting me say hi to your fellow readers! Let me and Pete know if blogging has had a positive impact for you! The comments section is available through the menu icon, top left.
Here are my links: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. (Note from Pete - I'm still learning about website design and I don't yet know everything about creating links or adding pictures. Next week I have an appointment with a website designer to learn this stuff. The link here and at the top of the page to Chloe's blog - www.chloechats.com is working. Chloe's social media links are available on her blog site.)