Balancing Social Media And Your Mental Health- Guest Post.

Hi y’all,

Today, I bring you a guest post from Charlotte, who gives advice on balancing your mental health when it comes to the use of social media. Social media can be an amazing tool for mental health advocacy, but to make the best of it, you need to acknolwedge when and how to turn off and focus on your own wellbeing. I’m sure this post will be of use to you all- Much love, Rhi. X

(P.s If interested in writing a guest post for my blog, regardless of your previous experience with blogging, be sure to contact me via my blog or through social media. Xo)

Charlotte’s Blog Post:

I live with mental illness, I have done for as long as I can remember. I don’t actually remember a time when I wasn’t the way that I am now. However, in the last year, I have become a mental health advocate of sorts; it’s something I had never planned but I now wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve finally found my passion and purpose.

But like everything in life, we need to remember to balance our mental health and ensure that we are not giving too much of ourselves away. Sometimes, It can be easy to obsess over Instagram or Facebook, it’s easy to compare yourself to others and overly push yourself to be better. There is nothing wrong with self-improvement but at the end of the day, trying is what counts.

Blogging is something I am passionate about, luckily it’s not a competitive industry but there are times when I can feel my mental health failing because of running my blog. It’s very easy for me to look at successful bloggers who are younger than me or who have only had their blog a short while and wonder why I am not as good. It’s easy to look at the stats and think that your writing is terrible or ineffective. You can see here how easy it is to get wrapped up and take away from something that is supposed to be fun.

I started to write because I found it to be a form of therapy. I liked that it helped me manage and understand my own thoughts and feelings better. When I found out that my words were helping others, it seemed like something so special; and it is. We need to remember that no matter what we do, if it started as a passion, you need to remember why you started because, at the end of the day, it was never meant to be a task.

I mention often on Twitter about how much I feel like a failure and how I am not doing enough for others. I get very insecure on some days and even angry at myself for not being as amazing as other mental health advocates on Twitter. Jealousy is a basic human emotion for sure. It seems that I am so desperate to make a change, that I inadvertently live in the past where I was often overshadowed; it’s funny how much of our past can influence our personalities.

So, it’s incredibly important for me to manage social media as well as my mental health, because, like many of my followers, friends, and family, I suffer too.

Learning to put my phone down and eat is a big thing for me, or when I have a conversation, I get so scared that I won’t be there for someone in need that I am completely detached from the real world; in moments like these you need to remember that the world can’t be helped if you are not living.

Allowing yourself time off has been a major recent discovery, the last year I have been basically working on my writing and blogging and helping others 24/7 for free. I literally did not have a holiday until over a year into this new world of mine and when I finally let myself have time off, I remembered how nice it was to smile and take in my surroundings. We often miss some of our best memories because of our phones.

Balancing my workload is also a new thing, I used to get so excited when I had months worth of work to do in a week. I liked to be busy and there is nothing wrong with it. Except, I got very tired and my motivation went, I literally felt like a sim on low energy. When you are asked to do things for others online, it’s easy to agree and drop everything but remember that you have needs and sleep, rest, and actually doing something else are incredibly vital for your mental health.

At the end of the day, I know I have an addiction to social media, I think that most people in my generation do. We were raised into this new world and we know very little outside of it.

You need to ask yourself, has your phone replaced your friends? Your identity? Your education? Your basic needs? Because if it has, even just a little bit, then you need to take a step back and adjust. You do not need to sacrifice anything, just learn that the world will not stop because you have not checked your phone overnight – I mean, why don’t you try turning it off before bed? I’m sure the sleep will be much needed. 🙂

Twitter- @CUnderwoodUK

Blog- https://charlotteunderwoodauthor.com/

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Welcome To A New Era, And A Rollercoaster One At That.

Well hi there,

It has been quite awhile, has it not?

Just over a year to be exact.

Over the past year, my life has shaped and transformed drastically. I completed my first year of University, making many friends and connections for life, whilst taking that colossal step in living independently in halls; a seemingly impossible task to someone with severe anxiety/depression. But I did it, and I have no regrets in doing so.

My first year of being an English Literature undergraduate went incredibly well, and as I write this, it shall be a month until I move into my student house with the wonderful souls of light that are my housemates, venturing into the second year of our courses alongside each other. The step of starting medication for my mental health began back in April, and for me personally, it was a good decision that has allowed me to finally feel strong enough to manage my anxiety and fears that have had the possibility to suffocate my mind on a daily basis since a young age. Medication is not an answer for everyone, and all those who have been following me over the past few years shall be aware of all the other ways of healing that I have attempted. Albeit, medication alongside therapy has come to be the best combination for me- I feel that my life is changing in ways that I would never have expected, in a positive manner at that.

My mental health advocacy has stepped up a gear…Okay, maybe about several gears?! Not only have I been involving myself with many mental health projects and campaigns, both in and outside of University, but recently, I was one of few young people who were chosen by Time To Change to be a young champion for this exceptionally large movement over the next 18 months. I cannot reiterate enough how many diverse and amazing opportunities this role is going to give me and I am bloody well going to embrace it. If this gives you any indication about how passionate about this role I am, I even travelled to Manchester and stayed there for the weekend with other Young Champions, receiving my training and connecting with many other amazing individuals- And that is before I even meet the other half of the cohort in a few month’s time! I would never of been able to do this a few months previously.38023508_1171591732990095_3935959715690840064_n

Life is something of a colourful sunrise for me currently and I am blessed to have found myself with an amazing and supportive social circle with people from all walks of life. However, we all know that mental illness is not something that disappears, and I would be lying if I said that my mental health is not a bitch. I am sure that the mental health community will agree with me when I say that it can be easier to hide behind a smile and a well dressed façade sometimes instead of being true to ourselves and others

The difference now, compared to when I last was active on this blog, is that I am managing far better and each day I am learning how to balance Uni, work, volunteering and socialising.

In this new era of my blog, I welcome you all to join me in not only my ventures as a mental health advocate, but more importantly, I hope that my blog will act as a reminder that regardless of your mental health diagnosis, life can be beautiful, even when your mind is fighting against you. You shall see the positives and negatives of living with a mental health diagnosis- What is the point in sugar coating our struggles, especially when mental health awareness is needed more than never in the fight against stigma and discrimination??

Identities are made up of many fractions within a human being, and believe me when I say this, you are NOT defined by your mental health. Life and existence are far more complicated and wonderful alike than first perceived.

Much love,

Rhi. X

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