Supporting somebody with mental health problems

Mental health problems are something that are so underrepresented in our society; there are many issues with the ways in which we view mental illness and particularly how we attempt to cure it.

I’m not here to tell you how to live your life or provide you with some miracle cure – as much as I wish I could. However I thought – particularly on World Mental Health Day, it would be a good idea to write about supporting somebody with mental health issues. It’s widely known that mental health problems affect one in four people – so I think we should be raising awareness so that we can all offer support for people affected by this.

Listen – but allow them to share as much or as little as they’d like:

Never underestimate the power of listening, often getting out feelings or providing somebody with an outlet for their thoughts can make a world of difference. It’s important however to remember not to push anybody for information or ask them anything they’re uncomfortable answering.

Don’t try and diagnose: 

Naturally it’s easy to form an opinion, particularly if you have knowledge in the area but unofficial diagnosis can be damaging so it’s probably best to steer clear from doing so where possible.

Equally as important, don’t doubt or hesitate about what anybody is saying:

Questioning a person’s honesty is never good – particularly if they’re struggling.

Discuss wellbeing and helpful methods of staying positive:

Sharing ideas for maintaining a happy and healthy mindset can go a long way! If you have suggestions for wellbeing techniques then share them, they may provide someone with help when they need it most.

Try not to make assumptions:

Similarly to diagnosis, it’s important not to make assumptions about the cause of any mental health issues or what will help somebody to overcome them.

Be Patient:

Be patient and remember that this is like any other illness and takes time to heal. Never use the words ‘mind over matter’ or anything even slightly similar. 

Keep social contact: 

Even if somebody is shutting you out or finding it hard to keep in touch, try your best to remind them that you’re there whenever they need you.

Just be there: 

Sometimes everybody just needs someone to be there. Don’t worry about saying or doing the right thing – just be around, whether that’s sitting in silence together or being on the end of the phone. Make it known that you’re there for support whenever it’s needed.

When writing this I found these resources particularly helpful and feel as though they can help others too – head to Mind, the Mental Health Foundation or ReThink if you want to find out more.

If you’re struggling with a mental health illness, I hope you can find comfort in the knowledge that there is always somebody to turn to. I think I speak for many people when I say that I am always available for a chat, whether we are best friends, complete strangers or simply acquaintances – nobody deserves to suffer in silence and I will make every effort I can to make every single person on this planet feel hopeful and loved.

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to all of the broken hearted people

Heartbreak must be one of the worst things that a human can face, it’s an obscure feeling that completely consumes you. The person that has hurt you becomes everything, you see them in bars that you visited together, the mutual friends you share – their favourite breakfast option.

However, if you’re blissfully happy, you’re probably reading this thinking I’m an idiot. If there’s one thing we can be certain of it’s that we have all been there – and we have all thought that it would be the end of us.

LUCKILY because it’s so common to be dumped and depressed – there are many solutions to this problem. Often in the form of music, alcohol and if you’re sad like me, a lovely little poem. (If you haven’t already, check out Rupi Kaur, suddenly every piece of sadness you’ve ever felt will rear it’s ugly head and then magically dissolve away)

I’ve wanted to write something like this for a long time but was unsure that the tone would be correct, I think it’s always better to write things whilst reflecting on a situation, as opposed to in the heat of the moment. If you’re showing it to the public anyway.

So without further ado, here are my words of wisdom – my break up cheat sheet, if you will:

Find an album that you can relate to and listen to it as often as you like

If nothing springs to mind right now, borrow mine. Made of Bricks has gotten me over every crush, boyfriend and particularly upsetting deaths of favourite TV characters in the past 10 years. Get on board, you can never listen to Foundations too much.

But don’t forget these equally brilliant options – if you need to fuel your emotions. If you need a reminder that you’re a sassy Queen.

Spend as much time as you can with your friends & remember that they’re only trying to help you 

Naturally you’re going to feel upset when they are saying that the person you love isn’t worth your time, but you must remember that they’re your people and have nothing but your best interests at heart. AND in two months you’ll be agreeing with them.

Stop looking through old pictures, obsessing over memories shared and questioning what went wrong

You’re not helping yourself and you’re certainly not finding answers – so just stop. You’ll feel a hundred times better and deep down you know that too.

Pamper yourself

The most important thing you can do right now is find the version of you that believes they are fabulous. After all of the drinking, junk food and shower neglect of course. A friend of mine dyes her hair after break ups – it works. Give it a go.

Get a routine

Find a new routine that works for you, distract yourself when you need to and start doing things that will make you feel great. Appreciate the fact you have more time to yourself, see your friends and do the things that you love (especially if your partner didn’t really enjoy them so much.)

Ignore their social media channels 

Nobody wants to see the person they’ve broken up with moving on blissfully. It’s just a cold, hard fact of life.

Sidenote: If you are looking, remember that people only want to show the best of themselves online.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you have any contact with them if you are drunk

Even if you “feel great” and you “just need to tell them one last thing.” It’s stupid. You’ll regret it. Trust me.

Think about seeing other people, but only if you’re ready

Try not to rush into anything before you’re truly ready to, it might make you feel worse in the long run – and you could end up hurting somebody else.

Also, I learnt from a week of Tinder that sometimes it can be a confidence boost, often it’s just another thing that makes you question what is wrong with the human race.

Remember your self worth

Most importantly, you must learn to love yourself again. Don’t give away everything you are to somebody that can’t see you. Remind yourself daily that you have felt this pain before and you will get over it again. That if somebody is going to hurt you, they have never deserved you.

Basically all of the stuff that you think is nonsense when you’re happy – but you need to hear when you’re sad.

Just focus on getting back to yourself and look forward to the day you can scream I AM EVERYTHING and actually believe it.

 

 

 

 

How to stop pursuing the wrong people

We appear to spend our lives seeking one person, that glorious person that will comfort us when we’re ill and somehow still laugh at all of our jokes after ten years. That’s the dream, right? The old couple eating chips by the beach.

Unfortunately, our society is flooded with quick fixes and tricks to get into relationships. Maybe they’ll be the one and you’ll live happily ever after, realistically you’ll realise 9 months in that you have little in common, they’re not actually that funny AND you fancy the bartender at your local.

And yet we continue to do it, we subject ourselves to hours of scrolling through Tinder, rummaging through hundreds of creepy messages in the hopes that one day someone will openly post about you on their Instagram. True? Probably. Sad? Definitely.

But it’s not to worry chickadees because your friendly, local Claire Cross is here to tell you how to stop seeing these people (you’re welcome.)

Don’t rely on dating apps to find the one

I know that your friends, sisters’ best pal found the father of her children and co-owner of a country house in Surrey on Tinder – but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to you. In fact, it could well happen – the possibility is absolutely there, unfortunately I doubt its Dan who’s bio reads “don’t swipe right if you’re just gonna friendzone.”

Stop ignoring red flags

You know the things that you tell your friends after the break up, the small instances that you brushed off at the time but now you’re finding yourself questioning why you ever continued that relationship. Yeah, those are called red flags and you should absolutely start believing in them. If your partner starts telling racist jokes or dictating what you should be doing: they’re probably not the one.

Small coincidences do not a good relationship make

So they have the same favourite film as you, they love dogs and used to be really into tennis as well. So do millions of other people in the world. Don’t get me wrong, shared interests are obviously a brilliant thing in a relationship but it’s important to figure out if they’re the only thing you’re relationship is resting on.

Ask yourself, do you have similar lifestyles that push your relationship forward and give you a means of enjoying experiences together? Or are they one of the thousands of people that love eating pizza in bed whilst watching Peep Show?

Don’t feel pressured to be in a relationship

We’ve all seen our friends and their partners being dead cute and thought ‘I’d like that.’ Obviously this is perfectly normal; this however, is not a reason to go looking for a relationship because it seems appealing. Ask yourself if the person you’re interested in is actually somebody you want to be with – or are they simply a comforting and beneficial friend to share hungover mornings with…

Location, location, location

Of course, you’ll occasionally meet someone in a club, they will have been dragged along by their friends – they want to go home and have zero interest in the pull. However, it’s more likely that you’ll meet the guy that spent pre-drinks telling his friends he’s gonna smash and dash whilst necking voddies and lemonade.

Stop trying to chase this guy, the chances of him actually dedicating any real time to you are slim – and let’s be honest, you’re probably not that into him anyway.

Question if it’s just lust

On that note, every now and then we are in need of affection and I’m sure we can all agree that sometimes that need clouds our judgment. Ask yourself, is he the one? Or was he the one at the time?

Don’t settle for less!

The next time you’re waiting by the phone for a reply, or spending hours asking your friends what his actions mean – remind yourself that you are fabulous. That although you might not have matching candle holders or anecdotes about long weekends in Greece: you are still brilliant.

No relationship status will change that, particularly one with a half-hearted 6/10 that spends his time bragging about doing body shots in Magaluf.

Dear Rugby

I feel like I need to watch Garden State and drink three bottles of gin before I write this. Just to get in the right mood you know. 

SO, I contemplated a ton of different structures for this post and I was gonna do a good ol’ fashioned listicle but decided I just needed a babble instead. As many of you will know (because I’ve whined about it for a year) I moved back to my hometown in August. London ate all of my time and resources so I ran away to drink gin in a field with my friends and travel around Italy.

After returning from my little adventure I reluctantly spent a few months in Rugby town, thinking that it would be the worst decision of my life. Much to my surprise, it turned out to be fantastic. I managed to reconnect with so many of the people I love, I laughed a lot at my own stupidity and I got a job in the friendliest pub I’ve ever entered. It was great.

As February rolled around I knew that it was time to leave so I scoured the internet for a new job in Brighton. Luck, fate or sheer coincidence was on my side as I managed to find a job that is perfect and I couldn’t be happier with it. However, this meant leaving my cosy home and everyone I love behind. I was under the impression that when it came to the time that I left Rugby I’d skip to the train station, shrieking with joy and flipping off everybody that I left behind. Oh, I could not have been more wrong.

I stumbled to the station, sweating out months of alcohol abuse and wondering how I was going to get through the day without my little gang. If truth be told, I’m still unsure. It’s the best and worst thing about living in a small town – everybody knows everybody.

Although this means gossip, pointless fighting and strange, almost incestual relationships – it also means that you constantly have somebody by your side. Whether it’s to go for a pint or to cry on when you’ve had enough. You become part of a beautiful, close-knit family that you’ll never find anywhere else. The people that know everything about you and still love you endlessly.

Do they irritate you so much that at times you can’t stand to see their face? Well, obviously. But it’s all irrelevant when it’s 5am and you’re screaming along to the songs that you used to love when you were 15.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s the fact that you’ve known each other for a decade and you have so many memories of being young and dumb together. Perhaps it’s just security and comfort. I haven’t really decided yet. Whatever the reason for it, I couldn’t be happier that it’s part of who I am.

So this is my confession that I would have refused to believe 6 months ago. I love my silly small town, I love my friends more than anything in the world and I LOVE MIDAS LOUNGE. (I mean, I’ve always loved you lot but Midas really did come as a surprise.)

I’m really going to attempt to get my blogging hat on again and be a bit more frequent but I always say this and am useless. Hope you didn’t hate the ramble, it’s a reflection of my brain at the mo. I’m really happy to be back in Brighton but there will always be a part of me that misses home.