Tag Archives: #Education

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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Education Vs Mental Health.

Hello, darlings!
My deepest apologies that it has been so long, I am currently in the midst of taking my final A-Level exams, so as you can probably imagine, life is busy, busy, busy! However, I will be posting much more regularly and there is some very exciting stuff on it’s way. On that note, I thought I would write a post on education and mental health, whilst also giving tips on how to look after yourself, especially through stressful periods, like exam seasons.

We have all been there, or are currently going through it. Do not get me wrong, I am very appreciative to have had a free, wonderful education that has helped me to develop into the young lady I am today, especially as I love learning, but I would be lying if I said that it has not been a factor that has been intertwined in my mental health situation. As I become a University student in September, I feel that education and mental health do share factors that need to be discussed. Especially in recent years, education has become more challenging for students and in many cases, detrimental to young people’s mental health. Why is that? In my opinion, it is because students are working extremely hard, yet with not much mental health support available. It has only been a recent development that mental health is being discussed in places of education and students are starting to be taken seriously. Further to this, teachers/ lectures are defintely not receiving enough training on how to support young people to high standards when it comes to mental health and that is an issue I am very passionate about. I am from a generation that is seeing the highest ever figures of mental health issues in young people and without significant support and advise from those in education, how the hell are young people supposed to make the most of their education without stable, reliable support?!

I have a large amount of love and kindness for teachers, some of whom have been so important in helping me through issues, but I do believe that there is so much more that needs to be done to protect students!

There have been many times that I have had breakdowns, due to the intensity of schoolwork and not wanting to let people down; I know that many other people that surround me have also had very similar situations, and in the longterm, has been one of many factors that lead to poor mental health. More funding in schools and knowledge about the issues that young people face today are so important, especially in a time where the world needs to be sharing much more love and peace to others and themselves. I thought I would leave some suggestions on how can you can help your mental health whilst in education:

  1. Confide in those you trust- Friends, family, your doctor, your teachers. The worst thing that you can do for your mental health is to suffer in your silence. By speaking out, you are not battling your mind alone, and you will be also helping others who are going through a similar situation. Speaking out will be an influence in getting schools to educate themselves on how to support their students. You also have to take care of yourself, and by confiding in those around you, you are facing the issue, instead of hiding, before your mental health has the chance to escalate.

2. Sleep, food, and water- Your mind will be under a large amount of strain, please try to not allow your physical health to also be taken under.- I know that is difficult when you’re mental health is in a bad place, but even attempting to look after yourself physically will help. Self care is extremely important, as I have preached before and undeniably, if you are taking exams, being physically healthy will make going into them a much bearable experience, allowing you to perform at your best.

3.  Do not over work yourself- There have been many times when I will overwork myself because I feel that there is more to be done or what I have done is not at its highest standard; give yourself breaks. You are doing wonderfully and working yourself into the ground will do you no favours. Yes, it is important to work hard for what you want, but it is also important to have fun and enjoy yourself too! To everyone, student or not, finding a positive balance can lift a large pressure from your mental health.

4. Praise yourself- Being in education can sometimes have negative effects on your self-esteem. Please do not allow that to get in your way. Give yourself praise and some reassurance that you are doing your best and that you shall reach your aspirations and dreams. Try and distract yourself with things that you enjoy to allow yourself to block negative thoughts.

I hope that this post has been of interest to you all, please let me know what your views are of education and mental health!

A little side note; the mental health organisation ‘Time To Change’ recently published a blog post that I wrote for them in regards to their latest mental health campaign; you can read it here!

https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/blog/it-can-be-terrifying-open-about-mental-health

Until next time!

Much love,

Rhi. X